CSS: Gradients
Illustration by John Hersey

Exploring the radial syntax


From:

CSS: Gradients

with Justin Seeley

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Video: Exploring the radial syntax

All right, now it's time to talk about radial gradients, and by radial gradients I mean gradients that start from the center of an object and radiate outward or start at the outside and radiate inward depending on which direction you have that gradient go. Now I have got open up a document here in my CSS editor and the width and height of this div is 900 pixels by 500 pixels, and if I go over into my browser, you'll see that this is an actual radial gradient that exists right here in the center. It starts out white and then fades out to black. You'll also notice that the gradient appears to be oblong, much the same way the rectangle is that it's contained in, and that's because by default unless you specify that the gradient stay within a certain range or size parameter, it will automatically adjust to the size of the div that you put it in.
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Watch the Online Video Course CSS: Gradients
1h 13m Beginner Feb 15, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Justin Seeley as he introduces gradients, a somewhat hidden strength of CSS that allows you to add depth and texture to your web designs while reducing load times—creating a better viewing experience for your visitors versus static images. Discover how to create simple linear and radial gradients; apply them to backgrounds, buttons, and text; and write browser-specific syntax to ensure your designs look the same across multiple platforms. The course also shows how to create metallic textures, diagonal gradients, and repeatable patterns. Along the way, Justin demonstrates real-world uses for gradients and techniques to extend them beyond the basics.

Topics include:
  • Exploring browser compatibility
  • Creating horizontal and vertical gradients
  • Adding extra color stops
  • Exploring radial gradient syntax
  • Using transparency
  • Creating fallbacks
  • Generating gradients via the web
Subject:
Web
Software:
CSS
Author:
Justin Seeley

Exploring the radial syntax

All right, now it's time to talk about radial gradients, and by radial gradients I mean gradients that start from the center of an object and radiate outward or start at the outside and radiate inward depending on which direction you have that gradient go. Now I have got open up a document here in my CSS editor and the width and height of this div is 900 pixels by 500 pixels, and if I go over into my browser, you'll see that this is an actual radial gradient that exists right here in the center. It starts out white and then fades out to black. You'll also notice that the gradient appears to be oblong, much the same way the rectangle is that it's contained in, and that's because by default unless you specify that the gradient stay within a certain range or size parameter, it will automatically adjust to the size of the div that you put it in.

So in this case if I were to change the width of this to say 500 pixels and then save it and refresh it, notice the gradient appears to be much more uniform, not as stretched out as it was before. That's because it's following the overall shape of the container that it's in. Now let's undo that and let's see if I can actually change this without actually having to change the size of the box. Well, I can add in some modifiers to this. There are actually two keywords that I can work with here. The first of which is circle, which is a value for the shape argument and it's simply sets the gradient to be circular instead of elliptical.

So if I add the word circle to this, I'll just type out circle, comma, right before the colors in the color argument there, I'll go and save that and refresh. You'll notice now that the gradient does not appear to be as oblong as it was. If I go back here and remove the circle, save it and refresh it, see how the gradient sort of stretches out when I refresh that? And then if I add that back in and save it, see how it kind of just uniforms itself to be just a regular circle? Now I can also, in addition to the word circle, add another keyword called contain, which is a value for the size argument that we talked about.

The contained value means that the gradient stops at the edge of the box closest to its center, and you can also use the keyword closest-side if you prefer, because both of those are synonymous with each other. So basically what I'm going to do here is type out the word contain, space, circle. So basically what that's going to mean is that it's going to be in a circular pattern and it's going to be contained within the box, so technically the gradient will stop when it get closest to these sides here. So if I go back and save this and then refresh this page, you'll see there is the gradient, and it is in a circular pattern, and it does stop as it gets close to those sides.

Had it been closer to these sides first then it would have been stopped there, but in this case since it is longer than it is tall, it's going to get to these sides first. You can remove that keyword just by backspacing over it, and then saving it, and refreshing the page and it looks just like that. And so the basics of the radial syntax are very simple. They are much like the linear syntax, but there are some modifiers that you can throw into this in order to make it look and feel a little bit different.

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