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Using background images

From: CSS: Core Concepts

Video: Using background images

In addition to using the background property to specify a color for an element's background, you can also use it to display an image. In this movie I want to introduce the background image property and discuss the syntax surrounding it. So here I have the background-image.htm file open, again, you can find that one in the 05_09 directory. We saw the same paragraph on the page, slightly different size, a little bit smaller this time around, and the first thing I want to do is to go ahead and apply a background image to this property.

Using background images

In addition to using the background property to specify a color for an element's background, you can also use it to display an image. In this movie I want to introduce the background image property and discuss the syntax surrounding it. So here I have the background-image.htm file open, again, you can find that one in the 05_09 directory. We saw the same paragraph on the page, slightly different size, a little bit smaller this time around, and the first thing I want to do is to go ahead and apply a background image to this property.

So on a line just below the margin declaration there I want to do background-image. Okay, now this one has some pretty specific syntax, because one of the things that we have to do is we have to tell the browser where to go find this image at, and we do that by using URL and opening up some parentheses, and then passing the path to the image in there. You might notice if you can look over here in the 05_09 directory that we have a folder named _images and inside that we have this tweet_90.png file and that's what we want to display.

So we have to know the path to that image, so we're going to go ahead and type in _images/tweet_90.png that's the not so pleasant part of doing that, because you have to remember where that is, unless the authoring tool that you're using gives you the ability to browse out and find that image. So if you have an authoring tool that allows you to browse out and find these images, that's fine, because it's going to save you a little bit of time, but I've found that people that rely on those sort of lose side of the fact that this path is a relative path, and here's the important part, it's relative to the CSS, not the HTML.

Now in this case the HTML and the CSS are in the same file, so that relationship is exactly the same. However, if this CSS was an external cascading style sheet file, which it normally would be your path of these images needs to be relative to the CSS file, not the page you're using it in. Keep that in mind as well, if you're ever using this particular syntax. All right, so if I save this, and preview this in a browser, excellent. So there is my bird, and what's interesting about this is we're not really seeing everything the background image property can do right now.

Let's go back in our code and let's give this a background color as well. I'll simply go down to the next line and I'm going to type in background-color, and here I'm going to use the #9cf, which is a blue. I'm going to save that, preview it, and we get to see both the color and the image. So when you're using the background property, you can have an image and a color at the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And the reason that we can see both of them at the same time is that this image is a transparent png file, if it was not, obviously the image is sitting on top of the color.

So keep that in mind, if you have an image and a color applied to the element, the image is going to sit or layer if you will, on top of the color. There are some default behaviors around this background image that you need to be aware of. Right now, we can't really see too much of this because our element is defined at 90 pixels x 90 pixels, which coincidentally enough is the exact size of that image, but what if the element was larger? I'll go into my code and I'm going to change this, so that the element is now 300 pixels x 300 pixels, so I'm going to save that, and test this again.

If we don't tell them otherwise, the browser is going to tile those images and you even have control over how it tiles. Let me show you that. So if we go back into our styles, I'm going to add another property underneath this, and this time I'm going to add background-repeat. Now this has several values that we can use, one value would be repeat, which is what it's doing right now, So if I just typed in the keyword repeat and tested this, we wouldn't see any change. Now we can also repeat along with specific axis. So if I say repeat-x and save that, notice that it's only repeating the image along the x axis and that is extremely useful.

You can create all sorts of really decorative borders or decorative backgrounds that way. A lot of people will fake gradients even though we can gradients with CSS now, by creating something smaller and just sort of repeating it along a specific axis. We can also repeat it along the y axis, so if I save this and test it, you can see the difference there as well. If you don't want it to repeat at all, you can just come in and say no-repeat. If I save that, it's not going to tile the image, it's just going to display the image one time. So the syntax we've looked at so far allows us to control which image we wanted to display in the element's background and whether or not or even how we want that image tiled.

It does not however allow us to control where within the element's background that the image is positioned. For example, the bird which is right now in the upper-left-hand corner, what if I wanted it in the center or at the bottom of this element? In the next movie we're going to learn how to use the background position property to do just that.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CSS: Core Concepts
CSS: Core Concepts

81 video lessons · 40198 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 4m 57s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 2s
  2. 1h 7m
    1. Exploring default styling
      4m 56s
    2. CSS authoring tools
      2m 29s
    3. CSS syntax
      4m 45s
    4. Writing a selector
      4m 10s
    5. Setting properties
      8m 40s
    6. Common units of measurement
      7m 47s
    7. Inline styles
      5m 1s
    8. Embedded styles
      5m 19s
    9. Using external style sheets
      10m 34s
    10. Checking for browser support
      8m 48s
    11. Dealing with browser inconsistencies
      5m 30s
  3. 2h 15m
    1. Structuring HTML correctly
      2m 51s
    2. Element selectors
      4m 52s
    3. Class selectors
      6m 4s
    4. ID selectors
      3m 27s
    5. Using classes and IDs
      10m 7s
    6. Element-specific selectors
      4m 35s
    7. The universal selector
      5m 42s
    8. Grouping selectors
      4m 49s
    9. Descendent selectors
      7m 32s
    10. Child selectors
      5m 7s
    11. Adjacent selectors
      5m 30s
    12. Attribute selectors
      12m 43s
    13. Pseudo-class selectors
      3m 54s
    14. Dynamic pseudo-class selectors
      8m 29s
    15. Structural pseudo-class selectors
      6m 45s
    16. Nth-child selectors
      13m 10s
    17. Pseudo-element selectors
      12m 40s
    18. Targeting page content: Lab
      8m 56s
    19. Targeting page content: Solution
      7m 59s
  4. 42m 39s
    1. What happens when styles conflict?
      4m 0s
    2. Understanding the cascade
      5m 47s
    3. Using inheritance
      6m 11s
    4. Selector specificity
      6m 55s
    5. The !important declaration
      4m 5s
    6. Reducing conflicts through planning
      3m 33s
    7. Resolving conflicts: Lab
      6m 45s
    8. Resolving conflicts: Solution
      5m 23s
  5. 1h 47m
    1. Setting a font family
      7m 10s
    2. Using @font-face
      9m 18s
    3. Setting font size
      7m 35s
    4. Font style and font weight
      6m 52s
    5. Transforming text
      3m 58s
    6. Using text variants
      2m 49s
    7. Text decoration options
      4m 26s
    8. Setting text color
      3m 2s
    9. Writing font shorthand notation
      8m 49s
    10. Controlling text alignment
      6m 33s
    11. Letter and word spacing
      9m 11s
    12. Indenting text
      4m 30s
    13. Adjusting paragraph line height
      10m 30s
    14. Controlling the space between elements
      6m 41s
    15. Basic text formatting: Lab
      8m 45s
    16. Basic text formatting: Solution
      7m 14s
  6. 2h 1m
    1. Understanding the box model
      16m 53s
    2. Controlling element spacing
      14m 29s
    3. Controlling interior spacing
      10m 49s
    4. Margin and padding shorthand notation
      6m 27s
    5. Adding borders
      8m 57s
    6. Defining element size
      10m 7s
    7. Creating rounded corners
      6m 58s
    8. Background properties
      2m 51s
    9. Using background images
      5m 10s
    10. Controlling image positioning
      10m 25s
    11. Using multiple backgrounds
      7m 5s
    12. Background shorthand notation
      5m 25s
    13. Styling container elements: Lab
      7m 55s
    14. Styling container elements: Solution
      8m 17s
  7. 47m 51s
    1. Color keyword definitions
      5m 4s
    2. Understanding hexadecimal notation
      6m 5s
    3. Using RGB values
      4m 58s
    4. Using HSL values
      5m 17s
    5. Working with opacity
      2m 23s
    6. Using RGBa and HSLa
      3m 8s
    7. Styling drop shadows
      5m 38s
    8. CSS gradients
      6m 32s
    9. Working with color: Lab
      4m 26s
    10. Working with color: Solution
      4m 20s
  8. 1m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 58s

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