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border

The border shorthand CSS property sets an element's border. It sets the values of border-width, border-style, and border-color.

Constituent properties

This property is a shorthand for the following CSS properties:

Syntax

/* style */
border: solid;

/* width | style */
border: 2px dotted;

/* style | color */
border: outset #f33;

/* width | style | color */
border: medium dashed green;

/* Global values */
border: inherit;
border: initial;
border: unset;

The border property may be specified using one, two, or three of the values listed below. The order of the values does not matter.

Note: The border will be invisible if its style is not defined. This is because the style defaults to none.

Values

<line-width>
Sets the thickness of the border. Defaults to medium if absent. See border-width.
<line-style>
Sets the style of the border. Defaults to none if absent. See border-style.
<color>
Sets the color of the border. Defaults to currentcolor if absent. See border-color.

Description

As with all shorthand properties, any omitted sub-values will be set to their initial value. Importantly, border cannot be used to specify a custom value for border-image, but instead sets it to its initial value, i.e., none.

The border shorthand is especially useful when you want all four borders to be the same. To make them different from each other, however, you can use the longhand border-width, border-style, and border-color properties, which accept different values for each side. Alternatively, you can target one border at a time with the physical (e.g., border-top ) and logical (e.g., border-block-start) border properties.

Borders vs. outlines

Borders and outlines are very similar. However, outlines differ from borders in the following ways:

  • Outlines never take up space, as they are drawn outside of an element's content.
  • According to the spec, outlines don't have to be rectangular, although they usually are.

Formal definition

Initial value as each of the properties of the shorthand:
Applies to all elements. It also applies to ::first-letter.
Inherited no
Computed value as each of the properties of the shorthand:
Animation type as each of the properties of the shorthand:

Formal syntax

<line-width> || <line-style> || <color>

where
<line-width> = <length> | thin | medium | thick
<line-style> = none | hidden | dotted | dashed | solid | double | groove | ridge | inset | outset
<color> = <rgb()> | <rgba()> | <hsl()> | <hsla()> | <hex-color> | <named-color> | currentcolor | <deprecated-system-color>

where
<rgb()> = rgb( <percentage>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgb( <number>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgb( <percentage>#{3} , <alpha-value>? ) | rgb( <number>#{3} , <alpha-value>? )
<rgba()> = rgba( <percentage>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgba( <number>{3} [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | rgba( <percentage>#{3} , <alpha-value>? ) | rgba( <number>#{3} , <alpha-value>? )
<hsl()> = hsl( <hue> <percentage> <percentage> [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | hsl( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value>? )
<hsla()> = hsla( <hue> <percentage> <percentage> [ / <alpha-value> ]? ) | hsla( <hue>, <percentage>, <percentage>, <alpha-value>? )

where
<alpha-value> = <number> | <percentage>
<hue> = <number> | <angle>

Examples

Setting a pink outset border

HTML

<div>I have a border, an outline, AND a box shadow! Amazing, isn't it?</div>

CSS

div {
  border: 0.5rem outset pink;
  outline: 0.5rem solid khaki;
  box-shadow: 0 0 0 2rem skyblue;
  border-radius: 12px;
  font: bold 1rem sans-serif;
  margin: 2rem;
  padding: 1rem;
  outline-offset: 0.5rem;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3
The definition of 'border' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Removes specific support for transparent, as it is now a valid <color>; this has no practical impact.
Though it cannot be set to a custom value using the shorthand, border now resets border-image to its initial value (none).
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'border' in that specification.
Recommendation Accepts the inherit keyword. Also accepts transparent as a valid color.
CSS Level 1
The definition of 'border' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Desktop
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
border 1 12 1 4 3.5 1
Mobile
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
border ≤37 18 4 14 1 1.0

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Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/border