Stretch and scale a CSS image in the background - with CSS only

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I want that my background image stretch and scale depending on the browser viewport size.

I've seen some questions on Stack Overflow that do the job, like Stretch and scale CSS background for example. It works well, but I want to place the image using background, not with an img tag.

In that one an img tag is placed, and then with CSS we tribute to the img tag.

width:100%; height:100%; 

It works, but that question is a bit old, and states that in CSS 3 resizing a background image will work pretty well. I've tried this example the first one, but it didn't work out for me.

Is there a good method to do it with the background-image declaration?

This Question Has 17 Answeres | Orginal Question | Fábio Antunes

I use this, and it works with all browsers:

<html> <head> <title>Stretched Background Image</title> <style type="text/css"> /* Remove margins from the 'html' and 'body' tags, and ensure the page takes up full screen height. */ html, body {height:100%; margin:0; padding:0;} /* Set the position and dimensions of the background image. */ #page-background {position:fixed; top:0; left:0; width:100%; height:100%;} /* Specify the position and layering for the content that needs to appear in front of the background image. Must have a higher z-index value than the background image. Also add some padding to compensate for removing the margin from the 'html' and 'body' tags. */ #content {position:relative; z-index:1; padding:10px;} </style> <!-- The above code doesn't work in Internet Explorer 6. To address this, we use a conditional comment to specify an alternative style sheet for IE 6. --> <!--[if IE 6]> <style type="text/css"> html {overflow-y:hidden;} body {overflow-y:auto;} #page-background {position:absolute; z-index:-1;} #content {position:static;padding:10px;} </style> <![endif]--> </head> <body> <div id="page-background"><img src="" width="100%" height="100%" alt="Smile"></div> <div id="content"> <h2>Stretch that Background Image!</h2> <p>This text appears in front of the background image. This is because we've used CSS to layer the content in front of the background image. The background image will stretch to fit your browser window. You can see the image grow and shrink as you resize your browser.</p> <p>Go on, try it - resize your browser!</p> </div> </body> </html> 

You can add this class into your CSS file.

.stretch { background: url(images/bg.jpg) no-repeat center center fixed; -webkit-background-size: cover; -moz-background-size: cover; -o-background-size: cover; background-size: cover; } 

It works in:

  • Safari 3 or later
  • Chrome Whatever or later
  • Internet Explorer 9 or later
  • Opera 10 or later (Opera 9.5 supported background-size, but not the keywords)
  • Firefox 3.6 or later (Firefox 4 supports non-vendor prefixed version)

You can actually achieve the same effect as a background image with the img tag. You just have to set its z-index lower than everything else, set position:absolute and use a transparent background for every box in the foreground.

The following CSS part should stretch the image with all browsers.

I do this dynamically for each page. Therefore I use PHP to generate its own HTML tag for each page. All the pictures are in the 'image' folder and end with 'Bg.jpg'.

<html style=" background: url(images/'.$pic.'Bg.jpg) no-repeat center center fixed; -webkit-background-size: cover; -moz-background-size: cover; -o-background-size: cover; background-size: cover; filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src=\'images/'.$pic.'Bg.jpg\', sizingMethod=\'scale\'); -ms-filter: \"progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src=\'images/'.$pic.'Bg.jpg\', sizingMethod=\'scale\')\ ";> 

If you have only one background picture for all pages then you may remove the $pic variable, remove escaping back-slashes, adjust paths and place this code in your CSS file.

html{ background: url(images/homeBg.jpg) no-repeat center center fixed; -webkit-background-size: cover; -moz-background-size: cover; -o-background-size: cover; background-size: cover; filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='images/homeBg.jpg', sizingMethod='scale'); -ms-filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='images/homeBg', sizingMethod='scale'); } 

This was tested with Internet Explorer 9, Chrome 21, and Firefox 14.

I agree with the image in absolute div with 100% width and height. Make sure you set 100% width and height for the body in the CSS and set margins and padding to zero. Another issue you will find with this method is that when selecting text, the selection area can sometimes encompass the background image, which has the unfortunate effect of making the full page have the selected state. You can get round this by using the user-select:none CSS rule, like so:

<html> <head> <style type="text/css"> html,body { height: 100%; width: 100% margin: none; padding: none; } #background { width: 100%; height: 100%; position: fixed; left: 0px; top: 0px; z-index: -99999; -webkit-user-select: none; -khtml-user-select: none; -moz-user-select: none; -o-user-select: none; user-select: none; } #background img { width: 100%; height: 100%; } #main{ z-index:10;} </style> </head> <body> <div id="main"> content here </div> <div id="background"><img src="bg.jpg"></div> </body> </html> 

Again, Internet Explorer is the bad guy here, because it doesn't recognise the user-select option - not even Internet Explorer 10 preview supports it, so you have the option of either using JavaScript to prevent background image selection (for example, ) or using CSS 3 background-stretch method.

Also, for SEO I would put the background image at the bottom of the page, but if the background image takes too long to load (that is, with a white background initially), you could move to the top of the page.

Use this CSS:

background: url('img.png') no-repeat; background-size: 100%; 

Using the code I mentioned...


<div id="background"> <img src="img.jpg" class="stretch" alt="" /> </div> 


#background { width: 100%; height: 100%; position: fixed; left: 0px; top: 0px; z-index: -1; /* Ensure div tag stays behind content; -999 might work, too. */ } .stretch { width:100%; height:100%; } 

That produces the desired effect: only the content will scroll, not the background.

The background image resizes to the browser viewport for any screen size. When the content doesn't fit the browser viewport, and the user needs to scroll the page, the background image remains fixed in the viewport while the content scrolls.

With CSS 3 it seems this would be a lot easier.

CSS3 has a nice little attribute called background-size:cover.

This scales the image so that the background area is completely covered by the background image whilst maintaining aspect ratio. The entire area will be covered however part of the image may not be visible if the width/height of the resized image is too great

Do you want to achieve this just using one image? Because you can actually make somewhat similar to a stretching background using two images. PNG images for instance.

I've done this before, and it's not that hard. Besides, I think stretching would just harm the quality of the background. And if you add a huge image it would slow down slow computers and browsers.

In order to scale your images appropriately based on the container size is the following:

{ background-size:contain; background-repeat: no-repeat; } 

Use the Backstretch plugin. One could even have several images slide. It also works within containers. This way for example one could have only a portion of the background been covered with an background image.

Since even I could get it to work proves it to be an easy to use plugin :).


html,body { background: url(images/bg.jpg) no-repeat center center fixed; -webkit-background-size: cover; /* For WebKit*/ -moz-background-size: cover; /* Mozilla*/ -o-background-size: cover; /* Opera*/ background-size: cover; /* Generic*/ } 

You could use the CSS3 property to do it quite nicely. It resizes to ratio so no image distortion (although it does upscale small images). Just note, it's not implemented in all browsers yet.

background-size: 100%; 

You can use the border-image : yourimage property to scale the image up to the border , Even if you give the background-image , then the border image will be drawn over it.

border-image property is very useful if your stylesheet is implemented somewhere which doesn't support CSS3 . If you are using chrome of firefox , then i recommend the background-size:cover property itself.

background-size: 100% 100%; 

stretches bg to fill entire element on both axis

I wanted to center and scale a background image, without stretching it to the entire page, and I wanted the aspect ratio to be maintained. This worked for me, thanks to the variations suggested in other answers:

INLINE IMAGE: ------------------------

<div id="background"> <img src="img.jpg" class="stretch" alt="" /> </div> 

CSS ----------------------------------

html { height:100%; } #background { text-align: center; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: fixed; left: 0px; top: 0px; z-index: -1; } .stretch { margin: auto; height:100%; } 


But then it was not working for the Google Chrome and Safari browsers (stretching worked, but the hight of the pictures was only 2 mm!), until someone told me what lacks:

Try to set height:auto;min-height:100%;

So change that for your height:100%; line, gives:

#### #background { width: 100%; height: 100%; position: fixed; left: 0px; top: 0px; z-index: -1; } .stretch { width:100%; height:auto; min-height:100%; } 

Just before that newly added code I have this in my Drupal Tendu themes style.css:

html, body{height:100%;}

#page{background:#ffffff; height:auto !important;height:100%;min-height:100%;position:relative;}

Then I have to make a new block within Drupal with the picture while adding class=stretch:

< img alt="" class="stretch" src="pic.url" />

Just copying a picture with the editor in that Drupal block doesn't work; one has to change the editor to non-formatted text.

I am...

Sajjad Hossain

I have five years of experience in web development sector. I love to do amazing projects and share my knowledge with all.

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