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Shorthand property that defines the different properties of all four sides of an element’s border in a single declaration. It can be used to set border-width, border-style and border-color, or a subset of these.

Overview table

Initial value
medium none currentColor
Applies to
All elements
Computed value
concatenation of border-width, border-style, and border-color.
CSS Object Model Property


  • border: <border-width> OR <border-style> OR <border-color>
  • border: inherit


When the value is set to inherit, the element will inherit the border values set on its parent.
<border-width> OR <border-style> OR <border-color>
A concatenation of <border-width>, <border-style>, and <border-color>. At least one of these must be present, and they may appear in any order.

<border-width>: A numeric value with any of the standard length units. The initial value is medium, which most browsers will render as 3px. See the border-width property.

<border-style>: This takes any of the range of values available to the border-style property. The initial value is none.

<border-color>: This takes any valid CSS color. See the border-color property. The initial value is currentColor.


A simple example showing multiple <div>s, identical in style except that they have different border properties applied to them.

<div class="one"><p>One</p></div>
<div class="two"><p>Two</p></div>
<div class="three"><p>Three</p></div>
<div class="four"><p>Four</p></div>
<div class="five"><p>Five</p></div>

View live example

 * border example

div {
  width: 150px;
  height: 150px;
  margin: 1rem;
  float: left;

p {
  padding: 2rem;

.one {
  /* The most basic border example you can show. */
  border: 1px solid black;

.two {
  /* If you don't explicitly set a color, currentColor is used, which
     equates to the text colour of the element, in this case black.   */
  border: 4px dashed;

.three {
  /* When no width is specified, the default width medium is used,
     which computes to about 3px in most browsers */
  border: dotted red;

.four {
  /* When no border style is specified, the border won't appear,
     as the default border style is none. */
  border: 10px black;

.five {
  /* A more interesting border example to round things off. */
  border: 10px inset rgba(234,190,50,0.75);

View live example


 * It is usual to first use the border shorthand property to set the state of a default box, and then override it where needed, using the more specific shorthand properties border-width, border-style, and border-color. Each of these properties may take up to four values, respective to the sides of the box.
  • It is also common to override the border property with the properties specific to each individual side: border-top, border-right, border-bottom, and border-left. Each of these properties may take up to three values, defining the appearance (width, style, and color) of the designated side.
  • The following twelve “longhand” properties can be used to define the entire border of an object:

border-top-width, border-top-style, border-top-color, border-right-width, border-right-style, border-right-color, border-bottom-width, border-bottom-style, border-bottom-color, border-left-width, border-left-style, border-left-color.


  • The initial value of border is the concatenated result of the initial values of each component.
  • A border-bottom can be used as a divider between vertically laid out items, such as navigation menu items, or a new section. Authors will sometimes use this technique rather than inserting an <hr/> element in the HTML.
  • Another common technique is to use border-bottom properties for link underlining rather than text-decoration: underline, as it affords the designer more control.

Related specifications

CSS Level 3
Candidate Recommendation
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
CSS Level 1

See also

Related articles


Box Model

Related pages


  • Mozilla Developer Network cc-by-sa-small-wpd.svg.