CSS border-image-width

The border-image-width property is one of the properties introduced in CSS3 for the purposes of enabling images to be used on CSS borders.

The CSS border-image-width property is used for specifying offsets that are used to divide the border image area into nine parts (i.e. four corners, four edges and a middle). These width values represent inward distances from the the top, right, bottom, and left sides of the area, respectively. If the left width is missing, it is the same as the right; if the bottom is missing, it is the same as the top; if the right is missing, it is the same as the top.

The border-image-width property is used in conjunction with the border-image-source, border-image-slice, border-image-outset, and border-image-repeat properties in order to determine how the image will appear on the border.

Note that setting an image border will override any border that has been specified using the border-style properties. However, if the image cannot be loaded, or if the border-image-source value is none, the border styles will be used instead.

To save time (and use less code), use the border-image property to set all your background image properties at once.


The formal grammar for this property is:

Below are some examples of usage.

One-Value Syntax

To set all four sides at once:


Two-Value Syntax

To specify the horizontal and vertical values separately:


Three-Value Syntax

To specify the top, vertical, and bottom values separately:


Four-Value Syntax

To specify all four sides separately:


Inherit Syntax

To inherit the values:

For more information, see the Possible Values section below.

Possible Values

Specifies pixels in the image (if the image is a raster image) or vector coordinates (if the image is a vector image).
A percentage value is relative to the size of the image: the width of the image for the horizontal offsets, the height for vertical offsets.
This is an optional value that, if provided, specifies that the middle part of the border image should be preserved. If not specified, the middle part of the border image will be discarded (i.e. treated as empty).

In addition, all CSS properties also accept the following CSS-wide keyword values as the sole component of their property value:

Represents the value specified as the property's initial value.
Represents the computed value of the property on the element's parent.
This value acts as either inherit or initial, depending on whether the property is inherited or not. In other words, it sets all properties to their parent value if they are inheritable or to their initial value if not inheritable.

Basic Property Information

Initial Value
Applies To
All elements, except internal table elements when border-collapse is collapse

Example Code

Basic CSS

Working Example within an HTML Document

Try it

CSS Specifications

Browser Support

The following table provided by Caniuse.com shows the level of browser support for this feature.

Vendor Prefixes

For maximum browser compatibility many web developers add browser-specific properties by using extensions such as -webkit- for Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera (newer versions), -ms- for Internet Explorer, -moz- for Firefox, -o- for older versions of Opera etc. As with any CSS property, if a browser doesn't support a proprietary extension, it will simply ignore it.

This practice is not recommended by the W3C, however in many cases, the only way you can test a property is to include the CSS extension that is compatible with your browser.

The major browser manufacturers generally strive to adhere to the W3C specifications, and when they support a non-prefixed property, they typically remove the prefixed version. Also, W3C advises vendors to remove their prefixes for properties that reach Candidate Recommendation status.

Many developers use Autoprefixer, which is a postprocessor for CSS. Autoprefixer automatically adds vendor prefixes to your CSS so that you don't need to. It also removes old, unnecessary prefixes from your CSS.

You can also use Autoprefixer with preprocessors such as Less and Sass.