How to Create a Border with CSS

Three properties work together to make borders: border-style, border-color, and border-width. In addition, each side of an element can also have a different border style. These are indicated by the following properties:

  • border-top
  • border-right
  • border-bottom
  • border-left

Learn how to use these CSS properties to add a border to an element by following the steps below.

  1. The border-style property is used to specify whether an element has a border or not and, if it does, how that border should appear. Possible values are:
    • none
    • dashed
    • dotted
    • double
    • groove
    • inset
    • outset

    For example:

    <div style="border-style: dashed;">border-style: dashed;</div>
  2. The border-color property is used with border-style to specify the color of the border. Its value can be any valid color. For example:
    <div style="border-color: red">border-color: red</div>
  3. The border-width property is used with border-style to specify the width of the border on all four sides of an element. All the units of measurement can be used. In addition, the border width can be defined using the following relative terms:
    • thin
    • medium
    • thick

    The border-width property will have no effect unless the element has a border-style defined either in a style sheet or by the user agent (e.g., browser).

    	div {
    		border-width: 4px;
  4. The following code sets a border-width of 4px for the entire document and then changes the border styles and colors throughout. The first example shows the border top color changed to blue.
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>CSS Border Styles</title>
    <style type="text/css">
    	hr {
    		width: 50%;
    		margin-top: 10px;
    		margin-bottom: 10px;
    	div {
    		border-width: 4px;
    <h1>CSS Border Styles</h1>
    <div style="border-style: dashed; border-color: red; border-top-color: blue ">border-style: dashed; border-color: red; border-top-color: blue</div>
    <div style="border-style: dotted; border-color: blue">border-style: dotted; border-color: blue</div>
    <div style="border-style: double; border-color: green">border-style: double; border-color: green</div>
    <div style="border-style: none;">border-style: none;</div>
    <div style="border-style: groove; border-color: red">border-style: groove; border-color: red</div>
    <div style="border-style: hidden;">border-style: hidden;</div>
    <div style="border-style: inset; border-color: blue">border-style: inset; border-color: blue</div>
    <div style="border-style: outset; border-color: green">border-style: outset; border-color: green</div>
    <div style="border-style: ridge; border-color: red">border-style: ridge; border-color: red</div>
    <div style="border-style: solid; border-color: blue">border-style: solid; border-color: blue</div>

    This code renders the following:

Author: Chris Minnick

Chris Minnick, the co-founder of WatzThis?, has overseen the development of hundreds of web and mobile projects for customers from small businesses to some of the world’s largest companies. A prolific writer, Chris has authored and co-authored books and articles on a wide range of Internet-related topics including HTML, CSS, mobile apps, e-commerce, e-business, Web design, XML, and application servers. His published books include Adventures in Coding, JavaScript For Kids For Dummies, Writing Computer Code, Coding with JavaScript For Dummies, Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, Webkit For Dummies, CIW E-Commerce Designer Certification Bible, and XHTML.

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