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      Gradient Borders and Border Images in Pure CSS

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      Borders in CSS are old news, but maybe you didn’t know that border images and gradient borders are also possible with CSS now, thanks to two properties: border-image-source and border-image-slice.

      Border Images

      You can use images that replace the default border style. Here’s a simple example. First, our markup:

      <div class="box box-1">Just a box! 😄</div>

      And then the styles for our box:

      .box {
        width: 400px;
        height: 200px;
        max-width: 100%;
        background: var(--bg2);
        margin: 1rem auto;
        display: flex;
        align-items: center;
        justify-content: center;
        font-size: 2rem;
      .box-1 {
        border: 20px solid;
        border-image-source: url(/url/to/some/fancy/image.jpg);
        border-image-slice: 60 30;

      Just a box! 😄

      You’ll notice that there’s still needs to be a regular border applied to the element because the border image replaces the regular border style.

      border-image-source specifies the source image, which can be a URL to a raster or vector-based image (SVG) or a data URI.

      border-image-slice is also needed in order for the desired effect to be achieved. That one can be a little complicated to fully grasp, but the gist of it is that behind the scenes the engine slices the image into a 3 X 3 grid, with the center section being transparent by default. border-image-slice is used to specify how the image is distributed on that grid. It can take up to 4 values which can be numerical or percentage values. Here’s a great reference article by Codrops and another one by CSS-Tricks if you want to venture into fully understanding border-image-slice.

      Shorthand property with border-image

      There’s a shorthand property to specify the values for both border-image-source and border-image-slice all at once: border-image. Here’s the same example, but using the shorthand:

      .box-1 {
        border: 20px solid;
        border-image: url(/url/to/some/fancy/image.jpg) 60 30;

      Gradient Borders

      Since gradients in CSS are really generated images, creating gradient borders is as simple as using a linear, radial or conic gradient in place of a regular image source.

      First, a linear gradient border:

      .box-2 {
        border: 10px solid;
        border-image-source: linear-gradient(45deg, rgb(0,143,104), rgb(250,224,66));
        border-image-slice: 1;

      Linear gradient! 😄

      As you’ll notice, the slicing on such gradients is much simpler and a simple value of 1 will do. So, using the shorthand, we get:

      .box-2 {
        border: 10px solid;
        border-image: linear-gradient(45deg, rgb(0,143,104), rgb(250,224,66)) 1;

      Here’s the same example, but as a radial gradient:

      .box-3 {
        border: 10px solid;
        border-image: radial-gradient(rgb(0,143,104), rgb(250,224,66)) 1;

      Radial gradient! 😄

      And then finally a conic gradient for good measure, here with all the hues of the color wheel to create a rainbow gradient:

      .box-4 {
        border: 10px solid;
        border-image: conic-gradient(red, yellow, lime, aqua, blue, magenta, red) 1;

      I ❤️ 🌈

      What About Border Radius?

      Unfortunately border images can’t have a radius just yet, so if you want your element to have a border radius and a gradient border, you’ll have to resort to using a workaround that probably involves another HTML element.

      Browser Support: As of 2020, Can I Use border-image? shows 99% of worldwide browsers supporting the border-image property.

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