How Do I Change the Background of an HTML Element Through Code?

With a little bit of JavaScript, it's easy to change the background image of any object through code. All you need to do is retrieve a reference to the element you want to change, and then set its style.backgroundImage property.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" 
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
  <title>Change Background</title>
  <script type="text/javascript">
  function ChangeBackground(background)
    switch (background)
      case 1:
        document.getElementById('myTableCell').style.backgroundImage = 
      case 2:
        document.getElementById('myTableCell').style.backgroundImage = 
  <table width="250" border="0">
    <td id="myTableCell" style="background-image:URL
      I am a cell with a background image<br /><br />
      If you click one of the buttons, my background will change.

  <form id="frmTest" name="frmTest" action="" method="get">
    <input type="button" id="btnDo1" 
              name="btnDo1" onclick="ChangeBackground(1)" 
              value="Click to change to Background 1" />
    <input type="button" id="btnDo2" 
              name="btnDo2" onclick="ChangeBackground(2)" 
              value="Click to change to Background 2" />

This code will work in modern, standard compliant browser, like Mozilla, Firefox, and recent versions of Netscape, Opera and Internet Explorer.

This code changes the background image of a table cell, but you can apply this principle to any object that supports the backgroundImage property.


Where to Next?

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Doc ID 282
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Written by Imar Spaanjaars
Date Posted 05/09/2004 14:23
Date Last Reviewed 08/06/2006 15:50
Listened to when writing Giggles by Sonic Youth (Track 17 from the album: Made In USA (soundtrack))


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