How to Create a Coloured ("Colored") Box in HTML/CSS

How to put text into a box that has a background colour

How to Create a Coloured ("Colored") Box in HTML/CSS

by Christopher Heng,

I was asked by a visitor how he could create a box, give it a background colour ("color" if you use a different variant of English), and insert text in it, the way some printed magazines and books sometimes place additional information in a separate box or panel on a page.


This article assumes that you know a bit of HTML and CSS. Otherwise you will be at a loss as to where to put the code I supply below or how to adapt it for your purpose.

Creating a Coloured Box

The box itself can be any block tag in HTML. Many, if not most, webmasters use a <div> for this purpose.

Let's say that you have the following HTML snippet that you want to make into a box.

<div id="demobox">
This is a demo box to illustrate the code given in's tutorial on creating coloured boxes.

The CSS to give the DIV block a background colour is, predictably:

#demobox {
  background-color: #cfc ;

The background-color rule above specifies the HTML colour value of #cfc. You can of course use any other colour you like. Most web editors and plain text editors (other than the rudimentary Notepad that comes with Windows) have a colour picker, allowing you to visually select a colour to get the appropriate numerical value. Alternatively, if you prefer to do things the hard way, you can also consult the list of colours and their values on Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, although the above code is correct, if you use it as it stands, you will find that the background colour will hug the text you place very closely, causing the entire thing to seem barely like a box. To make things more box-like, you will probably want to add some space to the area around your text, and perhaps even give it a border.

#demobox {
  background-color: #cfc ;
  padding: 10px ;
  border: 1px solid green ;

The padding rule adds 10 pixels to the space between your text and the margins of the box, and the border rule creates a 1-pixel thick solid green border. You can of course change the values given here (ie, the number of pixels and the colour) to suit your page's design.

If you're posting to a blog that allows you to insert HTML, but does not make it easy for you to change the style sheet, you can even put those rules into your DIV tag.

<div style="background-color: #cfc ; padding: 10px; border: 1px solid green;">


The above code produces the following box.

This is a demo box to illustrate the code given in's tutorial on creating coloured boxes.

Browser Compatibility

The CSS given above should work in all current browsers. It will probably even work in most older browsers too, including Internet Explorer 6 (which is most likely extinct today).

Copyright © 2017-2018 Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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