jQuery Change CSS Dynamically – It’s Easy!

Sam Deering


CSS Function Demo

Changing your website styles dynamically is now the craze that is taking over the web! In this short, but sweet post I will explain how to do some simple yet effective CSS tricks using jQuery. This is a must know for all you avid jQuery developers!

Change Specific CSS Element

It’s really easy to change CSS with jQuery this is the format of the .CSS() function.

$('jQuery selector').css({"css property name":"css property value"});

Here are some common examples:

//change paragraph text colour to green 

//float all divs with class .left

//change all elements with class .bg-red to have a red background

Nest Your jQuery CSS Commands

It is handy to know jQuery can equally interpret the CSS and DOM formatting of multiple-word properties. This will not only save you alot of time but it looks prettier!

newimg.css({'background-image': 'url('+newimgsrc+')'});
newimg.css({'position': 'absolute'});
newimg.css({'height': '70px'});
newimg.css({'width': '200px'});
newimg.css({'top': '68px'});
newimg.css({'right': '2px'});

Is exactly the same as:

newimg.css({'background-image': 'url('+newimgsrc+')', 'position': 'absolute', 'height': '70px', 'width': '200px', 'top': '68px', 'right': '2px'});

Remove CSS Styles

There are two main ways to remove CSS styles not much difference between them.

1. You can remove the class associated with the page or element

//remove text color from a div

2. You can also remove CSS styles on certain elements directly

//remove text color from a div
$('#mydiv').css('color', '');

This is also a nifty jQuery CSS trick to remove and add a class in the same call.

//change text color from red to green (classes specified in stylesheet)

Extending Existing Styles Values

You may wish to just extend a style based upon it’s current value. For example, if an element’s padding-left was 10px then the following code would result in a total padding-left of 25px.

.css( "padding-left", "+=15" )

jQuery .CSS() Function Property

As most of you avid jQuery developers know, as of jQuery 1.4, .css() allows us to pass a function as the property value. This is handy for returning current CSS values to determine changes.

$('div.example').css('width', function(index) {
  return index * 50;

Common Background CSS Changes

Here are some examples of changing background CSS.

$('#myDiv').css('background-image', 'my_image.jpg');
// OR
$('#myDiv').css('background', 'path/to/image.jpg');
// OR
$('#myDiv').css("background-image", "url(/myimage.jpg)");  

<br /><br />
<h2>A Full Code Example - Set Div Background Image</h2>
This is a full example of jQuery Code to set a background image into a div dynamically when the page is loaded.

[code lang="js"]
<script type='text/javascript'>
$(document).ready(function() {
	//preload image (add timestamp to prevent cache)
	var newimgsrc = 'https://www.sitepoint.com/wp-content/uploads/jquery4u/2011/03/jquery-plugins2.jpg?' + (new Date().getTime());
	var newimg = $('#header');
    //replace the image
	$('#header').css("background-image", "url("+newimgsrc+")");
	newimg.css({'background-image': 'url('+newimgsrc+')', 'position': 'absolute', 'height': '70px', 'width': '200px', 'top': '68px', 'right': '2px'});