Display Images as Grayscale with CSS Filters

By  on  

CSS filters aren't yet widely supported but they are indeed impressive and a modern need for web imagery.  CSS filters allow you to modify the display of images in a variety of ways, one of those ways being displaying images as grayscale.

Doing so requires the most minimal of CSS:

img.bw {
	filter: grayscale(1);
}

You can even animate an image to or from grayscale:

img.bw {
	filter: grayscale(0);
}

img.bw.grey {
	filter: grayscale(1);
	transition-property: filter;
	transition-duration: 1s;	
}

CSS filters allow much more than just grayscale adjustments, so if you haven't taken the time, please play around with my CSS filter sandbox.  Remember that if the user chooses to download the image, it is downloaded in its original colored displays, but for online display purposes, CSS filters do the trick!

Recent Features

  • By
    Creating Scrolling Parallax Effects with CSS

    Introduction For quite a long time now websites with the so called "parallax" effect have been really popular. In case you have not heard of this effect, it basically includes different layers of images that are moving in different directions or with different speed. This leads to a...

  • By
    Send Text Messages with PHP

    Kids these days, I tell ya.  All they care about is the technology.  The video games.  The bottled water.  Oh, and the texting, always the texting.  Back in my day, all we had was...OK, I had all of these things too.  But I still don't get...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Duplicate the jQuery Homepage Tooltips Using MooTools

    The jQuery homepage has a pretty suave tooltip-like effect as seen below: Here's how to accomplish this same effect using MooTools. The XHTML The above XHTML was taken directly from the jQuery homepage -- no changes. The CSS The above CSS has been slightly modified to match the CSS rules already...

  • By
    CSS Sprites

    The idea of CSS sprites is pretty genius. For those of you who don't know the idea of a sprite, a sprite is basically multiple graphics compiled into one image. The advantages of using sprites are: Fewer images for the browser to download, which means...

Discussion

  1. MaxArt

    I knew about CSS filters, but what always restrained me to use them is that they’re limited to Webkit/Blink browsers. Firefox supports just the url syntax.
    Many designers love them and for a reason. I just wish they were more widely supported.

  2. I cant find the difference between the 3 images. All images seems to be the same color! Is this a browser problem (firefox) or i don’t see it?

    • Yes, it doesn’t display the CSS filters effect in Firefox and also Opera… Hopefully it will be cross-browser in the future.

  3. I haven’t used css filters so far and this article fits perfectly for a design I want to implement.
    Thanks so much, great stuff

  4. Brian Douglas

    Is there a Firefox workaround for this?

  5. Grayscale is even better appreciated when used in action. It works perfectly on latest version of Chrome and firefox as seen on http://www.myweeblytricks.com/2014/09/weebly-tricks-72-grayscale-image.html

  6. David

    Unfortunately it does not work in IE11.

  7. LOC

    Check this, it worked for me perfectly: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/grayscale-black-white-col/cjimlckjgclgboeebpjlipmokolejppk?hl=en (Chrome only) Using this app I can convert any web page to black & white color scheme.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!