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Robert McGovern
Robert McGovern

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Border Radius on an Outline in CSS

Yesterday I was fiddling with my blog, adding a button to copy code blocks to the clipboard. While I was doing that I figured I'd also add a border to both proper code blocks and to inline code blocks. Something to make them stand out a little more.

Initially I considered using an outline, rather than border. So that it didn't take up pixels as the site uses box-sizing: border-box. However, I discovered that outline doesn't really allow you to set a radius. There was no outline-radius like there is border-radius.

After a bit of searching I came across this post, which has some solutions and workarounds. Someone noted that there was a Firefox only option: -moz-outline-radius. A later answer noted that as of April 2021 in Firefox you could use border-radius but it was the only browser that supported it.

So I dutifully tried it out, and yes it did work.

Screenshot of an outline around some code, with a border-radius applied

But then I noticed that it was also working in Safari Technology Preview Release 163 & Chrome 110! Unfortunately Safari 16.3 (Desktop) doesn't support it.

One possible bug I noticed while experimenting was that Safari TP would ignore the outline style dashed if border-radius was set. Safari TP would instead make the outline solid.

Codepen with example:

See the Pen Untitled by Robert McGovern (@tarasis) on CodePen.

The results, as you can see below, are rather different between Safari TP v163, Chrome 110.0.5481.100, and Firefox Developer Edition 111.0b3 (64-bit)

Safari TP v163

Image of codepen output in Safari. Of note the second line of text is supposed to be Outlined with border radius, however only the top left and bottom right have curves. The line below should be the same but with dashed line around the text, however the line is solid.

Chrome 110.0.5481

Image of codepen output in Chrome. Of note the second line is properly curved. The line below is correctly dashed.

Firefox Developer Edition 111.0b3

Image of codepen output in Firefox. Of note the second line is outlined with the correct border radius at the beginning and end, however the wrapped text onto the second line has a solid border to its left.

Aside, this is my first post / crosspost with my blog. Be gentle :)

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