Creating Beautifully Styled Dialogs with the <dialog> Tag: A Beginner's Guide

Published Dec 11, 2023

Written by: Abdulmumin Yaqeen

Last Edited: Feb 5, 2024

The <dialog> tag is a powerful HTML5 element that allows developers to create modal or popup dialog boxes without relying on third-party libraries or complex JavaScript. With the right styling, you can create visually appealing and functional dialogs that enhance user interactions on your web pages.

Understanding the <dialog> Tag

The <dialog> tag is used to create a dialog box or a modal window. It’s a container element that can be easily manipulated using JavaScript to show or hide based on user interactions.

Basic Usage of <dialog>

Let’s start with the basic usage of the <dialog> tag:

<dialog id="myDialog">
	<h2>Dialog Title</h2>
	<p>This is a sample dialog content.</p>
	<button id="closeDialog">Close</button>

<button id="openDialog">Open Dialog</button>

In this example:

  • The <dialog> element contains the dialog content - a title, some text, and a close button.
  • The content is initially hidden.
  • The <button> with the ID openDialog will be used to trigger the display of the dialog.

Styling the <dialog> Tag

Now, let’s style the dialog to make it visually appealing.

CSS Styling

/* Style the backdrop */
dialog::backdrop {
	background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.6);

/* Style the dialog itself */
dialog {
	width: 300px;
	padding: 20px;
	background-color: #fff;
	border-radius: 8px;
	box-shadow: 0 0 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);

/* Style the title */
dialog h2 {
	margin-top: 0;
	font-size: 1.5em;

/* Style the close button */
#closeDialog {
	padding: 8px 16px;
	background-color: #333;
	color: #fff;
	border: none;
	border-radius: 4px;
	cursor: pointer;

JavaScript Interaction

To interact with the <dialog> tag using JavaScript:

const openDialogButton = document.getElementById('openDialog');
const closeDialogButton = document.getElementById('closeDialog');
const dialog = document.getElementById('myDialog');

openDialogButton.addEventListener('click', () => {

closeDialogButton.addEventListener('click', () => {

Explanation of Styles and JavaScript

  • Backdrop Style: dialog::backdrop allows styling of the backdrop that appears behind the dialog. Here, it’s semi-transparent.
  • Dialog Style: Various CSS properties like width, padding, background color, border-radius, and box-shadow are applied to the dialog itself to make it visually appealing.
  • Title and Close Button: The title (<h2>) and close button are styled for better readability and interaction.
  • JavaScript Interaction: JavaScript is used to open and close the dialog when the respective buttons are clicked.


The <dialog> tag, when styled appropriately, can create visually stunning and functional dialog boxes for your web projects. This basic example demonstrates the potential of <dialog> in creating user-friendly modal windows without the need for external libraries. Feel free to customize the styles further and explore additional JavaScript functionalities to suit your project’s needs.

Remember, browser support for <dialog> may vary, so always check compatibility for your target audience. Happy coding!

Tagged with: CSS dialog modals Frontend
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