I was reading this to understand sprites


The author says "Sprites are for graphics that are just single blocks. " What does this mean? One thing I have read is to make a sprite for images which are continuous on a web page.


  • Note that the statement only applies to the CSS methods the author is talking about. Tiled backgrounds are in point of fact a single "sprite" of arbitrary size duplicated multiple times. The vast majority of computer game backgrounds are tiled from sprite sheets, but these require a copy or Blt method which is not available AFAIK in CSS, and if it is, it is not advisable IMO. – horatio May 9 '13 at 21:21

It means they cannot be used as a pattern. Take a look at the small print under that paragraph:

*OK, they kinda can do repeating, but it's a little trickier and can only work one-dimensionally (x or y).

So, sprites should be used for graphics that are only displayed once (such as an icon). They should not be used for a gradient pattern intended to be repeated vertically or horizontally and especially should not be used for a tile-able background

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