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Scss

Sass Basics and How To’s

The Intoduction and Variables.

CSS on its own can be fun, but stylesheets are getting larger, more complex, and harder to maintain. This is where a preprocessor can help. Sass lets you use features that don’t exist in CSS yet like variables, nesting, mixins, inheritance and other nifty goodies that make writing CSS fun again.

Once you start tinkering with Sass, it will take your preprocessed Sass file and save it as a normal CSS file that you can use in your website.

The most direct way to make this happen is in your terminal. Once Sass is installed, you can compile your Sass to CSS using the sass command. You’ll need to tell Sass which file to build from, and where to output CSS to. For example, running sass input.scss output.css from your terminal would take a single Sass file, input.scss, and compile that file to output.css.

You can also watch individual files or directories with the --watch flag. The watch flag tells Sass to watch your source files for changes, and re-compile CSS each time you save your Sass. If you wanted to watch (instead of manually build) your input.scss file, you’d just add the watch flag to your command, like so:

sass --watch input.scss output.css

You can watch and output to directories by using folder paths as your input and output, and separating them with a colon. In this example:

sass --watch app/sass:public/stylesheets

Sass would watch all files in the app/sass folder for changes, and compile CSS to the public/stylesheet folder.

Variables

Think of variables as a way to store information that you want to reuse throughout your stylesheet. You can store things like colors, font stacks, or any CSS value you think you’ll want to reuse. Sass uses the $ symbol to make something a variable. Here’s an example:

SASS SYNTAX

$font-stack:    Helvetica, sans-serif
$primary-color: #333

body
  font: 100% $font-stack
  color: $primary-color

CSS OUTPUT

body {
  font: 100% Helvetica, sans-serif;
  color: #333;
}

When the Sass is processed, it takes the variables we define for the $font-stack and $primary-color and outputs normal CSS with our variable values placed in the CSS. This can be extremely powerful when working with brand colors and keeping them consistent throughout the site.