Book Image

Sass and Compass Designer's Cookbook

By : Bass Jobsen, Stuart Robson
Book Image

Sass and Compass Designer's Cookbook

By: Bass Jobsen, Stuart Robson

Overview of this book

Sass and Compass Designer's Cookbook helps you to get most out of CSS3 and harness its benefits to create engaging and receptive applications. This book will help you develop faster and reduce the maintenance time for your web development projects by using Sass and Compass. You will learn how to use with CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation and understand how to use other libraries of pre-built mixins. You will also learn setting up a development environment with Gulp. This book guides you through all the concepts and gives you practical examples for full understanding.
Table of Contents (23 chapters)
Sass and Compass Designer's Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers


Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets) is a CSS extension language or preprocessor, which means that Sass or SCSS code compiles into static CSS code. Sass changes the way you write and maintain your CSS code; the final CSS code will be the same, although better organized in many situations.

Since the introduction of CSS3 in 2012, the role of CSS in modern web development has become more and more important. Nowadays, CSS3 is not only used to style your HTML documents, but it also plays an important role in the responsibility of your designs too. Last, but not least, CSS3 extends CSS with features such as animations and transitions.

Writing correct functional CSS code will be the first thing; keeping this code readable, working on all major browsers, and maintainable will be the second. CSS files grow and become untidy in the development and maintenance processes. CSS doesn't have the ability to modify existing values or reuse common styles. Also, doing the math or defining variables is not possible in CSS. This is where the Sass language comes into the frame.

The Sass language enables you to write your CSS code DRY (Do not Repeat Yourself) because it extends the CSS syntax with variables, mixins, functions, and many other techniques. Sass makes the CSS language is more maintainable, themeable, and extendable.

Also, others know the power of Sass. Projects such as Bootstrap 4 and the Foundation are built with Sass. These projects create clear and extendable Frameworks with Sass. Bootstrap chose Sass because of the increasingly large community of Sass developers. You can't ignore these proofs. Stop writing cumbersome CSS with bugs and browser defects and learn Sass by reading this book.

In this book, you will learn to write, compile, and understand the Sass language. It helps with faster and more cost-effective web development. You will get practical tips to integrate Sass in your current and new projects. After reading this book, you will write clear and readable CSS3 with Sass. Instead of spending your time debugging your complex CSS code for a specific device or browser, you could pay more attention to your real design tasks.

Your clients will be happy with your advanced and stable designs. Development and maintenance time, and therefore costs, shall decrease.

Sass is available for use and modification under the MIT License. You can use Sass free of charge.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Started with Sass, gives you an introduction to the Sass language. You will learn how to install and use Sass for your projects on your system, read how to edit your code, and organize your files. It will also tell you why you should use newer SCSS syntax instead of the intended Sass Syntax.

Chapter 2, Debugging Your Code, teaches you how to comment and debug your Sass code. Get introduced to an online tool to test your code and impress with style guides.

Chapter 3, Variables, Mixins, and Functions, showcases the power of Sass. Learn to use variables to define commonly used values at a single place and write reusable code by using mixins and functions.

Chapter 4, Nested Selectors and Modular CSS, explains about the nested selectors and other methodologies to structure your code. Reuse your selectors by extending them and use placeholders to prevent duplicated and unused CSS selectors.

Chapter 5, Built-in Functions, dynamically assigns property values based on your input. Use the built-in functions of Sass, among others, for color values and mathematical operations.

Chapter 6, Using Compass, teaches you to code faster using Compass. Compass contains many useful helper mixins and functions to write clean and reusable CSS code.

Chapter 7, Cross-Browser CSS3 Mixins, helps to write maintainable and cross-browser CSS code. Learn about the CSS3 introduced vendor-specific rules, and read how Sass helps you prefix your code to support different browsers.

Chapter 8, Advanced Sass Coding, uses conditionals and loops to create dynamic code and avoid repeats. Learn how to use prebuilt libraries for vertical rhythms, color contrasts, iconic fonts, and CSS Media Queries.

Chapter 9, Building Layouts with Sass, introduces grid-based layouts, help coders and designers, to work together in a consistent manner. Sass can help you create semantic or responsive grids for your projects.

Chapter 10, Building Grid-based Layouts with Susy and Sass, introduces Susy, which is a Sass add-on for grids; learn how to use it. You can also use Susy to create asymmetric or responsive layouts.

Chapter 11, Foundation and Sass, explores Foundation for Sites 6. Foundation is a responsive frontend framework built with Sass.

Chapter 12, Bootstrap and Sass, explains details about Bootstrap 4. Bootstrap 4 uses Sass now. Learn how to develop mobile first and responsive projects with Bootstrap and Sass.

Chapter 13, Meeting the Bourbon Family, explains about Bourbon, which is a simple and lightweight mixin library for Sass; it helps you write CSS faster and easier without the need of using vendor prefixes.

Chapter 14, Ruby on Rails and Sass, builds web applications with Ruby on Rails (RoR) and Sass. Get to grips with sass-rails to compile the CSS code for your RoR apps.

Chapter 15, Building Mobile Apps, explains that the look and feel of mobile apps may differ from that of other web applications. Get introduced to Frameworks for mobile app development with Sass. Build mobile apps with Foundation for Apps and Ionic.

Chapter 16, Setting up a Build Chain with Grunt, gives introduction to Grunt, a build tool for JavaScript projects. Learn how to create tasks to automatically compile, compress, and prefix your CSS code.

What you need for this book

To understand and fully profit from the contents of this book, we expect you have built a website with CSS before. A basic understanding of CSS will be required. Understanding CSS selectors and CSS precedence will help you get most out of it.

Understanding the basics of using functions and parameters in functional languages such as JavaScript will be valuable, but not required. Don't panic if you know nothing about functions and parameters. This book contains clear examples. Even without any (functional) programmers' knowledge, you can learn Sass and the book will help you do this. The most important skill will be the willingness to learn.

Finally, some experience with the command line for your system is useful too.

All the chapters of this book contain examples and example code. Running and testing these examples will help you develop your Sass skills. Use any preferred text or CSS editor to write your Sass code.

Most code examples are linked with the scss-lint tool. This tool helps keep your SCSS files clean and readable. Code examples may include special comments to configure this tool.

Who this book is for

This book is mainly intended for web developers and designers who are comfortable with CSS and HTML. If you are someone with some experience with CSS, you will find the learning curve of learning Sass syntax will be less steep. A basic knowledge of web development is helpful, but you don't have to be a programmer to understand Sass.


In this book, you will find several headings that appear frequently (Getting ready, How to do it, How it works, There's more, and See also).

To give clear instructions on how to complete a recipe, we use these sections as follows:

Getting ready

This section tells you what to expect in the recipe, and describes how to set up any software or any preliminary settings required for the recipe.

How to do it…

This section contains the steps required to follow the recipe.

How it works…

This section usually consists of a detailed explanation of what happened in the previous section.

There's more…

This section consists of additional information about the recipe in order to make the reader more knowledgeable about the recipe.

See also

This section provides helpful links to other useful information for the recipe.


In this book, you will find a number of text styles that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "We can include other contexts through the use of the include directive."

A block of code is set as follows:

// scss-lint:disable ColorKeyword
$link-color: green;

@mixin colors {
  color: darken($link-color, 10%);

%box {
  display: block;

When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:

.code {
  @include colors;
  p & {
    @extend %box;

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

sass --compass code.scss code.css

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, for example, in menus or dialog boxes, appear in the text like this: "Clicking the Next button moves you to the next screen."


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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