Ashlee M Boyer

Dog mom to Trooper & Tango | Engineer of software | Lover of learning | Partner of Zach | She/her | HOH 👂🏻 | Owner of all views | #SpooniesWhoCode | Creator of #textua11y

Header reading the this blog post's title.

How to Dynamically Create Many Similar CSS Classes with Sass

December 19, 20191 minute read

Let's say you allow 5 sizes of icons in your web application and they're in 6-pixel increments: 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36. Your Sass file might have something like the following to handle this:

.Icon {
  &--size-12 {
    width: 12px;
    height: 12px;
    font-size: 12px;
  }

  &--size-18 {
    width: 18px;
    height: 18px;
    font-size: 18px;
  }

  &--size-24 {
    width: 24px;
    height: 24px;
    font-size: 24px;
  }

  &--size-30 {
    width: 30px;
    height: 30px;
    font-size: 30px;
  }

  &--size-36 {
    width: 36px;
    height: 36px;
    font-size: 36px;
  }
}

These all look really similar, right? The class names all have the same format, and each one sets a width, height, and font-size to be the same thing. Would you believe me if I told you that it's possible to dynamically create blocks of CSS for class names in Sass?

Well, believe me! It's true!

Here's one way you can introduce a @for to do this:

.Icon {
  @for $i from 1 through 5 {
    $base-size: 12;
    $increment: 6;
    $calculated-size: $base-size + ($i * $increment);

    &--size-#{$calculated-size} {
      width: #{$calculated-size}px;
      height: #{$calculated-size}px;
      font-size: #{$calculated-size}px;
    }
  }
}

What if you don't have even increments, though? You can also loop through an array of values like this:

$icon-sizes: 12, 16, 32, 48;

.Icon {
  @each $size in $icon-sizes {
    &--size-#{$size} {
      width: #{size}px;
      height: #{size}px;
      font-size: #{size}px;
    }
  }
}