CLion 2019.1 Help

Sass, Less, and SCSS

CLion integrates with compilers that translate Sass, Less, and SCSS code into CSS. To use a compiler in CLion, you need to configure it as a File Watcher. For each supported compiler, CLion provides a predefined File Watcher template. To run a compiler in your project, create a project-specific File Watcher based on the relevant template.

Before you start

  1. Download and install Node.js.

  2. Install and enable the File Watchers repository plugin on the Plugins page as described in Managing plugins.

Installing Sass/SCSS

  • In the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12), type:

    npm install -g sass

    Learn more from the Sass official website.

Installing Less

  • In the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12), type:

    npm install --global less

    Learn more from the Less official website.

Compiling the code into CSS

To compile your code on the fly, you need to configure the compiler as a CLion File Watcher.

To create a File Watcher

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), click File Watchers under Tools. The File Watchers page that opens shows the list of already configured File Watchers.

  2. Click Add button or press Alt+Insert. Depending on the tool you are going to use, choose the Less, Sass, or SCSS predefined template from the list.

  3. In the Program field, specify the path to the compiler executable file or archive depending on the chosen predefined template.

    • lessc.cmd for Less.

    • sass.cmd for Sass/SCSS.

    If you followed the standard installation procedure with npm, CLion locates the required files itself and fills in the field automatically. Otherwise, type the path manually or click Browse button and choose the file location in the dialog that opens.

Compiling the code

When you open a file, CLion checks whether an applicable file watcher is available in the current project. If such file watcher is configured but disabled, CLion displays a popup that informs you about the configured file watcher and suggests to enable it.

If an applicable file watcher is configured and enabled in the current project, CLion starts it automatically upon the event specified in the New Watcher dialog.

  • If the Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher checkbox is selected, the File Watcher is invoked as soon as any changes are made to the source code.

  • If the Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher checkbox is cleared, the File Watcher is started upon save (File | Save All, Ctrl+S) or when you move focus from CLion (upon frame deactivation).

CLion creates a separate file with the generated output. The file has the name of the source Sass, Less, or SCSS file and the extension .css. The location of the generated files is defined in the Output paths to refresh field of the New Watcher dialog. However, in the Project Tree, they are shown under the source file which is now displayed as a node.

Configuring syntax highlighting

You can configure Less/Sass/SCSS-aware syntax highlighting according to your preferences and habits.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Editor | Color Scheme | Less/Sass/SCSS.

  2. Select the color scheme, accept the highlighting settings inherited from defaults or customize them as described in Configuring Colors and Fonts.

Last modified: 24 July 2019

See Also