IntelliJ IDEA 2020.2 Help

Sass and SCSS in Compass applications

With Compass support in IntelliJ IDEA, your Sass or SCSS Style Sheets in Compass applications are compiled into CSS automatically.

Before you start

  1. Download and install Ruby.

  2. Install and enable the Compass and File Watchers plugins on the Settings/Preferences | Plugins page as described in Installing plugins from JetBrains repository.

Installing Compass

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

    gem install compass

    Compass is installed in the folder where Ruby executable file and the gem.bat file are stored.

Creating a new Compass application

If you have no Compass application yet, you can create it or add Compass support to an empty IntelliJ IDEA project. In either case, a conf.rb configuration file is generated.

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

    compass create <the name of the application to be created>

  • Create an empty IntelliJ IDEA project , open the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12) , and type:

    cd <application folder> compass init

Activate Compass-aware support in your application

  1. Open a .sass or .scss file, click the red bulb next to the @import 'compass' statement or press Alt+Enter, and then choose Configure Compass from the suggestion list.

  2. Select the Enable Compass support checkbox, and specify the paths to the Compass executable file and to the conf.rb configuration file.

Starting with an existing Compass application

Open the application sources that are already on your machine

  • Click Open or Import on the Welcome screen or select File | Open from the main menu. In the dialog that opens, select the folder where your sources are stored.

Check out the application sources from your version control

  1. Click Get from Version Control on the Welcome screen or select VCS | Get from Version Control from the main menu.

  2. In the invoked dialog, select your version control system from the list and specify the repository to check out the application sources from.

Compiling Sass and SCSS

To compile your code automatically, you need to configure a Compass Sass or Compass SCSS File Watcher which will track changes to your files and run the compiler.

When you open a file, IntelliJ IDEA checks whether an applicable File Watcher is available in the current project. If such File Watcher is configured but disabled, IntelliJ IDEA 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, IntelliJ IDEA starts the compiler 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 IntelliJ IDEA (upon frame deactivation).

Learn more from File watchers.

IntelliJ IDEA creates a separate file with the generated output. The file has the name of the source Sass 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.

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 compass sass or compass scss predefined template from the list. The New Watcher dialog opens.

  3. In the Program field, specify the path to the executable file:

    • compass.bat for Windows

    • compass for Unix and macOS

  4. In the Arguments field, type one of the following depending on the operating system used:

    • compile $UnixSeparators($ProjectFileDir$)$ to process an entire directory

    • compile $UnixSeparators($FilePath$)$ to process a single file

    • compile $ProjectFileDir$ to process an entire directory

    • compile $ProjectFileDir$ $FilePath$ to process a single file

    • compile $ProjectFileDir$ to process an entire directory

    • compile $ProjectFileDir$ $FilePath$ to process a single file

  5. Proceed as described in File watchers.

Last modified: 19 August 2020