Sass, Less, and SCSS
IntelliJ IDEA integrates with compilers that translate Sass, Less, and SCSS code into CSS. To use a compiler in IntelliJ IDEA, you need to configure it as a File Watcher. For each supported compiler, IntelliJ IDEA 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
Open the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12), and type
npm install -g sassat the command prompt for global installation. Learn more from the Sass official website.
Open the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12) and type
npm install --global lessat the command prompt for global installation. 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 IntelliJ IDEA File Watcher.
To create a File Watcher
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.
Click or press Alt+Insert. Depending on the tool you are going to use, choose the Less, Sass, or SCSS predefined template from the list.
In the Program text box, 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, IntelliJ IDEA locates the required files itself and fills in the field automatically. Otherwise, type the path manually or click and choose the file location in the dialog that opens.
Proceed as described in Using File Watchers.
Compiling the code
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 pop-up window 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 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 ( , Ctrl+S) or when you move focus from IntelliJ IDEA (upon frame deactivation).
IntelliJ IDEA 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 text box of the New Watcher dialog. However, in the Project Tree, they are shown under the source file which is now displayed as a node.