Compiling Sass, Less, and SCSS to CSS
AppCode integrates with compilers that translate Sass, Less, and SCSS code into CSS. To use a compiler in AppCode, you need to configure it as a File Watcher. For each supported compiler, AppCode 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
- Install Node.js and configure it as a local Node.js interpreter.
- Install and enable the NodeJS repository plugin on the Plugins page as described in Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Repository Plugins and Enabling and Disabling Plugins.
- Download and install Ruby.
- Specify a
pathvariable for the folder where the Ruby executable file and the
gem.batfile are stored.
- Type the following command at the command prompt:
gem install sass
The tool is installed to the folder where Ruby executable file and the
gem.batfile are stored.
- Open the embedded Terminal ( or ⌥F12) and type
npm install --global lessat the command prompt for global installation. Learn more from the Less Official website.
Creating a file watcher
AppCode provides a common procedure and user interface for creating File Watchers of all types. The only difference is in the predefined templates you choose in each case.
- Install and enable the File Watchers repository plugin on the Plugins page as described in Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Repository Plugins and Enabling and Disabling Plugins.
- To start creating a File Watcher, open the Settings/Preferences dialog box by choosing File Watchers under the Tools node. The File Watchers page that opens, shows the list of File Watchers that are already configured in the project. on the main menu, and then click
- Click the Add button or press ⌘N. Depending on the tool you are going to use, choose the appropriate predefined template from the pop-up list:
- In the Program text box, specify the path to the compiler executable file or archive depending on the chosen predefined template.
lessc.cmdfor Less If you installed the tool through the Node Package Manager, AppCode locates the required file itself at
<node.js_home>/node_modules/bin/lessc.cmdand fills in the field automatically. Otherwise, type the path manually or click Browse and choose the file location in the dialog box that opens.
If you installed the Sass and SCSS tools through Ruby, AppCode locates the required files itself at
<ruby_home>/bin/scss.batrespectively and fills in the field automatically. Otherwise, type the path manually or click Browse and choose the file location in the dialog box that opens.
Compiling the code
When you open a Less, Sass, or SCSS file, AppCode checks whether an applicable file watcher is available in the current project. If such file watcher is configured but disabled, AppCode 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, AppCode 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 ( , ⌘S) or when you move focus from AppCode (upon frame deactivation).
AppCode 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.