PostCSS plugin for Sass-like variables

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import postcssSimpleVars from '';


PostCSS Simple Variables

PostCSS plugin for Sass-like variables.

You can use variables inside values, selectors and at-rule parameters.

$dir:    top;
$blue:   #056ef0;
$column: 200px;

.menu_link {
  background: $blue;
  width: $column;
.menu {
  width: calc(4 * $column);
  margin-$(dir): 10px;
.menu_link {
  background: #056ef0;
  width: 200px;
.menu {
  width: calc(4 * 200px);
  margin-top: 10px;

If you want be closer to W3C spec, you should use postcss-custom-properties and postcss-at-rules-variables plugins.

Look at postcss-map for big complicated configs.

Sponsored by Evil Martians


There is special syntax for using variables inside CSS words:

$prefix: my-company-widget

$prefix { }
$(prefix)_button { }


You can use variables in comments too (for example, to generate special mdcss comments). Syntax for comment variables is different to separate them from PreCSS code examples:

$width: 100px;
/* $width: <<$(width)>> */

compiles to:

/* $width: 100px */


If you want to escape $ in the content property, use Unicode escape syntax.

.foo::before {
  content: "\0024x";


Step 1: Install plugin:

npm install --save-dev postcss postcss-simple-vars

Step 2: Check your project for existing PostCSS config: postcss.config.js in the project root, "postcss" section in package.json or postcss in bundle config.

If you do not use PostCSS, add it according to official docs and set this plugin in settings.

Step 3: Add the plugin to plugins list:

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
+   require('postcss-simple-vars'),


Call plugin function to set options:

    require('postcss-simple-vars')({ silent: true })


Set default variables. It is useful to store colors or other constants in a common file:

// config/colors.js

module.exports = {
  blue: '#056ef0'

// postcss.config.js

const colors = require('./config/colors')
const vars   = require('postcss-simple-vars')

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    require('postcss-simple-vars')({ variables: colors })

You can use a function return an object, if you want to update default variables in webpack hot reload:

      variables: function () {
        return require('./config/colors');


Callback invoked once all variables in css are known. The callback receives an object representing the known variables, including those explicitly declared by the variables option.

      onVariables (variables) {
        console.log('CSS Variables');
        console.log(JSON.stringify(variables, null, 2));


Callback on unknown variable name. It receives the node instance, variable name and PostCSS Result object.

      unknown (node, name, result) {
        node.warn(result, 'Unknown variable ' + name);


Leave unknown variables in CSS and do not throw an error. Default is false.


Set value only for variables from this object. Other variables will not be changed. It is useful for PostCSS plugin developers.


Keep variables as is and not delete them. Default is false.


This plugin passes result.messages for each variable:

const result = await postcss([vars]).process('$one: 1; $two: 2')

will output:

    plugin: 'postcss-simple-vars',
    type: 'variable',
    name: 'one'
    value: '1'
    plugin: 'postcss-simple-vars',
    type: 'variable',
    name: 'two'
    value: '2'

You can access this in result.messages and in any plugin that included after postcss-simple-vars.