Use Sass and Gulp preprocessor

By default, Magento uses Less for themes styling. But you can use other stylesheet languages that can be compiled (processed) to CSS. For example, Sass is a popular alternative.

If you decide not to use Less and default Magento UI library, you need to create your own theme from scratch and use an alternative preprocessor. You can write a custom pre-processor or use an existing one. This topic describes how to configure and use Gulp preprocessor for Sass.

For details about adding a custom preprocessor, see the Add custom CSS preprocessor topic.

Install Gulp and its Sass preprocessor

  1. In the root of theme directory, create an empty package.json and copy-paste the following code:

       "author": "Magento Commerce Inc.",
       "description": "Magento node modules dependencies for local development",
       "version": "1.0.0",
       "main": "gulpfile.js",
       "dependencies": {
         "path": "^0.12.7"
       "devDependencies": {
         "gulp": "^3.9.1",
         "gulp-notify": "^3.0.0",
         "gulp-plumber": "^1.1.0",
         "gulp-sass": "^3.1.0"
       "scripts": {
         "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  2. Install Gulp by running the following command in a command prompt:

    npm install --save gulp-install

  3. Add Gulp Sass preprocessor by running the following command:

    npm install gulp-sass

Create a theme and add Sass styles

  1. Create a theme as described in Create a new storefront theme.

  2. Set up a Gulp task for Sass compilation. For this, put the file with the task code to the root of your theme directory (app/code/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>). You can use the following code sample (no changes needed, create an empty app/code/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>/gulp.js and copy-paste this code): package.json:

     var gulp         = require('gulp'),
         sass         = require('gulp-sass'),
         plumber      = require('gulp-plumber'),
         notify       = require('gulp-notify');
     var config = {
         src           : './web/css/*.scss',
         dest          : './web/css/'
     // Error message
     var onError = function (err) {
             title   : 'Gulp',
             subtitle: 'Failure!',
             message : 'Error: <%= error.message %>',
             sound   : 'Beep'
     // Compile CSS
     gulp.task('styles', function () {
     	var stream = gulp
     	    .pipe(plumber({errorHandler: onError}))
     	    .pipe(sass().on('error', sass.logError));
     	return stream

    This task uses styles.scss stored in app/design/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>/web/css/ as source of SASS. And it stores the generated CSS in styles.css in the app/code/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme> directory.

  3. Put the source styles.scss file to the app/design/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>/web/css/ directory.

  4. For your theme to start using the generated CSS, declare the resulting CSS file in the default_head_blocks.xml in the app/design/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme/Magento_Theme/layout/ directory. You can create an empty default_head_blocks.xml file and copy the following code:

     <page xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
     	    <css src="css/styles.css"/>
  5. To generate CSS, run gulp styles

Using the @import directive in Sass

In the source .scss files you can use the @import directive, to import other .scss files. You can put the module-related stylesheets in the module directories in the theme, and then include them in the main .scss file. For example, if you create a _catalogstls.scss file for styles of the Magento_Catalog module and put it in app/design/frontend/<Vendor>/<theme>/Magento_Catalog/styles , you can import it using the following notation:

@import '../Magento_Theme/styles/module