Use Modules to override styles

When you create a Page Builder module by either extending a Page Builder content type or creating a custom content type, you should override Page Builder’s styles from within the module, using the Page Builder selector override pattern: #html-body + [content-type attribute] + any additional selector, as shown here:

#html-body [data-content-type='my-custom'].my-class // Specificity = 120.

CSS selector override pattern

The great benefit

Using this selector pattern consistently in your modules has one great benefit: You can reuse all your module’s CSS style selectors in your themes, where you can change style rules to override your modules! That’s the way it should work, right? Theme styles should override module styles. But you must use the override pattern consistently within Page Builder, or it won’t work.

Adopting this pattern makes it work because Magento adds theme styles after module styles in the styles.css outputs. And the browser does the rest. The browser’s cascading stylesheet rules apply the last same-specificity CSS selectors to page content. So your theme style selectors, added last in the stylesheets, will always override the same selectors in your modules.

The cascade effect makes your module styles act as “default” styles. And the same selectors in your themes provide the theming overrides.

Steps for overriding Admin and frontend styles

The steps for overriding Page Builder styles in the Admin and on the storefront are the same. The following diagram shows the numbered steps shared between the development areas and module types.

Admin styles in modules

The steps for overriding styles in your modules are similar to those introduced for overriding Admin themes.

Step 1: Create adminhtml and frontend directories

In modules, the only difference between overriding Page Builder Admin styles and storefront styles is the required location of your .less files. Adding your .less files to the adminhtml directory overrides Page Builder’s matching Admin styles. Adding them to the frontend directory overrides Page Builder’s matching storefront styles. All the other guidelines for each area are the same.

Step 2: Add content type directories

To help organize your .less files, we recommend using directory names that match the content-type names you want to override. This keeps you consistent with Page Builder module conventions. For example, in our Heading extension module, we added a heading directory. And for our custom content type module, we added a custom-content-type directory (assuming that’s the name of our custom content type). These subdirectories (including content-type) are not required. They simply help organize your stylesheets as your modules grow.

Step 3: Add .less files and styles.

We also recommend naming your .less files to match the content-type appearances you are overriding. Again, this is the Page Builder convention. Our example modules each have only one appearance called default. So we added a _default.less file to each. However, if we were extending Page Builder’s Row, we add three .less files named after each Row appearance. This naming convention helps you find your overriding styles when you start extending or create content types with multiple appearances.

Here’s an example style that uses the CSS selector pattern to override Page Builder’s h1 heading tags:

// CSS specificity = 111, just enough to override Page Builder's specificity of 111.
#html-body h1[data-content-type="heading"] {
    font-size: 40px;
    line-height: 61px;
    font-weight: 700;
    margin-bottom: 0;

To ensure this style overrides the h1 element of the Heading content type, both within the Admin and on the storefront, you need to add it to the _default.less files in both the adminhtml and frontend areas of your module.

Step 4: Add _import.less files

As another organizing practice, we recommend adding _import.less files to each content type directory. These files should only contain @import statements for all other .less files in the directory. When there’s only one .less file in the directory (as with our example), this practice feels like overkill. But it’s a good habit to create as your modules become more complex. Using import files like this makes it easy to import all your files into the required _module.less file (Step 5). In our examples, the _import.less file often contains only one import:

@import '_default.less';

Step 5: Add a _module.less file

The _module.less file is the only required .less file you need. It must be added directly to the adminhtml/web/css/source directory. Magento uses this file to add all your Admin styles to the pub/static/adminhtml output, where they will override Page Builder’s default content-type styles. As with the _import.less files, it’s a best practice to add only @import statements to your _module.less file. Technically, you could put all your CSS directly in _module.less, but that could quickly become a mess. Using best practices, our _module.less files in these examples would look like this:

// Extension module
@import 'content-type/heading/_import.less';

// Custom module
@import 'content-type/custom-content-type/_import.less';


The key takeaway is this: Use Page Builder’s CSS selector override pattern for all your Page Builder styles. Understand it, memorize it, and put it to use. It is the foundation for successful styling within Page Builder:

#html-body  +  [content-type attribute]  +  any additional selector