It is fun to build cool and good looking pages when you know CSS like the back of your hand. But when you have a few hundred lines of code, this is exactly when things begin to get complicated and messy. This is where CSS preprocessors come to play, helping you to manage and improve the maintainability of your code.

In this article, I am going to share with you some benefits you can have from using CSS preprocessors.

If you are a newbie in web development after struggling to learn CSS, it is a good idea to learn what a preprocessor is and why you should start learning it since you already feel comfortable with your level of CSS.

Here, you will meet the most popular CSS preprocessors. Let’s start by defining the word preprocessor. This definition is from the Wikipedia and the MDN Web docs page:

A computer program that modifies data to conform with the input requirements of another program.

Which CSS Preprocessor Should You Choose?

There are some minor differences between each of them but it is your call to make depending on your preferences. If your working with a coding partner, I would recommend you to choose the same he/she is using.

Here is a list of the four most popular CSS preprocessors:

How to Set Up a CSS Preprocessor on Your Local Environment

After deciding with your partner which preprocessor fits you the best, these are the steps you will have to follow to implement the preprocessor in your workflow.

  1. If you don’t have a code editor or an IDE installed, I recommend you use VS Code click on the link to download and install it.
  2. To install a Sass or a LESS transcompiler you will likely need Node.js and npm (node package manager) installed. If you don’t already have them click on the links to do so.
  3. With VS Code you don’t need to make it to the terminal, we are just going to use a VS Code extension if you curious to know more about extensions just click here. Now you know enough about extension let’s install the one we are going to use for compiling our Sass or LESS code into CSS is Live Sass compiler.What are the advantages of using a CSS preprocessor?

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A Step-by-Step Introduction to CSS Preprocessors with VS Code
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