CSS Custom Properties As of 2021

CSS Custom Properties As of 2021

Learn more about custom properties with CSS, including their functionality with JavaScript, APIs, and React. Custom properties allow developers to store values in a single file and reference that value in many components.

Learn more about custom properties with CSS, including their functionality with JavaScript, APIs, and React

Many web applications contain large amounts of CSS, which often contain repeated values. For example, if a color is used multiple times in a number of components, in order to change the color, a global search and replace is initiated. This can be both time consuming and rather daunting.

Custom properties allow developers to store values in a single file and reference that value in many components. Custom properties also allow for semantic identifiers, for example --main-button-color will be better understood than #99efbe if used in multiple components. It’s also important to note custom properties are subject to the CSS cascading rules.

In this article, I will give a brief overview of CSS custom properties and how to use them, as well as discuss their functionality with JavaScript, APIs, and React.

What are custom properties?

Custom properties, also known as CSS variables, are specific values that are defined by a developer to be reused in a web application or document. Usually CSS variables are set using property notation.

An example of a basic custom property can be seen below:

button {
   background-color: var(--main-bg-color);
}

In the code block above, the button element is assigned a background color of main, which has already been defined in a separate file. Let’s see how to use a custom property below.

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