Sass Introduction

What You Should Already Know

Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:

  • HTML
  • CSS

If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home page.

What is Sass?

  • Sass stands for Syntactically Awesome Stylesheet
  • Sass is an extension to CSS
  • Sass is a CSS pre-processor
  • Sass is completely compatible with all versions of CSS
  • Sass reduces repetition of CSS and therefore saves time
  • Sass was designed by Hampton Catlin and developed by Natalie Weizenbaum in 2006
  • Sass is free to download and use

Why Use Sass?

Stylesheets are getting larger, more complex, and harder to maintain. This is where a CSS pre-processor can help.

Sass lets you use features that do not exist in CSS, like variables, nested rules, mixins, imports, inheritance, built-in functions, and other stuff.

A Simple Example why Sass is Useful

Let's say we have a website with three main colors:




So, how many times do you need to type those HEX values? A LOT of times. And what about variations of the same colors?

Instead of typing the above values a lot of times, you can use Sass and write this:

Sass Example

/* define variables for the primary colors */
$primary_1: #a2b9bc;
$primary_2: #b2ad7f;
$primary_3: #878f99;

/* use the variables */
.main-header {
  background-color: $primary_1;

.menu-left {
  background-color: $primary_2;

.menu-right {
  background-color: $primary_3;

So, when using Sass, and the primary color changes, you only need to change it in one place.

How Does Sass Work?

A browser does not understand Sass code. Therefore, you will need a Sass pre-processor to convert Sass code into standard CSS.

This process is called transpiling. So, you need to give a transpiler (some kind of program) some Sass code and then get some CSS code back.

Tip: Transpiling is a term for taking a source code written in one language and transform/translate it into another language.

Sass File Type

Sass files has the ".scss" file extension.

Sass Comments

Sass supports standard CSS comments /* comment */, and in addition it supports inline comments // comment:

Sass Example

/* define primary colors */
$primary_1: #a2b9bc;
$primary_2: #b2ad7f;

/* use the variables */
.main-header {
  background-color: $primary_1; // here you can put an inline comment