DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for One line - Dark Mode using CSS

One line - Dark Mode using CSS

Akhil Arjun
I am a passionate front end developer who enjoys immense guilt-pleasure for writing vanilla Javascript.
ใƒป2 min read

This is an absolute no-brainer method of converting an already developed website to support dark mode.

Without further ado let's get into it! ๐Ÿ‘พ

Consider this news application for example


News Peek Light

Now add the magic CSS

html[theme='dark-mode'] {
    filter: invert(1) hue-rotate(180deg);
}

Voila! you are done โœŒ

Dark mode achieved


News Peek Dark

Explanation

Now let's try and understand what is going on under the hood.

The filter CSS property applies graphical effects like blur or color shift to an element. Filters are commonly used to adjust the rendering of images, backgrounds, and borders. (Reference: MDN Web Docs)

For this dark mode, we would be using two filters namely invert and hue-rotate

invert filter helps to invert the color scheme of the application. So, black becomes white and white becomes black and similarly for all the colors.

hue-rotate filter helps us with all the other colors that are not black and white. Rotating Hue by 180 degrees, we make sure the color theme of the application does not change but just attenuate the colors of it.


comparison


The only catch with this method is, it will also invert all the images in your application. So we will add the same rule to all images to reverse the effect.

html[theme='dark-mode'] img{
    filter: invert(1) hue-rotate(180deg);
}

and we will also add a transition to the HTML element to make sure the transition does not become flashy!

html {
    transition: color 300ms, background-color 300ms;
}



Result:
Dark Mode Example


There we have our Dark mode implemented. Great job guys!

My days are fueled with coffees and only coffees. So I know, you know what we all should do ๐Ÿคž


Buy Me A Coffee


Well done

Discussion (53)

Collapse
jadercm profile image
Jรกder Carvalho de Medeiros

Excellent! Could you please share the JavaScript code to toggle between themes as well?

Collapse
Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

I am writing a post for the javascript side of it too. Will post it today itself ๐Ÿ™‚

Collapse
technikhil314 profile image
technikhil314

if you want full greyscale dark mode then use invert(1) greyscalle(1)

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Yes, but the only downside to it is that even the images go greyscale

Collapse
gavinsykes profile image
Gavin Sykes

Would that be such a bad thing? I've always thought having them do that would be pretty cool.

Thread Thread
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Oh! yes, it would be. I once worked for a client where the dark mode had everything greyscaled. It was awesome ๐Ÿ˜Ž It's just that not every UX would work better that way. So it has to be informed decision

Collapse
technikhil314 profile image
technikhil314

Yeah agreed.

Collapse
sdktalks profile image
Sodeeq Olamide

This is very amazing, I'm surprised to realize to know that achieving dark mode on one's site is simpler than I thought

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Well, they say a magician should never reveal his tricks. Maybe I am just a bad one ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜€

Collapse
loouislow profile image
Loouis Low • Edited

Excellent! Changing themes also can be made with Yogurt Framework based on a web browser or app settings. Read Theme Auto.

<html theme="auto">
  ...
    <!-- e.g. To compensate inverted image -->
    <img theme="auto">
    <!-- e.g. To compensate other inverted elements -->
    <y theme="auto"></y>
    <span theme="auto"></span>
  ...
</html>

And to force the page theme to turn into either dark or light.

<html theme="invert">
  ...
    <!-- e.g. To compensate inverted image -->
    <img theme="invert">
    <!-- e.g. To compensate other inverted elements -->
    <y theme="invert"></y>
    <span theme="invert"></span>
  ...
</html>
Collapse
photocoder profile image
Dimas

Hello!
That is amazing simple decision!
Great! Thank you very much.
But it is also converted all my background images...
Is it exist any option for filter them?

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Yeah. You have to apply invert filter again on images to re-colorize them and turn back the hue a whole of 180deg.
We can do that by selecting all images so

html[theme='dark-mode'] img{
    filter: invert(1) hue-rotate(180deg);
}
Collapse
pau1phi11ips profile image
Paul Phillips

I think he was referring to CSS background-image not img's

Thread Thread
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

I get it. Well, there are a couple of ways we can achieve that too. If it is just a div with a background-image set. Then applying filter would not be a problem there, but if that element has some content then the filter might affect it all too. So we might have to check for specialized solutions.
There is a beautiful article on css-tricks regarding the same css-tricks.com/apply-a-filter-to-a....

Hope that helps ๐Ÿ˜€

Thread Thread
photocoder profile image
Dimas

Yes, correct.
I found only the way to add extra "non-dark-mode" class to turn them back...

Collapse
jojobyte profile image
Jordan • Edited

Someone likely mentioned this already, but there seems to be a "gotcha" with Firefox and Edge.

Firefox appears to not apply the filter to the background-color of the html or body element.

And Edge (not that I actually care) wont apply the filter to body but will to html

So these wont work

html[theme='dark-mode'] {
    filter: invert(1) hue-rotate(180deg);
}

html { background-color: #fff; } /* no luck in firefox, works in Edge */
body { background-color: #fff; } /* no luck in firefox nor in Edge */
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Cross-Browser Workaround

Put all your stuff in a wrapper element just under the body.

html[theme='dark-mode'] {
    filter: invert(1) hue-rotate(180deg);
}

/* create a wrapper element and it works great */
body > .wrapper { background-color: #fff; }
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
Collapse
abhaygawade profile image
Abhay

Voila!

Collapse
mdhesari profile image
Mohammad Fazel

Fantastic!

I shared it on my twitter account (putting credits).

Let me know if there's a copy right problem.

Thank you, peace.

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Hey nopes. Have at it bro ๐Ÿ˜ŽโœŒ

Collapse
auscompgeek profile image
David Vo

What's the performance impact of that filter on different browsers and platforms?

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

It would be a very lomg converstaion. But since we are using transition property on the html block element we can go ahead and addwill-change: transform property to it too.
This will force it into GPU rendering the page and thereby making it smooth

There is a long awesome post in Smashing Magazine for this
smashingmagazine.com/2016/12/gpu-a...

Hope this helps

Collapse
allestri profile image
Allestri

Hey there !
I'm posting this to warn you about the general visual hierarchy of any app using this no-brainer method.
Your components should never be darker than your background, see this tweet for any references.

twitter.com/steveschoger/status/11...

While I can see some uses cases when this method is simple yet effective, it would strongly suggest anyone reading this to dive into Custom CSS properties and setting up colors scheme by hand, especially when you have a strong color identity and things can spice a little bit by naively inverting those ( accessibility and design issues ).

Collapse
husseinkizz profile image
Hussein Kizz

I have to try this asap! However most of my theme elements are already dark, would turn white with inversion!!!!!!!!!!! husseinkizz.ml any work around?

Collapse
lookrain profile image
Lu Yu

nice! how about emojis tho

Collapse
elviswang27 profile image
sourcewang

Wonderful !!!

Collapse
jabobernardo profile image
Jabo

This is amazing!

Collapse
jmau111 profile image
Julien Maury • Edited

you are amazing man, I see another catch, though. When you define img as background in css, it seems that your workaround does not work.

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Well, there are a couple of ways we can achieve that too.
If it is just a div with a background-image set. Then applying filter would not be a problem there, but if that element has some content then the filter might affect it all too. So we might have to check for specialized solutions.
There is a beautiful article on css-tricks regarding the same css-tricks.com/apply-a-filter-to-a....

Hope that helps ๐Ÿ˜€

Collapse
jmau111 profile image
Julien Maury

you can probably add other stuff such as :

  img, iframe {
    filter: invert(1) hue-rotate(180deg);
  }

works like a charm, but it should be listed

Collapse
jmau111 profile image
Julien Maury

thanks a lot, will read that.

Collapse
mfcodeworks profile image
Arran Fletcher

Nice demo, to prevent the image temporarily being inverted and avoid having an extra class you can replace the second one with a :not filter

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Thats cool! Thanks for that tip โค๏ธ

Collapse
braydentw profile image
Brayden W โšก๏ธ

Awesome! Would love to use this technique in my portfolio!

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Cool. Do drop me a link to your portfolio once done. Would love to see it ๐Ÿ‘พ๐Ÿ•บ

Collapse
ryanjj profile image
Ryan

Great post! My profile pic looks like a demon but i see your tip about filtering the images. Nice work!

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Haha ๐Ÿ˜…. Do let me know once you are done with it. I would love to see the result ๐Ÿ˜Š

Collapse
stanggt3 profile image
Randy Kline

That's really cool. The only thing I noticed is that everything gets really dim as you scroll. When you stop scrolling the brightness picks back up

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

I dont know if that is because of the filter, or just browser settings. I will take a look at it ๐Ÿ˜Š

Collapse
nabeen profile image
nabeen

It's amazing:)
I'll try at my site!

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Do let me know how it goes! ๐Ÿ˜

Collapse
samuelorobosa profile image
Samuel Amagbakhen

Wonderful post, mate

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Glad you liked it !! ๐Ÿ•บ

Collapse
nickwatton profile image
Nick Watton

This is wonderful. So simple. Thank you

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Am glad it helps ๐Ÿ˜Š

Collapse
livetvchannels profile image
Live TV Channels

I'm trying
Thanks ๐Ÿ‘

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Do let me know how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚
I have used it in a demo application i am. Building for another PWA tutorial
akhilarjun.github.io/news-peek/

Check it out for implementation of the dark mode ๐Ÿ‘

Collapse
nemo011 profile image
Nemo

Awesome trick! Thanks Akhil. โ˜บ๏ธ

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

You are welcome ๐Ÿ•บ

Collapse
rossangus profile image
Ross Angus

This is a wonderful post.

Collapse
akhilarjun profile image
Akhil Arjun Author

Thanks mate ๐Ÿ‘

Collapse
shacodes profile image
Shadab Ali

links are not working after implementing this

Collapse
techatharva profile image
Forem Open with the Forem app