DEV Community

Cover image for Installing Tailwind CSS in Vue3 Project
Anjolaoluwa Ogunmefun
Anjolaoluwa Ogunmefun

Posted on

Installing Tailwind CSS in Vue3 Project


Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework, a great tool to create that eye catching interface all with inline styling (without a single line of your own css).

Tailwind CSS isn't the first utility-first CSS library, but at the moment it is safe to say it's becoming the most popular among developers.

Installing Tailwind varies depending on your project's framework (React, Nuxt.js, Vue.js, Next.js, Gatsby, Laravel) making it available over a pretty wide range of frameworks which I think even makes it cooler!.

This article is focused on installing Tailwind css in a Vue 3 project. To follow along, all you need is a Vue 3 project set up in your favorite code editor. (Know how to here).

That said, Let's get right to it!

Install Tailwind CSS

Installing via CDN is an option but is not the best one according to the official documentation. To get the most out of Tailwind it is advised you install via npm.

In your project src folder create a css folder containing a file named tailwind.css.

Inside tailwind.css add the following code;

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

The three lines above are called the Tailwind Directives.

In your code editor, open up the terminal and run the below command to install tailwind css and its dependencies via npm.

npm install tailwindcss postcss autoprefixer

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

It is possible to get the below error message when you try to run the project;

Error: PostCSS plugin tailwindcss requires PostCSS 8.

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

The simple explanation is, Vue 3 (as at the time this article is written) does not yet have PostCSS 8 support and the command above is trying to integrate Tailwind with a tool that relies on older version of PostCSS.

Run the following code to uninstall previous installation and fix the error

npm uninstall tailwindcss postcss autoprefixer
npm install tailwindcss@npm:@tailwindcss/postcss7-compat @tailwindcss/postcss7-compat postcss@^7 autoprefixer@^9

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Next, you need to generate both Tailwind and PostCSS config files

npx tailwindcss init -p

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Your config files should look like this

postcss.config file
postcss config file

tailwindcss.config file
tailwindcss config file

Finally, open up your main.js file and import the tailwind.css file containing the tailwind directives i.e

import './css/tailwind.css'

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Tailwind CSS is up and ready to create beauty!

Optimizing Tailwind CSS for production

It is very important to note that alongside installing, there's a crucial part of tailwind that its users must be aware of and that's it's optimization.

Tailwind generates thousands of utility classes and upon building the project, these css files could be surprisingly large which no one would appreciate in the production bundle.
Tailwind CSS comes inbuilt with a tool - PurgeCSS. What this does is to scan your files for unused css styles and then 'purge' them. The files to purge are provided in the purge array inside your tailwind.config file.

There are two ways to go about it.

The first is to provide the path to each file consuming css styles like this;

module.exports = {
  purge: ["./src/App.vue",
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Or you use a glob like this;

module.exports = {

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This says look into the src folder slash any sub directory and then any file that ends in .vue. This covers pretty much all the sub folders and files as opposed to providing individual paths.

Pretty straight forward right? I hope you found this article useful.

Top comments (4)

aheisleycook profile image

It's pretty solid

anjolaogunmefun profile image
Anjolaoluwa Ogunmefun

Thank you, i'm glad you find it comprehensive

aheisleycook profile image

I have been looking into tailwind too

nguyenthanhxuan profile image
Xuan Nguyen

Thank you, I had an issue with PostCSS 8, read your article, then try. It works