[Update] Using Svelte with Tailwindcss - A better approach

sarioglu on November 04, 2019

Updated 2020/01/27, GitHub link for the Sapper template is added below ๐ŸŽ‰ I've been using Tailwind since its early days and it is a complete life c... [Read Full]
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Thanks for sharing that. I'm having issues with responsive classes such as sm:block. Using it throws an error saying that class doesn't exist. Are others able to use responsive classes with the approach explained in this article?


Hi Mike,
Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I couldn't reproduce this issue. But it can be caused by one of following reasons:


Thanks for your response. I cloned your repo and changed App.svelte's style to the following:

h1 {
  @apply bg-black text-white md:text-red-200;

This throws the same error I see in my project:

[!] (plugin svelte) CssSyntaxError: /home/mikenikles/dev/github/sarioglu/svelte-tailwindcss-template/src/App.svelte:3:3: `@apply` cannot be used with `.md\:text-red-200` because `.md\:text-red-200` either cannot be found, or its actual definition includes a pseudo-selector like :hover, :active, etc. If you're sure that `.md\:text-red-200` exists, make sure that any `@import` statements are being properly processed *before* Tailwind CSS sees your CSS, as `@apply` can only be used for classes in the same CSS tree.

Are you able to use responsive classes such as md:text-red-200?

I'm afraid it is a limitation of tailwindcss. It cannot @apply variants directly. You can use it directly or find a workaround at tailwindcss.com/docs/functions-and...

Thank you, that helped fix the issue. @screen and regular Tailwind utility classes works as documented.


Great solution! One thing that i'm still struggling with, i can't seem to use regular classes in my svelte files like <div class="bg-red-200">...</div>. It works if i rerun sapper dev. If i use @apply inside tag it works fine. Btw i added inside _layout.svelte. Any idea how to get this working without having to rerun npm run dev every time?


I'm not sure why it is happening. I will check this issue when I create the sapper template.


I faced the same problem but fixed it with the following change.

Change line12 in postcss.config.js
from : const production = !process.env.ROLLUP_WATCH
to : const production = process.env.NODE_ENV !=='development'

Thanks for the information! In fact, using process.env.NODE_ENV in both setups would be better. However since process.env.ROLLUP_WATCH is used to determine mode in rollup.config.js, I wanted to be consistent with it. I've changed it to process.env.NODE_ENV in Sapper template.


Thanks for sharing. I ran into a small issue where the production flag in the postcss config is always false and therefore purgecss is not invoked. The NODE_ENV is "development" even when running npm run build in my case. I am on windows and I am resolving this by changing the build script to set NODE_ENV=production && sapper build --legacy. With that purgecss is invoked and everything is fabulous, thanks again.


Same for me too. I didn't mention that because I couldn't find any official information whether it is an expected behavior or not. Thank you for mentioning.


This still happens even though I'm using set NODE_ENV=production && sapper export --legacy I find this super weird. Not sure what to do at all.

The only way for me to avoid having all the classes in production is to use purgecss in both dev and prod. What a bummer


Thanks a lot for this wonderful article! Much appreciated!

I included it in Sapper by following exactly your description and then, instead of importing and including it in src/App.svelte, I just included it in src/routes/_layout.svelte. This way it should be included in all pages rendered by Sapper.

Works like a charm and, as you mentioned, no additional workflow side-by-side with Sapper/Svelte.

Thanks man!


You just solve a whole day of headache. I could kiss you!

I had to add a few bolts to make it work fully for me:


Thank you! I've updated the template according to your comments. Issue with html and body was happening because index.html is in public folder. Purgecss config now checks every folder under project directory.


Thank you so much for sharing this!
Got my build time down from 2:20 to just 19 seconds!

One note: noticing that my dev builds are slower than my production ones, i found that (at least for me) always executing purgecss gave me even better timings: 8 seconds!

i.e. replaced
...(production ? [purgecss] : []


Thank you for sharing your results! Glad to help you out.

I think it worths to disableย Purgecss in development. I frequently use DevTools to add/remove some styles to get an instant preview. Therefore, I can sacrifice some seconds for better development experience ๐Ÿ™‚


i think this is great! i made a recipe blog based on the sapper at master-tailwind method you mentioned above. i would like to try this method instead. do you have any plans on coming out with sapper-tailwind template on github? i can't figure out which goes into the server and which into client configs as you said. i'm a noob with those sort of things and more of a UI/UX guy. thank you for this! i'll try it out on a svelte project. cheers!


Thanks for your reply. I'm planning to create the sapper version soon.


Great article! I'm also using .prettierrc.json and .eslintrc.json from this article.


Thank you!! I found the previous Tailwind implementation a bit lackluster, I'm excited to give it a try again!

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