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Create sprites automatically with Glue, but the Grunt.js way!

This Grunt plugin wraps and enhances the Glue command line spriting tool. It's built as a Grunt multiTask that supports extensible task and target-specific options, multiple source locations per target, globbing and so on.

Every task target results in one sprite 'bundle', consisting of the sprite sheet PNG image and a style sheet. All of Glue's command line options are supported through the options, adding some sensible defaults in order to minimize the need for configuration.

Glue supports .less style sheet output.

Jump to Usage

grunt-glue-nu also allows you to send the argument to glue as a string, bypassing the plugin logic. Meaning you can migrate to this plugin quickly and sort things out later. Or dodge bugs, should the need arise.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.2

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-glue-nu --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:



grunt-glue-nu >= v0.3.0 is compatible with glue >= v0.9.0
grunt-glue-nu >= v0.2.0 is compatible with glue <= v0.9.1
grunt-glue-nu < v0.2.0 is compatible with glue <= v0.4

To make old grunt-glue-nu <= v0.2.0 compatible with glue >= v0.9 in the task options set debug: false and remove any offending options that glue complains about. See: Glue's changelog

You can install specific version of grunt-glue-nu with npm install grunt-glue-nu@x.y.z --save-dev

Using the glue task

In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named glue to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig(). This section is called a task.

Minimal config: You must specify the task target's src and dest properties. The file names of the sprite bundle and the sprite namespace will then be the same as the task target. You can change any aspect of that through the options of course.

	glue: {
		options: {
			// Task-specific options go here.
		// Target-specific file lists and/or options go here.
		your_target: {
			 src: ['path/to/sprites/'],
			 dest: 'output/folder/'

When setting up or troubleshooting a task it's always a good idea to run grunt with the --verbose option to see information such as the resulting exact arguments used with the glue command and which files and folder are being processed by Glue.


You can pass any command line options supported by glue as task and/or target options.

In addition grunt-glue-nu has a few configuration options that are not passed on to glue.

  • options.bundleName {String} task:target – The file names of the files created for the sprite bundle. By default they are the same as the task target name.

  • options.tmpDir {String} require('os').tmpdir() – A temporary source folder for glue to operate in. By default it's your OS's temp directory.

  • options.glueArgs {Boolean} false – Use glueArgs to set all arguments to the glue command manually as a string. All options, src and dest are then ignored for this target.

Default options for Glue

grunt-glue-nu sets some defaults for glue options that are deemed helpful.

recursive : true              // process sprites in sub-folders
crop      : true              // crop sprites minimizing empty pixels
force     : true              // forces glue to execute even if it detects no changes in the input

Glue by itself will exit with an error code if there are no images in the source folders. grunt-glue-nu catches that, prints a warning and lets Grunt continue doing its job.

Advanced usage example

	glue: {
		options: { // Defaults for all following tasks
			css                : 'dist',
			less               : true, // Boolean, output to des
			url                : '/static/img',
			namespace          : 's',
			'sprite-namespace' : '',
			retina:            : true
		backgrounds: {
			options: {
				retina: false
			src: ['path/to/sprites/*.{png,jpg,conf}'],
			dest: 'output/folder/'
		icons: {
			options: {
				'sprite-namespace': 'icon'
				less: 'less/output/path' // override dest
			src: ['path/to/sprites/*.png'],
			dest: 'output/folder/'
		modules: {
			options: {
				bundleName: 'module'
				'sprite-namespace': ''
			src: ['modules/carousel', 'modules/accordion'],
			dest: 'output/folder/'


How to contribute to a project on Github

Release History



Create sprites automatically with Glue, but the grunt way!




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