Implementation of Zen Grid in LESS, this so called CSS isolation, claims to fix the "sub-pixel rounding" problem.
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LESS Zen Grid

Implementation of Zen Grid in LESS, this so called CSS isolation, claims to fix the "sub-pixel rounding" problem.

On stackoverflow i read a question Is there a LESS framework that uses css-isolation?. Good question, althought not for SO, it was closed. But wat is CSS isolation? The question refers to: That make some sense, but i still don't full understand. Okay, Zen Grids use it, Susy has it too and the explained it like:

Every float is positioned relative to its container, rather than the float before it. It’s a bit of a hack, and removes >content from the flow, so I don’t recommned building your entire layout on isolated floats, but it can be very useful as >a spot-check when rounding errors are really causing you a headache.

Note: Also The Semantic GRID SYSTEM claims a solution for the sub-pixel rounding issue . Runs on LESS, SCSS, or Stylus.

Also read [Responsive Grid Frustrations – Susy, Zen and sub-pixel rounding] (, it's all about that "sub-pixel rounding".

Well okay, all this seems easy to do in LESS too. Why is it not done before? Maybe it is not so useful at all.... but try it yourself.

Zen Grids shows an example:

<div class="container">
  <article class="content">
	Tha main content. We like semantic HTML ordering.
  <aside class="aside1">
	An aside.
  <aside class="aside2">
	Another aside.
  <footer class="footer1">
	A footer.
  <footer class="footer2">
	Another footer.

The above should be styled or add to the grid by:

.container {
 .zen-grid-container; // Apply this mixin to the container.

.aside1 {
 .zen-grid-item(2, 1); // Apply this mixin for each grid item in the container.

.content {
 .zen-grid-item(4, 3); // Make this grid item span 4 columns. // Position this grid item in the 3rd column.

.aside2 {
 .zen-grid-item(1, 7);

.footer1 {
 .zen-new-row(); // Apply this mixin to start a new row.
 .zen-grid-item(3, 5);
.footer2 {
 .zen-grid-item(4, 1);

To rewrite the above with LESS i made some assumptions:

  • gutter method: padding
  • support IE6/7: No
  • box-sizing: border-box
  • zen-direction: left
  • zen-grid-container don't implements context, so no sub grids allowed for now?

Drop IE6/7 seems a little weird cause this browsers are the problem in some way. Or not? If you need the IE6/7, please let me know. It is easy to build in.

Download and Demo

Download the files in watch them in your browser. Download includes less.js for client side compiling of the LESS files.


We are always happy to help you. If you have any question regarding this code. Send us a message or contact us on twitter @JamedoWebsites.



  • First version