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Adds a living style guide to your Rails application with one command.

If you don't use a CSS style guide yet, here's why you should start:

Styleguide Rails Logo

  • It Makes Testing Easier. With all your styles in one place you can easily check for browser bugs, resizing issues, text zoom issues, and printable style. Putting examples of all styles in one place means you don't have to reproduce application states to see error messages etc.
  • It Unifies Design. Designing shared components all at once fights the temptation to have one-off page styles. This increases the coherence of your design, making it less likely that styles drift between pages. It also encourages cleaner markup.
  • It Standardizes Vocabulary. Style guides list all your widgets along with names you have chosen. By referring to the guide, your team can settle on common vocabulary for parts of the page. (e.g. "What does my team call this thing on the front page, a slider, a carousel, a flipper, or what?")
  • It Promotes Excellent Markup. The styleguide contains examples of your desired canonical markup for various elements. Nobody needs to guess how to create a menu or a form. Also your best front-end engineers can write the markup and teach good habits.


Add this gem to your Rails Gemfile:

gem 'styleguide_rails'

Run bundle, and execute the styleguide generator:

rails generate styleguide:install

That's it, you're done, you have a styleguide available at If you visit that path you'll see there is an example widget already created:


To add a new widget, run

rails generate styleguide:widget NAME

which will create a partial in app/views/styleguide/widgets and it will appear in the style guide. These partials support templating languages like Haml if you have the gems installed.

Live Reloading

Styleguide Rails can reload your browser whenever you change a CSS file or a widget. This instant feedback is helpful for adjusting the styles. To enable live reloading,

  • Install the LiveReload plugin for Google Chrome.
  • Add gem 'guard' and gem 'guard-livereload', '~> 2.4', require: false to your Gemfile
  • Run bundle
  • Run guard in a new terminal window
  • Be sure you enable the LiveReload plugin in Chrome. Just click its icon.


Thanks to project contributors, and to Adam Braus for suggesting the idea for this gem.


To overwrite an installation of an earlier version, run

bundle update --source styleguide_rails
rails generate styleguide:install -f

Don't worry, this will preserve any existing widgets.


Styleguide_rails is Copyright © 2012 - 2013 Joe Nelson. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.