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Grunt task (nodejs) to allow us to embed images into css files
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This project was forked from Eric Hynds's grunt-image-embed (git://, who did all the heavy lifting. This task converts all images found within a stylesheet (those within a url( ... ) declaration) into base64-encoded data URI strings.

This is probably a faux pas, and I'll write Eric, but I needed something that would encode multiple URL's on the same line, which his version did not do. I needed this because the LESS compiler does exactly that when compiling my font-face declarations.


  • Supports both local & remote images.
  • Ability to specify a size limit. Default is 32kb, or IE8's limit.
  • Existing data URIs will be ignored.
  • Skip specific images by specifying a directive comment.
  • Includes two helpers: encode_stylesheet to encode a stylesheet, and encode_image to encode an image.

Getting Started

Install this plugin with: grunt install dancingplatypus-grunt-image-embed

Next, add this line to your project's grunt.js file:


Lastly, add the configuration settings to your grunt.js file.


This task has two required properties, src and dest. src is the path to your stylesheet and dest is the file this task will write to (relative to the grunt.js file). If this file already exists it will be overwritten.

An example configuration looks like this:

  imageEmbed: {
    dist: {
      src: [ "css/styles.css" ],
      dest: "css/output.css"

Optional Configuration Properties

ImageEmbed can be customized by specifying the following options:

  • maxImageSize: The maximum size of the base64 string in bytes. This defaults to 32768, or IE8's limit. Set this to 0 to remove the limit and allow any size string.
  • baseDir: If you have absolute image paths in your stylesheet, the path specified in this option will be used as the base directory.
  • deleteAfterEncoding: remove the original image after encoding. Probably don't want to do this if you are deploying right out of your source directory.

Skipping Images

Specify that an image should be skipped by adding the following comment after the image, before any other punctuation:

background: url(image.gif)/*ImageEmbed:skip*/


Copyright (c) 2012 Michael Hays and contributors Licensed under the MIT License.

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