LESS loader plugin for RequireJS with builds, based on RequireCSS
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Note: This project is not currently actively supported and is seeking a maintainer.

Optimizable LESS requiring with RequireJS

Based on the ideas from require-css module, read the documentation there for further usage instructions.

Basic Overview

Allows the construction of scripts that can require LESS files, using the simple RequireJS syntax:

define(['less!styles/main'], function() {
  //code that requires the stylesheet: styles/main.less

When run the in the browser, less is downloaded, parsed and injected. When running a build with the RequireJS optimizer, less is compiled into the build layers dynamically as css with compression support, or into a separate file with the separateCSS build option.


By default LESS URIs are normalized relative to the base LESS.

URIs can be made relative to the individual LESS files with the global LESS configuration:

<script>window.less = { relativeUrls: true }</script>

Installation and Setup

Download the require-less folder manually or use Bower:

bower install require-less

Then add the following package configuration in RequireJS:

map: {
  '*': {
    'less': 'require-less/less' // path to less

Package configuration can also be used here alternatively.


Before running a build, install the LESS NodeJS module and csso for compression:

  npm install less csso

NOTE: If you are running the optimizer globally, use npm install less csso -g.

The RequireCSS build system is used to build LESS. The exact same options thus apply.

Example build configuration:

  modules: [
      include: ['mymodule'], // where mymodule is dependent on a less! include
      exclude: ['require-css/normalize'],

This inlines all compiled LESS required by mymodule into the build layer for dynamic injection.

To build into a separate CSS file:

  separateCSS: true,
  modules: [
      include: ['mymodule'], // where mymodule is dependent on a less! include
      exclude: ['require-css/normalize'],

The separateCSS build option can then be used to create this CSS layer as a separate file. See the RequireCSS documentation for more information.

Compilation Options

Compilation options can be set with the less configuration option in the RequireJS config:

  less: {
    // ... custom LESS compiler options ...
    // for example: relativeUrls: true



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