Bourbon is a set of Sass mixins using SCSS syntax
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Bourbon Sass Mixins

The purpose of Bourbon Sass Mixins is to provide a comprehensive library of Sass mixins that are designed to be as vanilla as possible, meaning they should not deter you from using the original CSS syntax. The mixins contain vendor specific prefixes for all CSS3 properties for support amongst modern browsers. The prefixes also ensure graceful degradation for older browsers that support only CSS3 prefixed properties. Bourbon uses SCSS syntax.


Sass 3.1+

Install for Rails

In your Gemfile:

gem 'bourbon'

Then run:

$ bundle install

Rails 3.1.x

Rename application.css to application.css.scss:

mv app/assets/stylesheets/application.css app/assets/stylesheets/application.css.scss

Bourbon needs the sass files to be imported in a specific order to function properly. Therefore, you will need to disable the require_tree sprocket directive. Delete the following sprocket directive in application.css.scss:

*= require_tree .

Import bourbon at the beginning of application.css.scss:

@import "bourbon";

Import all additional stylesheets from your app/assets/stylesheets directory underneath the bourbon import:

@import "bourbon";
@import "home";
@import "users";

Rails 3.0.10 and below

For Rails < 3.1 you must run the installation rake task. Please note, you should run this task every time a new version of Bourbon is released. This will copy the Sass files into your project's public/stylesheets/sass directory.

rake bourbon:install

Import the mixins at the beginning of your stylesheet

@import 'bourbon/bourbon';

Optional: If you use a non-standard location for your sass files, you can specify the path to your sass files as an argument to the install task

rake bourbon:install[app/stylesheets]

Install without Rails

Bourbon includes an easy way to generate a directory with all the necessary files.

rake generate

This will create a bourbon directory that can be used by sass --watch. Move the generated directory into your project's sass directory, e.g. stylesheets/sass/.

To output properly, Bourbon must be explicitly required (-r) by Sass at the command line:

# Example (project root directory)
sass --watch stylesheets/sass:stylesheets -r ./stylesheets/sass/bourbon/lib/bourbon.rb

In this case, you will need to import the mixins at the beginning of your stylesheet:

@import 'bourbon/bourbon';

Browser support

Bourbon aims to provide support for CSS3 properties that are not yet fully supported in modern stable browsers.

Using Bourbon Mixins

Below are a few examples of mixin usage. Note that these are just a few, explore the repo to find out more.


The animation mixins support comma separated lists of values, which allows different transitions for individual properties to be described in a single style rule. Each value in the list corresponds to the value at that same position in the other properties.

@include animation-name(slideup, fadein);
@include animation-duration(1.0s, 1.2s);
@include animation-timing-function(ease-in-out, ease-out);

# Shorthand for a basic animation. Supports multiple parentheses-deliminated values for each variable.
@include animation-basic((slideup, fadein), (1.0s, 2.0s), ease-in);


The appearance CSS property is used to display an element using a platform-native styling based on the operating system's theme.

@include appearance(none);


The background-size mixin supports multiple background-sizes for use with multiple background-images via comma delimitation.

# Single background-image
@include background-size(50% 100%);

# Multiple background-images
@include background-size(50% 100%, 75% 100%);


The background-image mixin is helpful for chaining multiple comma delimited background images and/or linear-gradients into one background-image property. background-image supports up to 10 background-images.

# Multiple image assets
@include background-image( url("/images/a.png"), url("images/b.png") );

# Image asset with a linear-gradient
@include background-image( url("/images/a.png"), linear-gradient(white 0, yellow 50%, transparent 50%) );

# Multiple linear-gradients;
@include background-image( linear-gradient(hsla(0, 100%, 100%, 0.25) 0%, hsla(0, 100%, 100%, 0.08) 50%, transparent 50%), linear-gradient(#4e7ba3, darken(#4e7ba4, 10%)) );

# NOT SUPPORTED - Multiple image assets with shorthand notation
@include background-image( url("/images/a.png") center no-repeat, url("images/b.png") left repeat );

Note about shorthand notation

All CSS background properties support comma delimited values.
For multiple background images you can specify the background properties like position, repeat, etc. for each image. For example:

@include background-image( url("/images/a.png"), url("images/b.png") );
background-position: center top, center;
background-repeat: no-repeat, repeat-x;


border-image supports short-hand notation.

@include border-image(url(border.png) 27 round);

Border Radius

border-radius can take short-hand notation, or the full radius expression.

@include border-radius(10px);
@include border-radius(5px 5px 2px 2px);

You can also specify individual corners.

@include border-top-left-radius(5px);
@include border-top-right-radius(5px);
@include border-bottom-right-radius(5px);
@include border-bottom-left-radius(5px);

Individual sides are supported as well.

@include border-top-radius(5px);
@include border-bottom-radius(5px);
@include border-left-radius(5px);
@include border-right-radius(5px);

Box Shadow

box-shadow supports single or multiple arguments:

@include box-shadow(1px 1px 2px 0 #ff0000);

# Multiple arguments must be comma-delimited.
@include box-shadow(1px 1px 2px 0 #fff000, -1px -2px 0 #ccc);

Box Sizing

Box-sizing will change the box-model of the element it is applied to.

@include box-sizing(border-box);


All current CSS3 column properties are supported. See the list at the bottom of the page for more info.

@include columns(12 8em);
@include column-rule(1px solid green);

Flex Box

The flex-box mixin is based on the 2009 w3c spec. The mixin with change to the flexible box-model. More info.

div.parent {
  @include display-box;
  @include box-align(start);
  @include box-orient(horizontal);
  @include box-pack(start);

div.parent > div.child {
  @include box-flex(2);

# Alternative custom shorthand mixin.
div.parent {
  @include box($orient: horizontal, $pack: center, $align: stretch);


The inline-block mixin provides support for the inline-block property in IE6 and IE7.

@include inline-block;


Gradient position is optional, default is top. Position can be a degree. Color-stops are optional as well. Mixin will support up to 10 gradients.

@include linear-gradient(#1e5799, #2989d8);
@include linear-gradient(top, #1e5799 0%, #2989d8 100%);
@include linear-gradient(50deg, #1e5799 0%, #2989d8 50%, #207cca 51%, #7db9e8 100%);


Shorthand notation for setting the position of elements in your page.

Instead of writing:

position: relative;
top: 0px;
left: 100px;

You can write:

@include position(relative, 0px 0 0 100px);

The first parameter is optional, with a default value of relative. The second parameter is a space delimited list of values that follow the standard CSS shorthand notation.

Note: unit-less values will be ignored. In the example above, this means that selectors will not be generated for the right and bottom positions, while the top position is set to 0px.


Takes up to 10 gradients. Position and shape are required.

@include radial-gradient(50% 50%, circle cover, #1e5799, #efefef);
@include radial-gradient(50% 50%, circle cover, #eee 10%, #1e5799 30%, #efefef);

Transform & Transform-origin

@include transform(translateY(50px));
@include transform-origin(center top);


Shorthand mixin: Supports multiple parentheses-delimited values for each variable.

@include transition (all, 2.0s, ease-in-out);
@include transition ((opacity, width), (1.0s, 2.0s), ease-in, (0, 2s));
@include transition ($property:(opacity, width), $delay: (1.5s, 2.5s));`



The compact function will strip out any value from a list that is 'false'. Takes up to 10 arguments.

$full:  compact($name-1, $name-2, $name-3, $name-4, $name-5, $name-6, $name-7, $name-8, $name-9, $name-10);

Golden Ratio

Returns the golden ratio of a given number. Must provide a Pixel or Em value for first argument. Also takes a required increment value that is not zero and an integer: ...-3, -2, -1, 1, 2, 3...

div {
                    Increment Up GR with positive value
  font-size:        golden-ratio(14px,  1);    // returns: 22.652px

                    Increment Down GR with negative value
  font-size:        golden-ratio(14px, -1);    // returns: 8.653px

                    Can be used with ceil(round up) or floor(round down)
  font-size: floor( golden-ratio(14px,  1) );  // returns: 22px
  font-size:  ceil( golden-ratio(14px,  1) );  // returns: 23px

Resources: &


Outputs a linear-gradient. Use in conjunction with the background-image mixin. The function takes the same arguments as the linear-gradient mixin (See Mixins section of this README).

# Image asset with a linear-gradient
@include background-image(url("/images/a.png"), linear-gradient(white 0, yellow 50%, transparent 50%));

# Multiple linear-gradients;
@include background-image(linear-gradient(hsla(0, 100%, 100%, 0.25) 0%, hsla(0, 100%, 100%, 0.08) 50%, transparent 50%), linear-gradient(#4e7ba3, darken(#4e7ba4, 10%)) );


Easily setup and follow a grid based design. Need help busting a move grid-style?!? Check out

# The $gw-column and $gw-gutter variables must be defined in your base stylesheet to properly use the grid-width function.
$gw-column: 100px;          // Column Width
$gw-gutter: 40px;           // Gutter Width

div {
  width: grid-width(4);     // returns 520px;
  margin-left: $gw-gutter;  // returns 40px;

Tint & Shade

Tint & shade are different from lighten() and darken() functions built into sass. Tint is a mix of a color with white. Tint takes a color and a percent argument.

div {
  background: tint(red, 40%);

Shade is a mix of a color with black. Shade takes a color and a percent argument.

div {
  background: shade(blue, 60%);



The button add-on provides well-designed buttons with a single line in your CSS. The mixin supports a style parameter and an optional color argument. The available styles are "simple" (default), "shiny", and "pill".

# The mixin can be called with no arguments, which will render a blue button with the "simple" style.
button, input[type="button"] {
  @include button;

# Pass a style argument
button, input[type="button"] {
  @include button(shiny);

Create beautiful buttons by defining a style and color argument; using a single color, the mixin calculates the gradient, borders, box shadow, text shadow and text color of the button. The mixin will change the text to be light when on a dark background, and dark when on a light background.

# Style + color arguments
button, input[type="button"] {
  @include button(shiny, #ff0000);


Bourbon provides a few default font-families for convenience sake. Available font-family variables: $georgia, $helvetica, $lucida-grand, $verdana

font-family: $helvetica

HTML5 Input Types

This addon generates a variable which contains a list of all html5 input types that render as text-based inputs, excluding textarea. In other words, it allows for easy targeting of all inputs that mimick input[type="text"].

* = [color, date, datetime, datetime-local, email, month, number, password, search, tel, text, time, url, week]

Usage Note: You must use interpolation with the variable.

#{$all-text-inputs}, textarea {
  border: 1px solid green;

input[type="email"], input[type="number"], input[type="password"], input[type="search"], input[type="tel"], input[type="text"], input[type="url"], input[type="color"], input[type="date"], input[type="datetime"], input[type="datetime-local"], input[type="month"], input[type="time"], input[type="week"], textarea {
  border: 1px solid green;

Timing functions

These CSS cubic-bezier timing functions are variables that can be used with CSS3 animations. The provided timing functions are the same as the jQuery UI demo: easing functions.

Variables supported: $ease-in-*, $ease-out-*, $ease-in-out-*
* = [quad, cubic, quart, quint, sine, expo, circ, back]

@include animation-timing-function($ease-in-circ);
@include animation-basic(fade-in, 1s, $ease-in-quad);

All Supported Functions, Mixins, and Addons

@ denotes a mixin and must be prefaced with @include


    @ animation(*args)
    @ animation-basic(*args)
    @ animation-delay(*args)
    @ animation-direction(*args)
    @ animation-duration(*args)
    @ animation-fill-mode(*args)
    @ animation-iteration-count(*args)
    @ animation-name(*args)
    @ animation-play-state(*args)
    @ animation-timing-function(*args)

  @ appearance(*args)
  @ background-image(*args)
  @ background-size(*args)
  @ border-image(*args)

    @ border-radius(*args)
    @ border-radius-top(*args)
      @ border-radius-top-left(*args)
      @ border-radius-top-right(*args)
    @ border-radius-bottom(*args)
      @ border-radius-bottom-left(*args)
      @ border-radius-bottom-right(*args)
    @ border-radius-left(*args)
    @ border-radius-right(*args)

  @ box-shadow(*args)
  @ box-sizing(*args)


    @ box(*args)
    @ box-align(*args)
    @ box-direction(*args)
    @ box-flex(*args)
    @ box-flex-group(*args)
    @ box-lines(*args)
    @ box-ordinal-group(*args)
    @ box-orient(*args)
    @ box-pack(*args)
    @ display-box

  @ inline-block
  @ linear-gradient(*args)
  @ radial-gradient(*args)
  @ transform(*args)
  @ transform-origin(*args)

    @ transition(*args)
    @ transition-delay(*args)
    @ transition-duration(*args)
    @ transition-property(*args)
    @ transition-timing-function(*args)

  @ button(*args)
  @ position(*args)




Help Out

Currently the project is a work in progress. Feel free to help out. A general rule when considering filing a pull request for a new mixin: Do the following browsers only support the CSS3 property using vendor specific prefixes? If the answer is yes, there is a high chance the mixin will be accepted via a pull request.

  • Firefox 3.6+
  • Safari 4.0+
  • Chrome 4.0+
  • Opera 10+
  • IE 9+

Bourbon does not intend to support IE filters.

Resources for checking browser support: MDN - Moz Dev Network, Mozilla CSS Extensions, Webkit CSS Properties, Firefox CSS Properties, MSDN - Microsoft Dev Network



Bourbon is maintained and funded by thoughtbot, inc

The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.


Bourbon is Copyright © 2011 thoughtbot. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.