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How to add custom breakpoints to TailwindCSS

By Vivian

/

June 22, 2022

Ok, so today we’re gonna talk about breakpoints.

Adam, the creator of Tailwind CSS, gave a lot of thought to the default breakpoint values of the framework. And we even had a new one added a while ago.

These breakpoints target the most common screen sizes, ranging from mobile to bigger desktop screens so people usually stick to the defaults.

What happens if you want to modify those defaults? That’s our topic today!

⭐ One thing to keep in mind is that the order of the breakpoints matters a lot. The framework reads the order of the breakpoints and creates the necessary media queries and due to the nature of CSS (it's read from top to bottom like you probably know), the last breakpoint has more specificity than the first breakpoint.

That’s why in the defaults you see 640px (sm) before 1280px (xl).

With that said, here’s how to add your own breakpoints:

# Adding a lower breakpoint

const defaultTheme = require("tailwindcss/defaultTheme");

module.exports = {
theme: {
screens: {
xs: "375px",
...defaultTheme.screens
},
}
}

Here we’re importing Tailwind’s default values to get the screen values and spread them after our custom breakpoint xs.

Remember that the Tailwind config file is just a Javascript file so you can use your JS skills there too!

# Adding a bigger breakpoint

If you want to add a bigger breakpoint you have two ways.

# In the extended section

module.exports = {
theme: {
extended: {
screens: {
'3xl': "1800px",
},
}
}
}

Since we’re adding a bigger one we can just add it to the screens key in the extended section of the config.

# By overwriting the defaults

const defaultTheme = require("tailwindcss/defaultTheme");

module.exports = {
theme: {
screens: {
...defaultTheme.screens,
'3xl': "1800px",
},
}
}

We can use the same method as adding a lower breakpoint but adding our bigger one as the last one.

# Adding a breakpoint somewhere in the middle

Ok, this one is tricky because remember, the order of the breakpoints matters a lot. You can't just add one breakpoint at random, depending on the value you want to add you need to add it in a specific position, and since the screens property is an object, it's not as easy as adding it at a specific array index.

Now there are multiple ways to solve this. Remember when I said the tailwind config is a JS file so you can add logic to it? Well, that's what we’re going to do now.

Below is the code to add a breakpoint called foo with a value of 960px before the lg breakpoint (which has a value of 1024px):

const defaultTheme = require("tailwindcss/defaultTheme");

const newScreens = Object.entries(defaultTheme.screens).reduce(
(breakpoints, [label, value]) => {
if (label == "lg") {
breakpoints["foo"] = "960px";
}
breakpoints[label] = value;
return breakpoints;
},
{}
);

module.exports = {
theme: {
screens: newScreens,
},
};

We’re creating a new variable called newScreens, turning the screens object into an array and assigning it to the new variable, and then using the reduce method to create a new screens object with our new breakpoint at the position we want (before the lg value).

Then, in the tailwind config, we just assign the screens property to use our new newScreens variable.

In the end, our screens property will be compiled to this:

screens: {
sm: '640px',
md: '768px',
foo: '960px', // our new breakpoint
lg: '1024px',
xl: '1280px',
'2xl': '1536px'
}

Feel free to reuse this snippet for your needs. Here’s a Tailwind Play link where you can see it in action and play around with it.


That’s it for this one! I hope you learned how to add custom breakpoints to your project at any position in your Tailwind config.

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