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How to reuse the spacing values in TailwindCSS

By Vivian

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May 12, 2022

# How the Tailwind CSS space scale works

The tailwind scale uses a factor of 4. This means that it changes in increments of 4. To get the correct math for each new value you want to add you can use the following formulas:

For pixel values:

(valueInPixels / 16) * 4

For rem values:

(valueInRems * 16) / 4

To give you an example, if you have the pixel value of 82 and you want to convert that to the appropriate “Tailwind” value then you do 80 / 16 * 4, and that gives you 20. For rems values, let’s say you have 32rem you do 32 * 16 / 4 which gives you 128.

⭐  I use the pixel calculation formula so much that I created an alfred workflow to do it for me and I decided to share it, you can download it here. For those who don’t know, Alfred is a Spotlight alternative and it’s Mac only. It’s free but if you want to use workflow you need to pay for the Powerpack.

# How to reuse it on other properties

For some properties, you might want to reuse your spacing scale instead of adding values manually, to do this you have to change that property to use a function that will allow you to use the theme() function inside your config, here’s an example:

extended: {
minHeight: ({ theme }) => ({ // get the theme func from the 1st arg
...theme('spacing'), // adds all values of spacing to min-height
25: '6.25rem',
}),
}

And you can do this for other properties like:

extended: {
// Max width
maxWidth: ({ theme }) => ({
...theme('spacing'),
}),
// Min width
minWidth: ({ theme }) => ({
...theme('spacing'),
}),
}

# Here’s my bigger spacing scale

Now that you know how the spacing scale works and how to reuse it I also want to share my extended version of it, which I use on all my projects. This adds a lot of the missing values from the current official scale and also extends the values up to 200.

extend: {
spacing: {
"13": '3.25rem',
"15": '3.75rem',
"17": '4.25rem',
"18": '4.5rem',
"19": '4.75rem',
"76": "19rem",
"84": "21rem",
"88": "22rem",
"92": "23rem",
"100": "25rem",
"104": "26rem",
"108": "27rem",
"112": "28rem",
"116": "29rem",
"120": "30rem",
"124": "31rem",
"128": "32rem",
"132": "33rem",
"136": "34rem",
"140": "35rem",
"144": "36rem",
"148": "37rem",
"152": "38rem",
"156": "39rem",
"160": "40rem",
"164": "41rem",
"168": "42rem",
"172": "43rem",
"176": "44rem",
"180": "45rem",
"184": "46rem",
"188": "47rem",
"192": "48rem",
"196": "49rem",
"200": "50rem",
},
}

That’s it for this one, I know it was short and sweet but I hope it helped you learn how the Tailwind scale works, how to add new values to it, and how to reuse it. Until the next one!

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