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Less vs Sass: What are the differences?

What is Less? The dynamic stylesheet language. Less is a CSS pre-processor, meaning that it extends the CSS language, adding features that allow variables, mixins, functions and many other techniques that allow you to make CSS that is more maintainable, themable and extendable.

What is Sass? Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets. Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance, and more. It's translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.

Less and Sass can be categorized as "CSS Pre-processors / Extensions" tools.

"Better than css", "Variables" and "Mixins" are the key factors why developers consider Less; whereas "Variables", "Mixins" and "Nested rules" are the primary reasons why Sass is favored.

Less and Sass are both open source tools. It seems that Less with 16K GitHub stars and 3.46K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Sass with 12K GitHub stars and 1.93K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Sass has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2082 company stacks & 1445 developers stacks; compared to Less, which is listed in 496 company stacks and 168 developer stacks.

Advice on Less and Sass
awesomebanana2018
Needs advice
on
StylusStylusSassSass
and
PostCSSPostCSS

Originally, I was going to start using Sass with Parcel, but then I learned about Stylus, which looked interesting because it can get the property values of something directly instead of through variables, and PostCSS, which looked interesting because you can customize your Pre/Post-processing. Which tool would you recommend?

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Replies (1)
Recommends
PostCSSPostCSS

You're not correct with saying "vs Postcss". You're using Less/Sass/Stylus/... to produce "CSS" (maybe extended means it has some future features) and then in any case PostCSS will play (it is shipped with Parcel/NextJS/CRA/...)

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Decisions about Less and Sass
Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 2 upvotes · 4K views

We know that Sass is not a replace for CSS, but in my mind there is no CSS with no Sass.

One of the first complement/plugins I add to the environment, are the Sass processing files/demons.

I couldn't imagine going back to pure CSS. Sass is even the way to go, regarding Styled Components, CSS Modules, and all the other options.

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Cory Bell

JSS is makes a lot of sense when styling React components and styled-components is a really nice implementation of JSS. I still get to write pure CSS, but in a more componentized way. With CSS post-processors like SASS and LESS, you spend a lot of time deciding where your .scss or .less files belong, which classes should be shared, and generally fighting the component nature of React. With styled-components, you get the best of CSS and React. In this project, I have ZERO CSS files or global CSS classes and I leverage mixins quite a bit.

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Pros of Less
Pros of Sass
  • 215
    Better than css
  • 177
    Variables
  • 141
    Mixins
  • 99
    Maintainable
  • 79
    Used by bootstrap
  • 56
    Open source
  • 51
    Extendable
  • 43
    Functions
  • 39
    Dynamic
  • 30
    Fast
  • 1
    CSS is valid LESS, very easy to pick up
  • 608
    Variables
  • 593
    Mixins
  • 467
    Nested rules
  • 411
    Maintainable
  • 299
    Functions
  • 150
    Modular flexible code
  • 141
    Open source
  • 112
    Selector inheritance
  • 107
    Dynamic
  • 96
    Better than cs
  • 4
    Used by Bootstrap
  • 2
    If and for function
  • 1
    Better than less
  • 1
    Inheritance (@extend)
  • 1
    Custom functions

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Cons of Less
Cons of Sass
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 1
      Needs to be compiled

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Less?

    Less is a CSS pre-processor, meaning that it extends the CSS language, adding features that allow variables, mixins, functions and many other techniques that allow you to make CSS that is more maintainable, themable and extendable.

    What is Sass?

    Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance, and more. It's translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Less?
    What companies use Sass?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Less or Sass.
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    What tools integrate with Less?
    What tools integrate with Sass?

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    What are some alternatives to Less and Sass?
    CSS 3
    CSS3 is the latest evolution of the Cascading Style Sheets language and aims at extending CSS2.1. It brings a lot of long-awaited novelties, like rounded corners, shadows, gradients, transitions or animations, as well as new layouts like multi-columns, flexible box or grid layouts. Experimental parts are vendor-prefixed and should either be avoided in production environments, or used with extreme caution as both their syntax and semantics can change in the future.
    Animate.css
    It is a bunch of cool, fun, and cross-browser animations for you to use in your projects. Great for emphasis, home pages, sliders, and general just-add-water-awesomeness.
    Autoprefixer
    It is a CSS post processor. It combs through compiled CSS files to add or remove vendor prefixes like -webkit and -moz after checking the code.
    PostCSS
    PostCSS is a tool for transforming CSS with JS plugins. These plugins can support variables and mixins, transpile future CSS syntax, inline images, and more.
    Stylus
    Stylus is a revolutionary new language, providing an efficient, dynamic, and expressive way to generate CSS. Supporting both an indented syntax and regular CSS style.
    See all alternatives