scssphp 1.3 Documentation



The project can be loaded through a composer generated auto-loader.

Alternatively, the entire project can be loaded through a utility file. Just include it somewhere to start using it:

require_once 'scssphp/';


In order to manually compile code from PHP you must create an instance of the Compiler class. The typical flow is to create the instance, set any compile time options, then run the compiler with the compile method.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();

echo $scss->compile('
  $color: #abc;
  div { color: lighten($color, 20%); }

Import Paths

When you import a file using the @import directive, the import is resolved relatively to the current file. The input of compile is considered to be in the current working directory (getcwd()) unless its path is provided. In case you want to load files from other folders, there are two methods for manipulating the import path: addImportPath, and setImportPaths.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();

// will search for 'assets/stylesheets/mixins.scss'
echo $scss->compile('@import "mixins.scss";');

Besides adding static import paths, it’s also possible to add custom import functions. This allows you to load paths from a database, or HTTP, or using files that SCSS would otherwise not process (such as vanilla CSS imports).

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();
$scss->addImportPath(function($path) {
    if (!file_exists('stylesheets/'.$path)) return null;
    return 'stylesheets/'.$path;

// will import 'stylesheets/vanilla.css'
echo $scss->compile('@import "vanilla.css";');

A list of the compiled files (both the primary file and its imports) can be retrieved using the getParsedFiles method.

Preset Variables

You can preset variables before compilation by using the setVariables($vars) method. If the variable is also defined in your scss source, use the !default flag to prevent your preset variables from being overridden.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();
    'var' => 'false',

echo $scss->compile('$var: true !default;');

Note: the value is the scss source to be parsed. If you want to parse a string, you have to represent it as a string, e.g. 'var' => '"string"'.

Likewise, you can retrieve the preset variables using the getVariables() method, and unset a variable using the unsetVariable($name) method.

Output Formatting

The output formatting can be configured using the setOutputStyle method. 2 styles are provided: \ScssPhp\ScssPhp\OutputStyle::EXPANDED and \ScssPhp\ScssPhp\OutputStyle::COMPRESSED.

Given the following SCSS:

/*! Comment */
.navigation {
    ul {
        line-height: 20px;
        color: blue;
        a {
            color: red;

.footer {
    .copyright {
        color: silver;

The output will look like that:


/*! Comment */
.navigation ul {
  line-height: 20px;
  color: blue;
.navigation ul a {
  color: red;
.footer .copyright {
  color: silver;


/* Comment*/.navigation ul{line-height:20px;color:blue;}.navigation ul a{color:red;}.footer .copyright{color:silver;}

Source Maps

Source Maps are useful in debugging compiled css files using browser developer tools.

To enable source maps, use the setSourceMap() and setSourceMapOptions() methods.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();
    // absolute path to write .map file
    'sourceMapWriteTo'  => '/var/www/vhost/',

    // relative or full url to the above .map file
    'sourceMapURL'      => 'content/themes/THEME/assets/css/',

    // (optional) relative or full url to the .css file
    'sourceMapFilename' => 'my-style.css',

    // partial path (server root) removed (normalized) to create a relative url
    'sourceMapBasepath' => '/var/www/vhost',

    // (optional) prepended to 'source' field entries for relocating source files
    'sourceRoot'        => '/',

// use Compiler::SOURCE_MAP_INLINE for inline (comment-based) source maps

Custom Functions

It’s possible to register custom functions written in PHP that can be called from SCSS. Some possible applications include appending your assets directory to a URL with an asset-url function, or converting image URLs to an embedded data URI to reduce the number of requests on a page with a data-uri function.

We can add and remove functions using the methods registerFunction and unregisterFunction.

The $callable can be anything that PHP knows how to call using call_user_func. The function receives two arguments when invoked. The first is an array of SCSS typed arguments that the function was sent. The second is an array of SCSS values corresponding to keyword arguments (aka kwargs).

The SCSS typed arguments and kwargs are actually just arrays or Number objects that represent SCSS values. SCSS has different types than PHP, and this is how scssphp represents them internally.

There is a large variety of types. Experiment with a debugging function like print_r to examine the possible inputs.

The return value of the custom function can either be a SCSS type or a basic PHP type (such as a string or a number). If it’s a PHP type, it will be converted automatically to the corresponding SCSS type.

As an example, a function called add-two is registered, which adds two numbers together. PHP’s anonymous function syntax is used to define the function.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();

  function($args) {
    list($a, $b) = $args;

    return $a[1] + $b[1];

$scss->compile('.ex1 { result: add-two(10, 10); }');

Using a prototype and kwargs, functions can take named parameters. In this next example, we register a function called divide which divides a named dividend by a named divisor.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

$scss = new Compiler();

  function($args, $kwargs) {
    return $kwargs['dividend'][1] / $kwargs['divisor'][1];
  array('dividend', 'divisor')

$scss->compile('.ex2 { result: divide($divisor: 2, $dividend: 30); }');

Note: in the above examples, we lose the units of the number, and we also don’t do any type checking. This will have undefined results if we give it anything other than two numbers.

Security Considerations

If your web application compiles SCSS on-the-fly, you need to handle any potential exceptions thrown by the Compiler. This is especially important in a production environment where the content may be untrusted (e.g., user uploaded) because the exception stack trace may contain sensitive data.

use ScssPhp\ScssPhp\Compiler;

try {
    $scss = new Compiler();

    echo $scss->compile($content);
} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo '';
    syslog(LOG_ERR, 'scssphp: Unable to compile content');

If your web application allows for arbitrary @import paths, you should tighten the open_basedir setting at run-time to mitigate vulnerability to local file inclusion (LFI) attack.

Server Example

An example Server class is described here: /scssphp/docs/server.html.

Fork me on GitHub