Theme Configuration

Customizing the default theme for your project.

The theme section of your tailwind.config.js file is where you define your project's color palette, type scale, font stacks, breakpoints, border radius values, and more.

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    screens: {
      sm: '640px',
      md: '768px',
      lg: '1024px',
      xl: '1280px',
    },
    fontFamily: {
      display: ['Gilroy', 'sans-serif'],
      body: ['Graphik', 'sans-serif'],
    },
    borderWidth: {
      default: '1px',
      '0': '0',
      '2': '2px',
      '4': '4px',
    },
    extend: {
      colors: {
        cyan: '#9cdbff',
      },
      spacing: {
        '96': '24rem',
        '128': '32rem',
      }
    }
  }
}

We provide a sensible default theme with a very generous set of values to get you started, but don't be afraid to change it or extend; you're encouraged to customize it as much as you need to to fit the goals of your design.

Theme structure

The theme object contains keys for screens, colors, and spacing, as well as a key for each customizable core plugin.

See the theme configuration reference or the default theme for a complete list of theme options.

Screens

The screens key allows you to customize the responsive breakpoints in your project.

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    screens: {
      'sm': '640px',
      'md': '768px',
      'lg': '1024px',
      'xl': '1280px',
    }
  }
}

To learn more, see the breakpoint customization documentation.

Colors

The colors key allows you to customize the global color palette for your project.

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    colors: {
      transparent: 'transparent',
      black: '#000',
      white: '#fff',
      gray: {
        100: '#f7fafc',
        // ...
        900: '#1a202c',
      },

      // ...
    }
  }
}

By default, these colors are inherited by the backgroundColor, textColor, and borderColor core plugins.

To learn more, see the color customization documentation.

Spacing

The spacing key allows you to customize the global spacing and sizing scale for your project.

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    spacing: {
      px: '1px',
      '0': '0',
      '1': '0.25rem',
      '2': '0.5rem',
      '3': '0.75rem',
      '4': '1rem',
      '5': '1.25rem',
      '6': '1.5rem',
      '8': '2rem',
      '10': '2.5rem',
      '12': '3rem',
      '16': '4rem',
      '20': '5rem',
      '24': '6rem',
      '32': '8rem',
      '40': '10rem',
      '48': '12rem',
      '56': '14rem',
      '64': '16rem',
    }
  }
}

By default, these values are inherited by the padding, margin, negativeMargin, width, and height core plugins.

To learn more, see the spacing customization documentation.

Core plugins

The rest of the theme section is used to configure which values are available for each individual core plugin.

For example, the borderRadius key lets you customize which border radius utilities will be generated:

module.exports = {
  theme: {
    borderRadius: {
      'none': '0',
      'sm': '.125rem',
      default: '.25rem',
      'lg': '.5rem',
      'full': '9999px',
    },
  }
}

The keys determine the suffix for the generated classes, and the values determine the value of the actual CSS declaration.

The example borderRadius configuration above would generate the following CSS classes:

.rounded-none { border-radius: 0 }
.rounded-sm   { border-radius: .125rem }
.rounded      { border-radius: .25rem }
.rounded-lg   { border-radius: .5rem }
.rounded-full { border-radius: 9999px }

You'll notice that using a key of default in the theme configuration created the class rounded with no suffix. This is a common convention in Tailwind supported by many (although not all) of the core plugins.

To learn more about customizing a specific core plugin, visit the documentation for that plugin.

For a complete reference of available theme properties and their default values, see the default theme configuration.

Customizing the default theme

Out of the box, your project will automatically inherit the values from the default theme configuration. If you would like to customize the default theme, you have a few different options depending on your goals.

Overriding the default theme

To override an option in the default theme, create a theme section in your tailwind.config.js file and add the key you'd like to override.

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    // Replaces all of the default `opacity` values
    opacity: {
      '0': '0',
      '20': '0.2',
      '40': '0.4',
      '60': '0.6',
      '80': '0.8',
      '100': '1',
    }
  }
}

This will completely replace Tailwind's default configuration for that key, so in the example above none of the default opacity utilities would be generated.

Any keys you do not provide will be inherited from the default theme, so in the above example, the default theme configuration for things like colors, spacing, border radius, background position, etc. would be preserved.

Extending the default theme

If you'd like to preserve the default values for a theme option but also add new values, add your extensions under the theme.extend key.

For example, if you wanted to add an extra breakpoint but preserve the existing ones, you could extend the screens property:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    extend: {
      // Adds a new breakpoint in addition to the default breakpoints
      screens: {
        '2xl': '1440px',
      }
    }
  }
}

You can of course both override some parts of the default theme and extend other parts of the default theme within the same configuration:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    opacity: {
      '0': '0',
      '20': '0.2',
      '40': '0.4',
      '60': '0.6',
      '80': '0.8',
      '100': '1',
    },
    extend: {
      screens: {
        '2xl': '1440px',
      }
    }
  }
}

Referencing other values

If you need to reference another value in your theme, you can do so by providing a closure instead of a static value. The closure will receive a theme() function that you can use to look up other values in your theme using dot notation.

For example, you could generate fill utilities for every color in your color palette by referencing theme('colors') in your fill configuration:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    colors: {
      // ...
    },
    fill: theme => theme('colors')
  }
}

The theme() function attempts to find the value you are looking for from the fully merged theme object, so it can reference your own customizations as well as the default theme values. It also works recursively, so as long as there is a static value at the end of the chain it will be able to resolve the value you are looking for.

Referencing the default theme

If you'd like to reference a value in the default theme for any reason, you can import it from tailwindcss/defaultTheme.

One example of where this is useful is if you'd like to add a font family to one of Tailwind's default font stacks:

// tailwind.config.js
const defaultTheme = require('tailwindcss/defaultTheme')

module.exports = {
  theme: {
    extend: {
      fontFamily: {
        sans: [
          'Lato',
          ...defaultTheme.fontFamily.sans,
        ]
      }
    }
  }
}

Disabling an entire core plugin

If you don't want to generate any classes for a certain core plugin, it's better to set that plugin to false in your corePlugins configuration than to provide an empty object for that key in your theme configuration.

Don't assign an empty object in your theme configuration

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    opacity: {},
  }
}

Do disable the plugin in your corePlugins configuration

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  corePlugins: {
    opacity: false,
  }
}

The end result is the same, but since many core plugins expose no configuration they can only be disabled using corePlugins anyways, so it's better to be consistent.

Adding your own keys

There are a number of situations where it can be useful to add your own keys to the theme object.

One example of this is adding new keys to create a single source of truth for values that are common between multiple core plugins. For example, you could extract a shared positions object that could be referenced by both the backgroundPosition and objectPosition plugins:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    positions: {
      bottom: 'bottom',
      center: 'center',
      left: 'left',
      'left-bottom': 'left bottom',
      'left-top': 'left top',
      right: 'right',
      'right-bottom': 'right bottom',
      'right-top': 'right top',
      top: 'top',
    },
    backgroundPosition: theme => theme('positions'),
    objectPosition: theme => theme('positions'),
  }
}

Another example is adding a new key to reference inside a custom plugin. For example, if you've written a gradients plugin for your project, you might add a gradients key to your theme object that the plugin references:

// tailwind.config.js
module.exports = {
  theme: {
    gradients: theme => ({
      'blue-green': [theme('colors.blue.500'), theme('colors.green.500')],
      'purple-blue': [theme('colors.purple.500'), theme('colors.blue.500')],
      // ...
    })
  },
  plugins: [
    require('./plugins/gradients')
  ],
}

Since the entire theme object is available in your CSS using the theme function, you might also add a key just to be able to reference it in your CSS.

Configuration reference

Except for screens, colors, and spacing, all of the keys in the theme object map to one of Tailwind's core plugins. Since many plugins are responsible for CSS properties that only accept a static set of values (like float for example), note that not every plugin has a corresponding key in the theme object.

All of these keys are also available under the theme.extend key to enable extending the default theme.

Key Description
screens Your project's responsive breakpoints
colors Your project's color palette
spacing Your project's spacing scale
container Configuration for the container plugin
backgroundColor Values for the background-color property
backgroundPosition Values for the background-position property
backgroundSize Values for the background-size property
borderColor Values for the border-color property
borderRadius Values for the border-radius property
borderStyle Values for the border-style property
borderWidth Values for the border-width property
boxShadow Values for the box-shadow property
cursor Values for the cursor property
fill Values for the fill property
flex Values for the flex property
flexGrow Values for the flex-grow property
flexShrink Values for the flex-shrink property
fontFamily Values for the font-family property
fontSize Values for the font-size property
fontWeight Values for the font-weight property
height Values for the height property
inset Values for the inset property
letterSpacing Values for the letter-spacing property
lineHeight Values for the line-height property
listStyleType Values for the list-style-type property
margin Values for the margin property
maxHeight Values for the max-height property
maxWidth Values for the max-width property
minHeight Values for the min-height property
minWidth Values for the min-width property
negativeMargin Values for the negative-margin property
objectPosition Values for the object-position property
opacity Values for the opacity property
padding Values for the padding property
stroke Values for the stroke property
textColor Values for the text-color property
width Values for the width property
zIndex Values for the z-index property