How to Compile SCSS to CSS: A Comprehensive Guide

SCSS, known as Sassy CSS, is a powerful extension of CSS that introduces variables, nesting, and mixins. While it provides more flexibility and cleaner code, it isn’t understood by web browsers natively. That’s why we need to compile SCSS into plain CSS.

In this guide, we’ll explore various methods to achieve this, ensuring you can pick the one best suited for your needs.

Compiling SCSS to CSS in Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) has become a favorite among developers for its versatility. With extensions like “Live Sass Compiler,” you can easily compile your SCSS files.

  • First, install the Live Sass Compiler extension.
  • Open your SCSS file, click on the ‘Watch Sass‘ icon to start the compilation process.
  • Your CSS will be generated in the same directory or as specified in settings.

Compiling SCSS to CSS in Visual Studio

For those using Visual Studio, the process is straightforward with the ‘Web Compiler’ extension.

  • Install ‘Web Compiler’ from the Visual Studio Marketplace.
  • Once installed, right-click your ‘.scss’ file and select ‘Compile file’.

Compiling in Visual Studio 2019

In Visual Studio 2019, the process remains largely the same as mentioned above. Use the ‘Web Compiler’ extension and follow the same steps.

Using NPM for Compilation

For those inclined towards Node.js, npm (node package manager) is a great tool.

  • First, you’d need to install Node.js and npm.
  • Next, install the node-sass package: npm install node-sass –save-dev
  • Run the command: node-sass yourfile.scss outputfile.css

Compiling SCSS to CSS in React

In the React environment, you can make use of tools like the Create React App, which comes with SCSS support.

  • First, install node-sass: npm install node-sass
  • Now, simply rename your .css files to .scss and import them as usual.

With Webpack

Webpack, a popular module bundler, supports SCSS through sass-loader.

  • Install the necessary packages: npm install sass-loader node-sass webpack –save-dev
  • Add the loader to your Webpack configuration.

In Terminal

Those who prefer a hands-on approach can use terminal commands.

  • Install Ruby and the Sass gem.’
  • Use the command: ‘sass input.scss output.css’

Compiling in VS Code (Reiteration)

Just to reiterate, the process in VS Code involves using the Live Sass Compiler extension as detailed above.

Compiling SCSS to CSS in WordPress

For WordPress enthusiasts, there are plugins like ‘WP-SCSS’ that handle the compilation.

  • Install and activate the ‘WP-SCSS’ plugin.
  • Set the SCSS and CSS file locations, and the plugin will take care of the rest.

While mastering SCSS can seem challenging, there are plenty of resources out there to enhance your understanding. You can explore 30 CSS Dialogs, 131+ CSS Cards, or even delve into 36 CSS Hamburger Menu Icons to enhance your web designs. For more, discover these 10 Useful CSS More Menu Icons and 59 Free CSS Buttons.


In conclusion, compiling SCSS to CSS might seem like an added step, but the benefits in terms of cleaner, more maintainable code are well worth the effort. With the methods and resources mentioned above, you’re well-equipped to start your SCSS journey. Happy coding!

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