1. tailwind-css-reusing-styles

Tailwind CSS: Reusing Styles

When working with Tailwind CSS, the ability to reuse styles is a crucial aspect of maximizing developer efficiency and maintaining consistency throughout the design of a project. In this guide, we’ll explore how to reuse styles in Tailwind CSS, including syntax, examples, output, explanation, use, important points, and a summary.

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The syntax for reusing styles in Tailwind CSS is straightforward. All you need to do is reference the class of the existing style you want to reuse using the @apply directive, followed by the keyword extend.

<div class="existing-style @apply extendable-style"></div>


Let's assume you have the following Tailwind CSS class called card for styling a card element throughout your project:

.card {
    border: 1px solid #ccc;
    border-radius: 4px;
    box-shadow: 0 0 5px #ccc;
    padding: 10px 20px;

Now you want to style a specific div that also has some custom styles, but you want to reuse most of the styles of the .card class.

<div class="custom-style @apply card"></div>


The output of this example would result in the custom-style div to have the properties featured in both the .card class and the custom styles added.

.custom-style {
    border: 1px solid #ccc;
    border-radius: 4px;
    box-shadow: 0 0 5px #ccc;
    padding: 10px 20px;
    /* Your custom styles */


By using the @apply directive in the custom-style div class, you’re inheriting all the styles defined within the card class. The extend keyword then tells Tailwind CSS to merge any additional styles defined within the custom-style div with the inherited properties.


You can use extending styles in Tailwind CSS to:

  • Reuse styles throughout your project
  • Keep consistent design styles
  • Make your code more readable by eliminating redundant classes
  • Define specific custom styles whilst keeping consistency with existing styles

Important Points

Here are some important things to take note of when working with extending styles in Tailwind CSS:

  • Extending styles only really make sense when you have "static" classes that you want to reuse, rather than "dynamic" utility classes.
  • The @apply directive should always be the first thing in a class, followed by the keywords you wish to extend.
  • Tailwind CSS only allows styles to be extended from a single class at a time.


Reusing styles in Tailwind CSS by extending existing styles is a powerful way to keep consistent design styles throughout your project. With a simple @apply extend syntax, you can bring in pre-existing styles and add any custom styles while maintaining consistency. Understanding how to use extending styles will greatly increase your productivity and make your CSS code more readable and organized.

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