Using Tailwind CSS in React

This guide serves as a quickstart to installing Tailwind CSS in your Web/React/Next.js app.

For more in-depth look on this topic, be sure to check out our blog post on Setting up Next.js to use Tailwind with Nx.

Step 1: Install Tailwind Dependencies

npm install tailwindcss@latest postcss@latest autoprefixer@latest

This installs the requisite tailwind dependencies.

Step 2: Intialize Tailwind

In this step, create a postcss.config.js and a tailwind.config.js file specific to the application to introduce Tailwind to.

The simplest way to do this uses the Tailwind CLI, and can be done with:

cd apps/{your app here}
npx tailwindcss init -p

This creates the needed files with a general boilerplate implementation.

Pointing PostCss to Tailwind Config

Next, adjust the postcss.config.js as follows:

1module.exports = {
2  plugins: {
3    tailwindcss: { config: './apps/{your app here}/tailwind.config.js' },
4    autoprefixer: {},
5  },

Introducing Nx Utility for Better Tailwind Purging

In a typical tailwind.config.js file, the purge property of the tailwind config would be an array that includes all files that could mention tailwind class names (you can find more details on tailwind's official documentation).

Nx has a utility function for determining the glob representation of all files the application depends on (based on the Nx Dependency Graph), which should be used when setting this purge property. This eliminates additional manual maintenance as your workspace progresses.

1const { createGlobPatternsForDependencies } = require('@nrwl/react/tailwind');
3module.exports = {
4  purge: createGlobPatternsForDependencies(__dirname),
5  darkMode: false, // or 'media' or 'class'
6  theme: {
7    extend: {},
8  },
9  variants: {
10    extend: {},
11  },
12  plugins: [],

NOTE: To ensure proper purging for custom configurations, be sure that the NODE_ENV environment variable is set to production. By default, Nx only purges on prod build (for example: nx build --prod).

Step 3: Import TailwindCss Styles

Next, import tailwind styles to the application's base styles.css or styles.scss file. This can be done by adding the following lines:

1@tailwind components;
2@tailwind base;
3@tailwind utilities;