Customizing Bootstrap 3

Please note that this section refers to AngularJS 1.x with Bootstrap 3. If you are using Angular 2+ with Bootstrap 4, please go to the Bootstrap 4 documentation.

Basic customisation

Pro tip: don’t forget to run gulp to get immediate feedback of your changes!

The simplest way to customize how your JHipster application looks like is by overriding CSS styles in src/main/webapp/content/css/main.css if you don’t use Sass or in src/main/webapp/scss/main.scss if you do.

With Sass you can go further by combining Bootstrap-sass mixins to create your own classes.

If you have selected Sass when generating your application, JHipster has already imported bootstrap-sass main file into your src/main/scss/vendor.scss and has installed them in src/main/webapp/bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets.

If you add any library using bower install then running gulp inject:dep task will add reference of any sass files present to src/main/scss/vendor.scss and the gulp sass task will compile this to CSS and will copy any fonts included in the libs fonts folder into the src/main/webapp/content/fonts folder. If you had gulp or gulp serve running then this is done automatically for you.


/* Sass bower components will be injected here */
/* bower:scss */
@import "../bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/_bootstrap.scss";
/* endinject */

This import statement has been inserted by the inject task because it is enclosed by bower inject comments, it imports src/main/webapp/bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/_bootstrap.scss.

Advanced customisation

If you want to go further into Bootstrap customisation by excluding some components, adding new ones or replacing standard ones with yours, you must exclude the standard Bootstrap SASS files from the gulp inject task so that your custom one is picked up instead:


function vendor() {

return es.merge(stream, gulp.src(config.sassVendor)
    .pipe(inject(gulp.src(bowerFiles({filter:['**/*.{scss,sass}', '!/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/']}), {read: false}), {
    ... }

Copy src/main/webapp/bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/_bootstrap.scss to src/main/webapp/scss/_custom-bootstrap.scss

Edit your _custom-bootstrap.scss file to add “../bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/” to all import statements so that they point to the bower_components/bootstrap-sass directory.

// Core variables and mixins
@import "../bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/variables";
@import "../bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/mixins";

Import _custom-bootstrap.scss into your main.scss file:

@import "custom-bootstrap";


Pay attention to the fact that the @import statements do not specify the leading underscore nor the .scss filename extension, this is what SASS calls partials.

Test that your project still builds your stylesheets by running gulp sass.

It’s very likely that you will want to replace some values in the bootstrap variables, just copy src/main/webapp/bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/_variables.scss to src/main/webapp/scss/_custom-variables.scss and change the variables values you want and change related import statement in _custom-bootstrap.scss:

// Core variables and mixins
@import "custom-variables";
@import "../bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/mixins";

You can follow same procedure and naming convention (‘_custom-*.css`) for any other partial you want to customize, this will make easier to integrate bootstrap-sass updates.

You can also comment out some @import lines in _custom-boostrap.scss to exclude some components you don’t need, it’s safer to comment out rather than deleting also to make easier to integrate bootstrap-sass updates.

Each time you make a change, test it with gulp sass or gulp to get immediate feedback.