Customizing Bootstrap

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

Basic customisation

The simplest way to customize how your JHipster application looks like is by overriding CSS styles in src/main/webapp/assets/images/styles/main.css if you don’t use Sass or in src/main/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/main.scss and has installed them in src/main/webapp/bower_components/bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets.


// bower:scss
@import "bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/_bootstrap.scss";
// endbower

This import statement has been inserted by the wiredep task because it is enclosed by bower 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 wiredep task in ‘Gruntfile.js’ or gulpfile.js so that your custom one is picked up instead:


wiredep: {
    app: {
        src: ['src/main/webapp/index.html', 'src/main/scss/main.scss'],
        exclude: [/angular-i18n/, /swagger-ui/, /bootstrap-sass\/assets\/stylesheets/],


gulp.task('wiredep:app', function () {
        exclude: [/angular-i18n/, /swagger-ui/, /bootstrap-sass\/assets\/stylesheets/]],

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

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

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

Import it into your main.scss file outside the bower comments:

@import "custom-bootstrap";

// bower:scss
// endbower

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 grunt build or gulp build.

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/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 "bootstrap-sass/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap/mixins";

You can follow same procedure and naming convention (‘_custom-*.css`) for any other partial you want to customise, 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 grunt build or gulp build or better use grunt or gulp to get immediate feedback.