This RegEx Will Change How You Design With Tailwind

An exploration of how to utilize regular expressions to change the design of your website when using TailwindCSS.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A woman in a bookstore

Are you using TailwindCSS in you project?

... of course you are it's all the rage lately, and everyone’s using it.

Need to change all the color based utilities in your app because you need to use semantic color names to implement a new color theme, fix dark mode, or change colors for any other reason?

... of course you do! Changes to the user interface, theme and graphics come up all the time.

Have you now realized your styles are dispersed and scattered across all the markup within your project?

... of course you have, and you’ve probably also realized your components aren’t organized as well as you would like.

Well I have a simple regular expression to aid you in swapping out all your old color utilities with new color utilities:


No warranty is provided or inferred. Use at your own peril. Void where prohibited by law. May cause nausea, confusion, or panic. If you experience any of these symptoms, please discontinue use of the regular expression.

The regex above should match against all of the default atomic color utilties that TailwindCSS provides and can be modified to more specifically match your use case. You may want to narrow down the list of color names or utility names to catch a specific subset of utilizations. Custom color names could be added to the list. You might also expand the regex to target specific variant modifiers.

For example, the regular expression below will match instances where at least one of the listed variant modifiers is used; narrows the set of utility names, and matches against a list of custom colors:


List of variant modifiers provided by TailwindCSS

first-letter first-line marker selection file placeholder backdrop before after first last only odd even first-of-type last-of-type only-of-type visited target open default checked indeterminate placeholder-shown autofill required valid invalid in-range out-of-range read-only empty focus-within hover focus focus-visible active enabled disabled group peer ltr rtl motion-safe motion-reduce dark print sm md lg xl 2xl portrait landscape

List of default colors

inherit current transparent black white slate gray zinc neutral stone red orange amber yellow lime green emerald teal cyan sky blue indigo violet purple fuchsia pink rose blueGray coolGray trueGray warmGray lightBlue

List of utility prefixes

text decoration bg from via to border divide outline ring ring-offset shadow accent caret fill stroke

Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

Republished from with permission.