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Grid System

A powerful mobile-first grid system for building layouts of all shapes and sizes. Based on a twelve column layout with multiple responsive tiers, Sass mixins, and predefined classes.

Page Contents

How It Works #

Figuration includes a powerful mobile-first grid system for building layouts of all shapes and sizes. It's based on a 12 column layout and has multiple tiers, one for each media query range. You can use it with Sass mixins or our predefined classes.

At a high level, here's how the grid system works:

  • There are three major components—containers, rows, and columns.
  • The grid is built with flexbox and is fully responsive.
  • Containers provide a means to center and horizontally pad your site's contents. Use .container for a responsive fixed width or .container-fluid for width: 100% across all viewport and device sizes.
  • Rows are wrappers for columns. Each column has horizontal padding (called a gutter) for controlling the space between them. This padding is then counteracted on the rows with negative margins. This way, all the content in your columns is visually aligned down the left side (right side in rtl mode).
  • In a grid layout, content must be placed within columns and only columns may be immediate children of rows.
  • Thanks to flexbox, grid columns without a specified width will automatically layout as equal width columns. For example, four instances of .col-sm will each automatically be 25% wide from the small breakpoint and up. See the auto-layout columns section for more examples.
  • Column classes indicate the number of columns you'd like to use out of the possible 12 per row. So, if you want three equal-width columns across, you would use .col-4.
  • Column widths are set in percentages, so they're always fluid and sized relative to their parent element.
  • Columns have horizontal padding to create the gutters between individual columns.
  • You can remove the margin from rows and padding from columns with .no-gutters on the .row.
  • To make the grid responsive, there are five grid breakpoints, one for each responsive breakpoint: all breakpoints (extra small), small, medium, large, and extra large.
  • Grid breakpoints are based on minimum width media queries, meaning they apply to that one breakpoint and all those above it (e.g., .col-sm-4 applies to small, medium, large, and extra large devices, but not the first xs breakpoint).
  • You can use predefined grid classes (like .col-4) or Sass mixins for more semantic markup.

If you need a reference for working with flexbox, there is an excellent resource over at CSS Tricks with A Complete Guide to Flexbox.

Also, be aware of the limitations and bugs around flexbox, like the inability to use some HTML elements as flex containers.

Sounds good? Great, let's move on to seeing all that in an example.

Quick Start Example #

This example creates three equal-width columns on small, medium, large, and extra large devices using our predefined grid classes. Those columns are centered in the page with the parent .container.

Examples further down the page add some color, padding, and borders, to the rows and columns to give a better visual example of their relationship. These do not appear in the base Figuration grid.

First column
Second column
Third column
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-sm-4">
First column
</div>
<div class="col-sm-4">
Second column
</div>
<div class="col-sm-4">
Third column
</div>
</div>
</div>

Grid Options #

See how aspects of the Figuration grid system work across multiple devices with this handy table.

The example pixel values are calculated based upon assumption where the average user has a 16px root font size.

Extra small
<576px
<36em
Small
≥576px
≥36em
Medium
≥768px
≥48em
Large
≥992px
≥62em
Extra large
≥1200px
≥75em
Max container width None (auto) 544px (33.75rem) 720px (45rem) 960px (60rem) 1152px (72rem)
Class prefix .col- .col-sm- .col-md- .col-lg- .col-xl-
# of columns 12
Gutter width 2rem / 32px (16px on each side of a column)
Nestable Yes
Offsets Yes
Column ordering Yes

Auto-Layout Columns #

Utilize breakpoint-specific column classes for easy column sizing without an explicit numbered class like .col-sm-6.

Equal Width #

Equal-width columns are easliy done by adding any number of .col-{breakpoint}s for each breakpoint you need and every column will be the same width.

For example, here's are some grid layouts that apply to every device and viewport possible, from xs to xl.

1 of 2
1 of 2
1 of 3
1 of 3
1 of 3
Columns
with no
gutters
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col">
1 of 2
</div>
<div class="col">
1 of 2
</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
<div class="col">
1 of 3
</div>
<div class="col">
1 of 3
</div>
<div class="col">
1 of 3
</div>
</div>

<div class="row no-gutters">
<div class="col">Columns</div>
<div class="col">with no</div>
<div class="col">gutters</div>
</div>
</div>

Controlling One Column Width #

Auto-layout for flexbox grid columns also means you can set the width of one column and have the sibling columns automatically resize around it. You may use predefined grid classes (as shown below), grid mixins, or inline widths.

Note that the other columns will resize no matter the width of the center column.

1 of 3
2 of 3 (wider)
3 of 3
1 of 3
2 of 3 (wider)
3 of 3
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col">
1 of 3
</div>
<div class="col-6">
2 of 3 (wider)
</div>
<div class="col">
3 of 3
</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
<div class="col">
1 of 3
</div>
<div class="col-5">
2 of 3 (wider)
</div>
<div class="col">
3 of 3
</div>
</div>
</div>

Variable Width Content #

Use col-{breakpoint}-auto classes to size columns based on the natural width of their content. Use these classes in conjunction with horizontal alignment classes for centering layouts with uneven column sizes as viewport width changes.

1 of 3
Variable width content
3 of 3
1 of 3
Variable width content
3 of 3
<div class="container">
<div class="row flex-md-center">
<div class="col-lg-2">
1 of 3
</div>
<div class="col-md-auto">
Variable width content
</div>
<div class="col-lg-2">
3 of 3
</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
<div class="col">
1 of 3
</div>
<div class="col-md-auto">
Variable width content
</div>
<div class="col-lg-2">
3 of 3
</div>
</div>
</div>

Responsive Classes #

Figuration's grid includes five tiers of predefined classes for building complex responsive layouts. Customize the size of your columns on extra small, small, medium, large, or extra large devices however you see fit.

All Breakpoints #

For grids that are the same from the smallest of devices to the largest, use the .col and .col-* classes. Specify a numbered class when you need a particularly sized column; otherwise, feel free to stick to .col.

col
col
col
col
col-8
col-4
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col">col</div>
<div class="col">col</div>
<div class="col">col</div>
<div class="col">col</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
<div class="col-8">col-8</div>
<div class="col-4">col-4</div>
</div>
</div>

Stacked to Horizontal #

Using a single set of .col-sm-* classes, you can create a basic grid system that starts out stacked and becomes horizontal at the small breakpoint (sm).

.col-sm-8
.col-sm-4
.col-sm
.col-sm
.col-sm
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-sm-8">.col-sm-8</div>
<div class="col-sm-4">.col-sm-4</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
<div class="col-sm">.col-sm</div>
<div class="col-sm">.col-sm</div>
<div class="col-sm">.col-sm</div>
</div>
</div>

Mix and Match #

Don't want your columns to simply stack in some grid tiers. Use a combination of different classes for each tier as needed. See the example below for a better idea of how it all works.

.col-md-8
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6
.col-6
<div class="container">
<!-- Stack the columns on mobile by making one full-width and the other half-width -->
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-8">.col-md-8</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

<!-- Columns start at 50% wide on mobile and bump up to 33.3% wide on desktop -->
<div class="row">
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

<!-- Columns are always 50% wide, on mobile and desktop -->
<div class="row">
<div class="col-6">.col-6</div>
<div class="col-6">.col-6</div>
</div>
</div>

Row Columns #

Use the responsive .row-cols-* classes to quickly set the number of columns that best render your content and layout. Whereas normal .col-* classes apply to the individual columns (e.g., .col-md-4), the row columns classes are set on the parent .row as a shortcut.

Use these row columns classes to quickly create basic grid layouts or to control your card layouts.

Column
Column
Column
Column
<div class="container">
<div class="row row-cols-2">
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
</div>
</div>
Column
Column
Column
Column
<div class="container">
<div class="row row-cols-3">
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
</div>
</div>
Column
Column
Column
Column
<div class="container">
<div class="row row-cols-4">
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
</div>
</div>
Column
Column
Column
Column
<div class="container">
<div class="row row-cols-4">
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col-6">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
</div>
</div>
Column
Column
Column
Column
<div class="container">
<div class="row row-cols-1 row-cols-sm-2 row-cols-md-4">
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
<div class="col">Column</div>
</div>
</div>

You can also use the accompanying Sass mixin, row-cols():

.element {
// Three columns to start
@include row-cols(3);

// Five columns from medium breakpoint up
@include media-breakpoint-up(md) {
@include row-cols(5);
}
}

Alignment #

Use Flexbox alignment utilities to vertically and horizontally align columns.

Internet Explorer 10 and 11 do not support vertical alignment of flex items when the flex container has a min-height. See Flexbugs #3 for more details.

Vertical Alignment #

One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
<div class="container">
<div class="row flex-items-start">
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
</div>

<div class="row flex-items-center">
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
</div>

<div class="row flex-items-end">
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col">
One of three columns
</div>
</div>
</div>
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col flex-self-start">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col flex-self-center">
One of three columns
</div>
<div class="col flex-self-end">
One of three columns
</div>
</div>
</div>

Horizontal Alignment #

One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
<div class="container">
<div class="row flex-start">
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
</div>

<div class="row flex-center">
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
</div>

<div class="row flex-end">
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
</div>

<div class="row flex-around">
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
</div>

<div class="row flex-between">
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
<div class="col-4">
One of two columns
</div>
</div>
</div>

No Gutters #

The gutters between columns in our default, predefined grid classes can be removed with .no-gutters. This removes the negative margins from .row and the horizontal padding from all immediate children columns.

Here's the source code for creating these styles. Note that column overrides are scoped to only the first children columns and are targeted via attribute selector. While this generates a more specific selector, column padding can still be further customized with spacing utilities.

Need an edge-to-edge design? Drop the parent .container or .container-fluid.

.no-gutters {
margin-right: 0;
margin-left: 0;

> [class*="col-"],
> .col {

padding-right: 0;
padding-left: 0;
}
}

In practice, here's how it looks. Note you can continue to use this with all other predefined grid classes (including column widths, responsive tiers, reorders, and more).

.col-sm-6 .col-md-8
.col-6 .col-md-4
<div class="row no-gutters">
<div class="col-sm-6 col-md-8">.col-sm-6 .col-md-8</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

Custom Gutters #

Gutters can be responsively adjusted by breakpoint-specific padding and negative margin utility classes. To change the gutters in a given row, pair a negative margin utility on the .row and matching padding utilities on the .cols.

Here is an example of customizing the grid at the large (lg) breakpoint and above. The the .col horizontal padding is increased with .px-lg-2 and then counteracted that with negative horizontal margin .mx-lg-n2 on the parent .row.

Custom column padding
Custom column padding
<div class="container">
<div class="row mx-md-n2">
<div class="col px-md-2">Custom column padding</div>
<div class="col px-md-2">Custom column padding</div>
</div>
</div>

In some cases, you may also have to adjust the padding on the parent container of the .row element to prevent horizontal scrollbars from occuring. For example, using the custom negative margin example above, you may find the need to use .px-lg-2 on the parent .container-fluid.

Custom horizontal column padding
Custom horizontal column padding
<div class="container-fluid px-md-2">
<div class="row mx-md-n2">
<div class="col px-md-2">Custom horizontal column padding</div>
<div class="col px-md-2">Custom horizontal column padding</div>
</div>
</div>

Column Wrapping #

If more than 12 columns are placed within a single row, each group of extra columns will, as one unit, wrap onto a new line.

.col-9
.col-4
Since 9 + 4 = 13 > 12, this 4-column-wide div gets wrapped onto a new line as one contiguous unit.
.col-6
Subsequent columns continue along the new line.
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-9">.col-9</div>
<div class="col-4">.col-4<br>Since 9 + 4 = 13 &gt; 12, this 4-column-wide div gets wrapped onto a new line as one contiguous unit.</div>
<div class="col-6">.col-6<br>Subsequent columns continue along the new line.</div>
</div>
</div>

Column Resets #

Resetting, or breaking, columns to a new line in flexbox requires a small hack: add an element with width: 100% wherever you want to wrap your columns to a new line. This can also be accomplished with multiple .rows. You may need to try both implementation methods to see which works best for your layout.

.col-6 .col-md-3
.col-6 .col-md-3
taller
.col-6 .col-md-3
.col-6 .col-md-3
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3<br>taller</div>

<!-- Force next columns to break to a new line -->
<div class="w-100"></div>

<div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3</div>
</div>
</div>

You can also apply a break at specific breakpoints with our responsive display utilities.

.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
taller
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4<br>taller</div>

<!-- Force next columns to break to a new line at md breakpoint and up-->
<div class="w-100 d-none d-md-block"></div>

<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
<div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>
</div>

Reordering #

Flex Order #

Use flexbox order utilities for controlling the visual order of your content.

First, but unordered
Second, but last
Third, but first
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col">
First, but unordered
</div>
<div class="col order-last">
Second, but last
</div>
<div class="col order-first">
Third, but first
</div>
</div>
</div>

Order utilities are also available in responsive order values from values 0 through 6 .

First, but second
Second, but last
Third, but first
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col order-2">
First, but second
</div>
<div class="col order-6">
Second, but last
</div>
<div class="col order-1">
Third, but first
</div>
</div>
</div>

Offsetting Columns #

You can offset grid columns in two ways: our responsive .offset- grid classes and our margin utilities. Grid classes are sized to match columns while margins are more useful for quick layouts where the width of the offset is variable.

Offset Classes #

Move columns to the right using .offset-* classes. These classes increase the left margin of a column by * columns. For example, .offset-md-4 moves a column over four columns on medium and larger devices.

.col-md-4
.col-md-4 .offset-md-4
.col-md-3 .offset-md-3
.col-md-3 .offset-md-3
.col-md-6 .offset-md-3
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-4">.col-md-4</div>
<div class="col-md-4 offset-md-4">.col-md-4 .offset-md-4</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-3 offset-md-3">.col-md-3 .offset-md-3</div>
<div class="col-md-3 offset-md-3">.col-md-3 .offset-md-3</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-6 offset-md-3">.col-md-6 .offset-md-3</div>
</div>
</div>

In addition to column clearing at responsive breakpoints, you may need to reset offsets. See this in action in the grid example.

.col-sm-5 .col-md-6
.col-sm-5 .offset-sm-2 .col-md-6 .offset-md-0
.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .col-lg-6
.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .offset-md-2 .col-lg-6 .offset-lg-0
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-sm-5 col-md-6">.col-sm-5 .col-md-6</div>
<div class="col-sm-5 offset-sm-2 col-md-6 offset-md-0">.col-sm-5 .offset-sm-2 .col-md-6 .offset-md-0</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
<div class="col-sm-6 col-md-5 col-lg-6">.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .col-lg-6</div>
<div class="col-sm-6 col-md-5 offset-md-2 col-lg-6 offset-lg-0">.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .offset-md-2 .col-lg-6 .offset-lg-0</div>
</div>
</div>

Margin Utilities #

You can also use margin utilities like .ms-auto, and .me-auto, to force sibling columns away from one another.

.col-md-4
.col-md-4 .ms-auto
.col-md-3 .ms-md-auto
.col-md-3 .ms-md-auto
.col-auto .me-auto
.col-auto
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-4">.col-md-4</div>
<div class="col-md-4 ms-auto">.col-md-4 .ms-auto</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-3 ms-md-auto">.col-md-3 .ms-md-auto</div>
<div class="col-md-3 ms-md-auto">.col-md-3 .ms-md-auto</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
<div class="col-auto me-auto">.col-auto .me-auto</div>
<div class="col-auto">.col-auto</div>
</div>
</div>

Nesting #

To nest your content with the default grid, add a new .row and set of .col-sm-* columns within an existing .col-sm-* column. Nested rows should include a set of columns that add up to 12 or fewer (it is not required that you use all 12 available columns).

Level 1: .col-sm-9
Level 2: .col-8 .col-sm-6
Level 2: .col-4 .col-sm-6
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-sm-9">
Level 1: .col-sm-9
<div class="row">
<div class="col-8 col-sm-6">
Level 2: .col-8 .col-sm-6
</div>
<div class="col-4 col-sm-6">
Level 2: .col-4 .col-sm-6
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Customizing the Grid #

Using our built-in grid Sass variables and maps, it's possible to completely customize the predefined grid classes. Change the number of tiers, the media query dimensions, the container widths, and the grid gutter widths—then recompile.

Columns and Gutters #

The number of grid columns and their horizontal padding (aka, gutters) can be modified via Sass variables. $grid-columns is used to generate the widths (in percent) of each individual column while $grid-gutter-width sets the width for the column gutters.

$grid-columns: 12;
$grid-gutter-width: 2rem;

Grid Tiers #

Moving beyond the columns themselves, you may also customize the number of grid tiers. If you wanted just four grid tiers, you would update the $grid-breakpoints and $container-max-widths to something like this:

$grid-breakpoints: (
xs: 0,
sm: bp-to-em(480px),
md: bp-to-em(768px),
lg: bp-to-em(1024px)
);

$container-max-widths: (
sm: rem(420px),
md: rem(720px),
lg: rem(940px)
);

Save your changes and recompile to have a brand new set of predefined grid classes for column widths and offsets. Responsive visibility utilities will also be updated to use the custom breakpoints.

Sass Variables and Mixins #

When using Figuration's source Sass files, you have the option of using Sass variables and mixins to create custom, semantic, and responsive page layouts. Our predefined grid classes use these same variables and mixins to provide a whole suite of ready-to-use classes for fast responsive layouts.

Variables #

Variables and maps determine the number of columns, the gutter width, and the media query point at which to begin floating columns. We use these to generate the predefined grid classes documented above, as well as for the custom mixins listed below.

Some Sass functions are in use here. Simply put bp-to-em() converts a pixel value to em assuming 16px root font size, while rem() converts a pixel value to rem, but checks the defined $font-size-root variable in the Sass and uses that for conversion.

$grid-columns:      12;

$grid-breakpoints: (
// Extra small screen / phone
xs: 0,
// Small screen / phone
sm: bp-to-em(576px),
// Medium screen / tablet
md: bp-to-em(768px),
// Large screen / desktop
lg: bp-to-em(992px),
// Extra large screen / wide desktop
xl: bp-to-em(1200px)
);

$container-max-widths: (
sm: rem(544px),
md: rem(720px),
lg: rem(940px),
xl: rem(1140px)
);

$grid-gutter-width: 2rem;

$grid-row-columns: 6;

The available Customization options, or Sass variables, that can be customized for the grid.

Name Type Default Description
$enable-grid-classes boolean true Enable the generation of the grid layout classes. Smaller segements of the grid layout classes can be disabled with the following $enable-* variables.
$enable-grid-row-cols boolean true Enable the generation of the responsive row columns layout classes.
$grid-breakpoints map
(
    xs: 0,
    sm: bp-to-em(576px),
    md: bp-to-em(768px),
    lg: bp-to-em(992px),
    xl: bp-to-em(1200px)
)
Maximum container widths for given breakpoints. The bp-to-em() function converts a pixel value to an em value.
$container-max-widths map
(
    sm: rem(544px),
    md: rem(720px),
    lg: rem(960px),
    xl: rem(1152px)
)
Grid breakpoints widths. The rem() function converts a pixel value to a rem value.
$row-columns-breakpoints list map-keys($grid-breakpoints) Breakpoint list for the responsive row columns.
$grid-columns integer 12 The number of columns to build the grid with.
$grid-columns string 2rem The visual width to apply between columns. This is a value twice the size of the horizontal margins for each column.
$grid-row-columns integer 6 The maximum number of columns to build the responsive grid column classes with.

Mixins #

Mixins are used in conjunction with the grid variables to generate semantic CSS for individual grid columns.

// Creates a wrapper for a series of columns
@include make-row($gutter: $grid-gutter-width);

// Make the element grid-ready (applying everything but the width)
@include make-col-ready($gutter: $grid-gutter-width);
@include make-col($size, $columns: $grid-columns);

// Make an auto sizing column
@include make-col-auto();

// Get fancy by offsetting
@include make-col-offset($size, $columns: $grid-columns);

Example Usage #

You can modify the variables to your own custom values, or just use the mixins with their default values. Here's an example of using the default settings to create a two-column layout with a gap between.

.example-container {
@include make-container();
// Define a custom width after `make-container()` to
// override the `width: 100%` generated by the mixin.
width: 800px;
}
.example-row {
@include make-row();
}
.example-content-main {
@include make-col-ready();

@include media-breakpoint-up(sm) {
@include make-col(6);
}
@include media-breakpoint-up(lg) {
@include make-col(8);
}
}
.example-content-secondary {
@include make-col-ready();

@include media-breakpoint-up(sm) {
@include make-col(6);
}
@include media-breakpoint-up(lg) {
@include make-col(4);
}
}
Main
Secondary
<div class="example-container">
<div class="example-row">
<div class="example-content-main">Main</div>
<div class="example-content-secondary">Secondary</div>
</div>
</div>