How to dynamically create CSS class in JavaScript and apply?

I need to create a CSS stylesheet class dynamically in JavaScript and assign it to some HTML elements like - div, table, span, tr, etc and to some controls like asp:Textbox, Dropdownlist and datalist.

Is it possible?

It would be nice with a sample.

Answers:

Answer

Although I'm not sure why you want to create CSS classes with JavaScript, here is an option:

var style = document.createElement('style');
style.type = 'text/css';
style.innerHTML = '.cssClass { color: #F00; }';
document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(style);

document.getElementById('someElementId').className = 'cssClass';
Answer

Found a better solution, which works across all browsers.
Uses document.styleSheet to add or replace rules. Accepted answer is short and handy but this works across IE8 and less too.

function createCSSSelector (selector, style) {
  if (!document.styleSheets) return;
  if (document.getElementsByTagName('head').length == 0) return;

  var styleSheet,mediaType;

  if (document.styleSheets.length > 0) {
    for (var i = 0, l = document.styleSheets.length; i < l; i++) {
      if (document.styleSheets[i].disabled) 
        continue;
      var media = document.styleSheets[i].media;
      mediaType = typeof media;

      if (mediaType === 'string') {
        if (media === '' || (media.indexOf('screen') !== -1)) {
          styleSheet = document.styleSheets[i];
        }
      }
      else if (mediaType=='object') {
        if (media.mediaText === '' || (media.mediaText.indexOf('screen') !== -1)) {
          styleSheet = document.styleSheets[i];
        }
      }

      if (typeof styleSheet !== 'undefined') 
        break;
    }
  }

  if (typeof styleSheet === 'undefined') {
    var styleSheetElement = document.createElement('style');
    styleSheetElement.type = 'text/css';
    document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(styleSheetElement);

    for (i = 0; i < document.styleSheets.length; i++) {
      if (document.styleSheets[i].disabled) {
        continue;
      }
      styleSheet = document.styleSheets[i];
    }

    mediaType = typeof styleSheet.media;
  }

  if (mediaType === 'string') {
    for (var i = 0, l = styleSheet.rules.length; i < l; i++) {
      if(styleSheet.rules[i].selectorText && styleSheet.rules[i].selectorText.toLowerCase()==selector.toLowerCase()) {
        styleSheet.rules[i].style.cssText = style;
        return;
      }
    }
    styleSheet.addRule(selector,style);
  }
  else if (mediaType === 'object') {
    var styleSheetLength = (styleSheet.cssRules) ? styleSheet.cssRules.length : 0;
    for (var i = 0; i < styleSheetLength; i++) {
      if (styleSheet.cssRules[i].selectorText && styleSheet.cssRules[i].selectorText.toLowerCase() == selector.toLowerCase()) {
        styleSheet.cssRules[i].style.cssText = style;
        return;
      }
    }
    styleSheet.insertRule(selector + '{' + style + '}', styleSheetLength);
  }
}

Function is used as follows.

createCSSSelector('.mycssclass', 'display:none');
Answer

Short answer, this is compatible "on all browsers" (specifically, IE8/7):

function createClass(name,rules){
    var style = document.createElement('style');
    style.type = 'text/css';
    document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(style);
    if(!(style.sheet||{}).insertRule) 
        (style.styleSheet || style.sheet).addRule(name, rules);
    else
        style.sheet.insertRule(name+"{"+rules+"}",0);
}
createClass('.whatever',"background-color: green;");

And this final bit applies the class to an element:

function applyClass(name,element,doRemove){
    if(typeof element.valueOf() == "string"){
        element = document.getElementById(element);
    }
    if(!element) return;
    if(doRemove){
        element.className = element.className.replace(new RegExp("\\b" + name + "\\b","g"));
    }else{      
        element.className = element.className + " " + name;
    }
}

Here's a little test page as well: https://gist.github.com/shadybones/9816763

The key little bit is the fact that style elements have a "styleSheet"/"sheet" property which you can use to to add/remove rules on.

Answer

There is a light jQuery plugin which allows to generate CSS declarations: jQuery-injectCSS

In fact, it uses JSS (CSS described by JSON), but it's quite easy to handle in order to generate dynamic css stylesheets.

$.injectCSS({
    "#test": {
        height: 123
    }
});
Answer

YUI has by far the best stylesheet utility I have seen out there. I encourage you to check it out, but here's a taste:

// style element or locally sourced link element
var sheet = YAHOO.util.StyleSheet(YAHOO.util.Selector.query('style',null,true));

sheet = YAHOO.util.StyleSheet(YAHOO.util.Dom.get('local'));


// OR the id of a style element or locally sourced link element
sheet = YAHOO.util.StyleSheet('local');


// OR string of css text
var css = ".moduleX .alert { background: #fcc; font-weight: bold; } " +
          ".moduleX .warn  { background: #eec; } " +
          ".hide_messages .moduleX .alert, " +
          ".hide_messages .moduleX .warn { display: none; }";

sheet = new YAHOO.util.StyleSheet(css);

There are obviously other much simpler ways of changing styles on the fly such as those suggested here. If they make sense for your problem, they might be best, but there are definitely reasons why modifying css is a better solution. The most obvious case is when you need to modify a large number of elements. The other major case is if you need your style changes to involve the cascade. Using the dom to modify an element will always have a higher priority. Its the sledgehammer approach and is equivalent to using the style attribute directly on the html element. That is not always the desired effect.

Answer

As of IE 9. You can now load a text file and set a style.innerHTML property. So essentially you can now load a css file through ajax (and get the callback) and then just set the text inside of a style tag like this.

This works in other browsers, not sure how far back. But as long as you don't need to support IE8 then it would work.

// RESULT: doesn't work in IE8 and below. Works in IE9 and other browsers.
$(document).ready(function() {
    // we want to load the css as a text file and append it with a style.
    $.ajax({
        url:'myCss.css',
        success: function(result) {
            var s = document.createElement('style');
            s.setAttribute('type', 'text/css');
            s.innerHTML = result;
            document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(s);
        },
        fail: function() {
            alert('fail');
        }
    })
});

and then you can have it pull an external file like the myCss.css

.myClass { background:#F00; }
Answer

Here is Vishwanath's solution slightly rewritten with comments :

function setStyle(cssRules, aSelector, aStyle){
    for(var i = 0; i < cssRules.length; i++) {
        if(cssRules[i].selectorText && cssRules[i].selectorText.toLowerCase() == aSelector.toLowerCase()) {
            cssRules[i].style.cssText = aStyle;
            return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
}

function createCSSSelector(selector, style) {
    var doc = document;
    var allSS = doc.styleSheets;
    if(!allSS) return;

    var headElts = doc.getElementsByTagName("head");
    if(!headElts.length) return;

    var styleSheet, media, iSS = allSS.length; // scope is global in a function
    /* 1. search for media == "screen" */
    while(iSS){ --iSS;
        if(allSS[iSS].disabled) continue; /* dont take into account the disabled stylesheets */
        media = allSS[iSS].media;
        if(typeof media == "object")
            media = media.mediaText;
        if(media == "" || media=='all' || media.indexOf("screen") != -1){
            styleSheet = allSS[iSS];
            iSS = -1;   // indication that media=="screen" was found (if not, then iSS==0)
            break;
        }
    }

    /* 2. if not found, create one */
    if(iSS != -1) {
        var styleSheetElement = doc.createElement("style");
        styleSheetElement.type = "text/css";
        headElts[0].appendChild(styleSheetElement);
        styleSheet = doc.styleSheets[allSS.length]; /* take the new stylesheet to add the selector and the style */
    }

    /* 3. add the selector and style */
    switch (typeof styleSheet.media) {
    case "string":
        if(!setStyle(styleSheet.rules, selector, style));
            styleSheet.addRule(selector, style);
        break;
    case "object":
        if(!setStyle(styleSheet.cssRules, selector, style));
            styleSheet.insertRule(selector + "{" + style + "}", styleSheet.cssRules.length);
        break;
    }
Answer

https://jsfiddle.net/xk6Ut/256/

One option to dynamically create and update CSS class in JavaScript:

  • Using Style Element to create a CSS section
  • Using an ID for the style element so that we can update the CSS
    class

.....

function writeStyles(styleName, cssText) {
    var styleElement = document.getElementById(styleName);
    if (styleElement) 
             document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].removeChild(
        styleElement);
    styleElement = document.createElement('style');
    styleElement.type = 'text/css';
    styleElement.id = styleName;
    styleElement.innerHTML = cssText;
    document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(styleElement);
}

...

    var cssText = '.testDIV{ height:' + height + 'px !important; }';
    writeStyles('styles_js', cssText)
Answer

An interesting project which could help you out in your task is JSS.

JSS is a better abstraction over CSS. It uses JavaScript as a language to describe styles in a declarative and maintainable way. It is a high performance JS to CSS compiler which works at runtime in the browsers and server-side.

JSS library allows you to inject in the DOM/head section using the .attach() function.

Repl online version for evaluation.

Further information on JSS.

An example:

// Use plugins.
jss.use(camelCase())

// Create your style.
const style = {
  myButton: {
    color: 'green'
  }
}

// Compile styles, apply plugins.
const sheet = jss.createStyleSheet(style)

// If you want to render on the client, insert it into DOM.
sheet.attach()
Answer

Using google closure:

you can just use the ccsom module:

goog.require('goog.cssom');
var css_node = goog.cssom.addCssText('.cssClass { color: #F00; }');

The javascript code attempts to be cross browser when putting the css node into the document head.

Answer

Looked through the answers and the most obvious and straight forward is missing: use document.write() to write out a chunk of CSS you need.

Here is an example (view it on codepen: http://codepen.io/ssh33/pen/zGjWga):

<style>
   @import url(http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans:800);
   .d, body{ font: 3vw 'Open Sans'; padding-top: 1em; }
   .d {
       text-align: center; background: #aaf;
       margin: auto; color: #fff; overflow: hidden; 
       width: 12em; height: 5em;
   }
</style>

<script>
   function w(s){document.write(s)}
   w("<style>.long-shadow { text-shadow: ");
   for(var i=0; i<449; i++) {
      if(i!= 0) w(","); w(i+"px "+i+"px #444");
   }
   w(";}</style>");
</script> 

<div class="d">
    <div class="long-shadow">Long Shadow<br> Short Code</div>
</div>
Answer
function createCSSClass(selector, style, hoverstyle) 
{
    if (!document.styleSheets) 
    {
        return;
    }

    if (document.getElementsByTagName("head").length == 0) 
    {

        return;
    }
    var stylesheet;
    var mediaType;
    if (document.styleSheets.length > 0) 
    {
        for (i = 0; i < document.styleSheets.length; i++) 
        {
            if (document.styleSheets[i].disabled) 
            {
                continue;
            }
            var media = document.styleSheets[i].media;
            mediaType = typeof media;

            if (mediaType == "string") 
            {
                if (media == "" || (media.indexOf("screen") != -1)) 
                {
                    styleSheet = document.styleSheets[i];
                }
            } 
            else if (mediaType == "object") 
            {
                if (media.mediaText == "" || (media.mediaText.indexOf("screen") != -1)) 
                {
                    styleSheet = document.styleSheets[i];
                }
            }

            if (typeof styleSheet != "undefined") 
            {
                break;
            }
        }
    }

    if (typeof styleSheet == "undefined") {
        var styleSheetElement = document.createElement("style");
        styleSheetElement.type = "text/css";
        document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(styleSheetElement);
        for (i = 0; i < document.styleSheets.length; i++) {
            if (document.styleSheets[i].disabled) {
                continue;
            }
            styleSheet = document.styleSheets[i];
        }

        var media = styleSheet.media;
        mediaType = typeof media;
    }

    if (mediaType == "string") {
        for (i = 0; i < styleSheet.rules.length; i++) 
        {
            if (styleSheet.rules[i].selectorText.toLowerCase() == selector.toLowerCase()) 
            {
                styleSheet.rules[i].style.cssText = style;
                return;
            }
        }

        styleSheet.addRule(selector, style);
    }
    else if (mediaType == "object") 
    {
        for (i = 0; i < styleSheet.cssRules.length; i++) 
        {
            if (styleSheet.cssRules[i].selectorText.toLowerCase() == selector.toLowerCase()) 
            {
                styleSheet.cssRules[i].style.cssText = style;
                return;
            }
        }

        if (hoverstyle != null) 
        {
            styleSheet.insertRule(selector + "{" + style + "}", 0);
            styleSheet.insertRule(selector + ":hover{" + hoverstyle + "}", 1);
        }
        else 
        {
            styleSheet.insertRule(selector + "{" + style + "}", 0);
        }
    }
}





createCSSClass(".modalPopup  .header",
                                 " background-color: " + lightest + ";" +
                                  "height: 10%;" +
                                  "color: White;" +
                                  "line-height: 30px;" +
                                  "text-align: center;" +
                                  " width: 100%;" +
                                  "font-weight: bold; ", null);
Answer

For the benefit of searchers; if you are using jQuery, you can do the following:

var currentOverride = $('#customoverridestyles');

if (currentOverride) {
 currentOverride.remove();
}

$('body').append("<style id=\"customoverridestyles\">body{background-color:pink;}</style>");

Obviously you can change the inner css to whatever you want.

Appreciate some people prefer pure JavaScript, but it works and has been pretty robust for writing/overwriting styles dynamically.

Answer

I was looking through some of the answers here, and I couldn't find anything that automatically adds a new stylesheet if there are none, and if not simply modifies an existing one that already contains the style needed, so I made a new function (should work accross all browsers, though not tested, uses addRule and besides that only basic native JavaScript, let me know if it works):

function myCSS(data) {
    var head = document.head || document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0];
    if(head) {
        if(data && data.constructor == Object) {
            for(var k in data) {
                var selector = k;
                var rules = data[k];

                var allSheets = document.styleSheets;
                var cur = null;

                var indexOfPossibleRule = null,
                    indexOfSheet = null;
                for(var i = 0; i < allSheets.length; i++) {
                    indexOfPossibleRule = findIndexOfObjPropInArray("selectorText",selector,allSheets[i].cssRules);
                    if(indexOfPossibleRule != null) {
                        indexOfSheet = i;
                        break;
                    }
                }

                var ruleToEdit = null;
                if(indexOfSheet != null) {

                    ruleToEdit = allSheets[indexOfSheet].cssRules[indexOfPossibleRule];

                } else {
                    cur = document.createElement("style");
                    cur.type =  "text/css";
                    head.appendChild(cur);
                    cur.sheet.addRule(selector,"");
                    ruleToEdit = cur.sheet.cssRules[0];
                    console.log("NOPE, but here's a new one:", cur);
                }
                applyCustomCSSruleListToExistingCSSruleList(rules, ruleToEdit, (err) => {
                    if(err) {
                        console.log(err);
                    } else {
                        console.log("successfully added ", rules, " to ", ruleToEdit);
                    }
                });
            }
        } else {
            console.log("provide one paramter as an object containing the cssStyles, like: {\"#myID\":{position:\"absolute\"}, \".myClass\":{background:\"red\"}}, etc...");
        }
    } else {
        console.log("run this after the page loads");
    }

};  

then just add these 2 helper functions either inside the above function, or anywhere else:

function applyCustomCSSruleListToExistingCSSruleList(customRuleList, existingRuleList, cb) {
    var err = null;
    console.log("trying to apply ", customRuleList, " to ", existingRuleList);
    if(customRuleList && customRuleList.constructor == Object && existingRuleList && existingRuleList.constructor == CSSStyleRule) {
        for(var k in customRuleList) {
            existingRuleList["style"][k] = customRuleList[k];
        }

    } else {
        err = ("provide first argument as an object containing the selectors for the keys, and the second argument is the CSSRuleList to modify");
    }
    if(cb) {
        cb(err);
    }
}

function findIndexOfObjPropInArray(objPropKey, objPropValue, arr) {
    var index = null;
    for(var i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
        if(arr[i][objPropKey] == objPropValue) {
            index = i;
            break;
        }
    }
    return index;
}

(notice that in both of them I use a for loop instead of .filter, since the CSS style / rule list classes only have a length property, and no .filter method.)

Then to call it:

myCSS({
    "#coby": {
        position:"absolute",
        color:"blue"
    },
    ".myError": {
        padding:"4px",
        background:"salmon"
    }
})

Let me know if it works for your browser or gives an error.

Answer

Here is my modular solution:

var final_style = document.createElement('style');
final_style.type = 'text/css';

function addNewStyle(selector, style){
  final_style.innerHTML += selector + '{ ' + style + ' } \n';
};

function submitNewStyle(){
  document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(final_style);

  final_style = document.createElement('style');
  final_style.type = 'text/css';
};

function submitNewStyleWithMedia(mediaSelector){
  final_style.innerHTML = '@media(' + mediaSelector + '){\n' + final_style.innerHTML + '\n};';
    submitNewStyle();
};

You basically anywhere in your code do:
addNewStyle('body', 'color: ' + color1); , where color1 is defined variable.

When you want to "post" the current CSS file you simply do submitNewStyle(),
and then you can still add more CSS later.

If you want to add it with "media queries", you have the option.
After "addingNewStyles" you simply use submitNewStyleWithMedia('min-width: 1280px');.


It was pretty useful for my use-case, as I was changing CSS of public (not mine) website according to current time. I submit one CSS file before using "active" scripts, and the rest afterwards (makes the site look kinda-like it should before accessing elements through querySelector).

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