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Styling templates

lit-html focuses on one thing: rendering HTML. How you apply styles to the HTML lit-html creates depends on how you're using it—for example, if you're using lit-html inside a component system like LitElement, you can follow the patterns used by that component system.

In general, how you style HTML will depend on whether you're using shadow DOM:

  • If you aren't using shadow DOM, you can style HTML using global style sheets.
  • If you're using shadow DOM (for example, in LitElement), then you can add style sheets inside the shadow root.

To help with dynamic styling, lit-html provides two directives for manipulating an element's class and style attributes:

  • classMap sets classes on an element based on the properties of an object.
  • styleMap sets the styles on an element based on a map of style properties and values.

Like styleMap, the classMap directive lets you set a group of classes based on an object.

More information: see classMap in the Template syntax reference.

You can use the styleMap directive to set inline styles on an element in the template.

More information: see styleMap in the Template syntax reference.

When rendering into a shadow root, you usually want to add a style sheet inside the shadow root to the template, so you can style the contents of the shadow root.

This pattern may seem inefficient, since the same style sheet is reproduced in each instance of an element. However, the browser can deduplicate multiple instances of the same style sheet, so the cost of parsing the style sheet is only paid once.

A new feature available in some browsers is Constructable Stylesheets Objects. This proposed standard allows multiple shadow roots to explicitly share style sheets. LitElement uses this feature in its static styles property.

Binding to values in the style sheet is an antipattern, because it defeats the browser's style sheet optimizations. It's also not supported by the ShadyCSS polyfill.

Alternatives to using bindings in a style sheet:

  • Use CSS custom properties to pass values down the tree.
  • Use bindings in the class and style attributes to control the styling of child elements.

See Inline styles with styleMap and Setting classes with classMap for examples of binding to the style and class attributes.

Polyfilled shadow DOM: ShadyDOM and ShadyCSS

Permalink to “Polyfilled shadow DOM: ShadyDOM and ShadyCSS”

If you're using shadow DOM, you'll probably need to use polyfills to support older browsers that don't implement shadow DOM natively. ShadyDOM and ShadyCSS are polyfills, or shims, that emulate shadow DOM isolation and style scoping.

The lit-html shady-render module provides necessary integration with the shady CSS shim. If you're writing your own custom element base class that uses lit-html and shadow DOM, you'll need to use shady-render and also take some steps on your own.

The ShadyCSS README provides some directions for using shady CSS. When using it with lit-html:

  • Import render and TemplateResult from the shady-render library.

  • You don't need to call ShadyCSS.prepareTemplate. Instead pass the scope name as a render option. For custom elements, use the element name as a scope name. For example:

    Where this.myTemplate is a method that returns a TemplateResult.

  • You do need to call ShadyCSS.styleElement when the element is connected to the DOM, and in case of any dynamic changes that might affect custom property values.

    For example, consider a set of rules like this:

    If you add an instance of my-element to a document, or move it, a different value of --theme-color may apply. On browsers with native custom property support, these changes will take place automatically, but on browsers that rely on the custom property shim included with shadyCSS, you'll need to call styleElement.