Override Bootstrap's core LESS without directly modifying Bootstrap.


Plugin to aid in overriding bootstrap less files without altering core files.

This plugin requires Grunt ^0.4.4

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-customize-bootstrap --save-dev

One the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


Let's face it, while we all love Bootstrap, there's really no obvious way to override just the parts you want. Most likely, downloaded Bootstrap with Bower, but you can't modify the source LESS files because if bootstrap updates, your changes will be lost. You can't copy the LESS files into your project because if you do, what was the point in using Bower in the first place? You could override what you need to by just rewriting the chunks of LESS that you need to change, but order is important; can you be certain that your new definition won't come too late?

Instead, use this Grunt task. Any time you need to make a change to a Bootstrap core style, copy the file where it's defined to the folder specified by options.src and make your changes there. After running grunt customize-bootstrap, you'll have a new bootstrap.less file that includes all of your changes.

Note: this task simply generates a new bootstrap.less. You'll need to use another plugin (e.g. grunt-contrib-less to actually generate your final CSS.

In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named customize-bootstrap to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

Note: customize_bootstrap or customizeBootstrap are also valid task names.

  'customize-bootstrap': {
    yourTarget: {
      options: {
        bootstrapPath: 'node_modules/bootstrap',
        src: 'src/styles/bootstrap/',
        dest: 'src/styles/',

Type: String
Default: bower_components/bootstrap

Location of the bootstrap directory.

Type: String
Default: src/styles/bootstrap/

Location of the overridden Bootstrap files. Must be a directory.

Type: String
Default: src/styles/

Location to place the generated bootstrap.less.

Type: String
Default value: null

Name of LESS file containing local styles to integrate into Bootstrap.

In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using Grunt.

  • 0.2.0 Replaced components option with bootstrapPath option to support bootstrap in npm.
  • 0.1.5 Code cleanup; removed features specific to Bootstrap 2.x.
  • 0.1.2 Added support for a local less file. Rewrote customize task to use grunt file api, synchronous operations.
  • 0.1.1 Initial (working) version. Does everything it claims to do.
  • 0.1.0 Initial version, doesn't work. See 0.1.1