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CSS::Tiny - Read/Write .css files with as little code as possible


    # In your .css file
    H1 { color: blue }
    H2 { color: red; font-family: Arial }
    .this, .that { color: yellow }
    # In your program
    use CSS::Tiny;
    # Create a CSS stylesheet
    my $CSS = CSS::Tiny->new();
    # Open a CSS stylesheet
    $CSS = CSS::Tiny->read( 'style.css' );
    # Reading properties
    my $header_color = $CSS->{H1}->{color};
    my $header2_hashref = $CSS->{H2};
    my $this_color = $CSS->{'.this'}->{color};
    my $that_color = $CSS->{'.that'}->{color};
    # Changing styles and properties
    $CSS->{'.newstyle'} = { color => '#FFFFFF' }; # Add a style
    $CSS->{H1}->{color} = 'black';                # Change a property
    delete $CSS->{H2};                            # Delete a style
    # Save a CSS stylesheet
    $CSS->write( 'style.css' );
    # Get the CSS as a <style>...</style> tag


CSS::Tiny is a perl class to read and write .css stylesheets with as little code as possible, reducing load time and memory overhead. requires about 2.6 meg or ram to load, which is a large amount of overhead if you only want to do trivial things. Memory usage is normally scoffed at in Perl, but in my opinion should be at least kept in mind.

This module is primarily for reading and writing simple files, and anything we write shouldn't need to have documentation/comments. If you need something with more power, move up to With the increasing complexity of CSS, this is becoming more common, but many situations can still live with simple CSS files.

CSS Feature Support

CSS::Tiny supports grouped styles of the form this, that { color: blue } correctly when reading, ungrouping them into the hash structure. However, it will not restore the grouping should you write the file back out. In this case, an entry in the original file of the form

    H1, H2 { color: blue }

would become

    H1 { color: blue }
    H2 { color: blue }

CSS::Tiny handles nested styles of the form P EM { color: red } in reads and writes correctly, making the property available in the form

    $CSS->{'P EM'}->{color}

CSS::Tiny ignores comments of the form /* comment */ on read correctly, however these comments will not be written back out to the file.


Files are written in a relatively human-orientated form, as follows:

    H1 {
        color: blue;
    .this {
        color: red;
        font-size: 10px;
    P EM {
        color: yellow;

When reading and writing, all property descriptors, for example color and font-size in the example above, are converted to lower case. As an example, take the following CSS.

    P {
        Font-Family: Verdana;

To get the value 'Verdana' from the object $CSS, you should reference the key $CSS->{P}->{font-family}.



The constructor new creates and returns an empty CSS::Tiny object.

read $filename

The read constructor reads a CSS stylesheet, and returns a new CSS::Tiny object containing the properties in the file.

Returns the object on success, or undef on error.

read_string $string

The read_string constructor reads a CSS stylesheet from a string.

Returns the object on success, or undef on error.


The clone method creates an identical copy of an existing CSS::Tiny object.


Generates the stylesheet for the object and returns it as a string.


The write $filename generates the stylesheet for the properties, and writes it to disk. Returns true on success. Returns undef on error.


The html method generates the CSS, but wrapped in a style HTML tag, so that it can be dropped directly onto a HTML page.


The html method generates the CSS, but wrapped in a style XHTML tag, so that it can be dropped directly onto an XHTML page.


When an error occurs, you can retrieve the error message either from the $CSS::Tiny::errstr variable, or using the errstr method.


CSS Rule Order

While the order of rules in CSS is important, this is one of the features that is sacrificed to keep things small and dependency-free. If you need to preserve order yourself, we recommend that you upgrade to the more powerful CSS module.

If this is not possible in your case, alternatively it can be done with the help of another module such as Tie::IxHash:

    my $css = CSS::Tiny->new;
    tie %$css, 'Tie::IxHash';

Note: You will also need to remember to add the additional dependency to your code or module in this case.


Bugs should be reported via the CPAN bug tracker at

For other issues, or commercial enhancement or support, contact the author.


Adam Kennedy <>


CSS,, Config::Tiny,


Copyright 2002 - 2010 Adam Kennedy.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.