15 Latest CSS Tools for Web Designers and Developers

Written by Kevin Liew on 11 Dec 2013
23,089 Views • Web Design

CSS tools are considered as an important asset for web developers and designers as they help them achieve desired results by simplifying their jobs they’ve to do. These tools not only save their large amount of time, but also let them create elegant, functional and optimized websites using several shortcuts.

Whether you’re a novice or expert developer, CSS tools help you learn and understand the CSS functionality and achieve a good command over it. Fortunately, there are a number of CSS tools available around the web, which enable developers writing better and valid CSS code. In this article, we’ve collected 15 new CSS tools that every developer should know about. Hope you’ll find the list below handy.

Let's go through them one by one.

Simpletip is a simple CSS Tooltip created with Sass. It is quite easy to load and customize, as it comes in a light weighted CSS file. With Simpletip, you can create different tooltip messages. It is compatible with all types of browsers and can be placed in different directions of the element including left, right, bottom and top. You can also have a Tooltip in different colors such as info, success, danger and warning.

Additionally, it comes with awesome features like soft edge, movable effect, multiline tooltip, fade effect and half arrow, which make the look of your Tooltip elegant. These items can be used either together or separately.


AbsurdJS is a preprocessor, which is written in JavaScript and supports both HTML and CSS. With the help of AbsurdJS, you can transform JavaScript, JSON, YAML to HTML and JavaScript, JSON, YAML, CSS to CSS. It is available for Nodejs and the browser, and has an additional benefit of providing an already popular syntax i.e. JavaScript.

Just like other preprocessors, it has features like file import, variables, media queries bubbling, mixins, nested selectors and much more. It can be used as pure JavaScript to make use of variables and to generate the CSS file or any other dynamic features. Furthermore, it has support for GruntJS.


XCSS, like Browserify, is a bundler for writing modular CSS components. It comes with great features that include class name compression, stylesheet AST transformations, elimination of unused class rules, fine-grained source maps generation and support for running rework transforms. The key feature of XCSS is that it uses Node module resolution algorithm to resolve dependencies of each concrete CSS module. In other words, we can say that it supports importing CSS code from the packages that is installed via npm.


Bulletproof Email Buttons Generator
Bulletproof Email Buttons Generator, developed by Campaign Monitor, lets you design beautiful buttons using progressively enhanced CSS and VML. You can easily customize your button by changing background image, border color and radius, button width and height, background color, button text and font color. Apart from this, Campaign Monitor also provides a tool through which you can create Bulletproof Background Images in emails.


CSS & JavaScript Toolbox
CSS & JavaScript Toolbox, generally abbreviated as CJT, is a powerful code management plugin built for WordPress. It simplifies the process of adding scripts from all over the web to your site. It gives you the tools through which you can easily modify or extend the functionality and look of your WordPress site.

When we talk about code and development tools, web designers and developers often use desktop publishing tools such as Eclipse, Zend Studio, and Coda etc. On the other hand, CJT is an online IDE for WordPress. This great plugin not only allows you to create the code, but also lets you manage what the code interacts with. For instance, you can assign your code to interact with posts, pages, custom posts, homepage categories, dashboard and much more.


Odometer is a Javascript and CSS library that allows you create smoothly transitioning numbers, which are inspired by airport info boards, car mileage displays and slot machines. This standalone and lightweight library utilizes CSS transformations for creating effects. With a single-line function, it simply transforms the value of a given element to another pre-defined value.


Ink, developed by Zurb,is an email framework that lets you create beautiful, dynamic and responsive HTML emails, which works well on any device and email client including Outlook. It comes with a 12-column grid and simple UI components that you can use for rapid prototyping. It contains the styles for a table-based grid, retina images, panels, buttons and more. Once your email is ready, you can get all styles inline using the Inky's Inliner.


Animo.js is a great tool that lets you manage CSS animations. It comes with powerful features like make magic, set callbacks on animation completion, create cross-browser blurring and stack animations. It has an amazing animate.css library, which contains around 60 stunning animations from attention seekers to entrances and exits. You can install it using bower's package manager or via the GitHub. The only dependency of Animo.js is jQuery 2 or later.


CSS3 Animation Cheat Sheet
CSS3 Animation Cheat Sheet is a collection of preset, plug-and-play animations that you can use in your web projects. To get started, you are required to add the stylesheet to your site and apply the pre-defined CSS classes to animate an element. It uses CSS3 @keyframes and is compatible with all modern browsers. For older browsers, the animated element will also be in place and visible to the users, even if the animation doesn't trigger.


Create CSS3
Create CSS3 is an easy CSS3 generator that lists the properties, lets you customize their values and displays the preview in real time. It generates CSS3 for all the major browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer. You can add multiple rules to the same element and edit the generated CSS code as well.


CSSO (CSS Optimizer) is a CSS minimizer, which can also perform structural optimization of CSS files to compress them into smaller file size. It does everything from merging blocks with identical selectors or properties to removing comments and whitespace, and much more. It makes your site running faster by removing everything unnecessary from CSS.


UIBox is a searchable UI component library of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Apart from searching, you can also look up different types of UI components by exploring given tags. With the help of UIBox, you can know what browsers a component supports, how it behaves and what dependencies it has from a single page. This useful library also suggests similar components, so you can find out which UI component is better by comparing them.


nth-child is a powerful CSS selector, which selects elements using a formula. It is very helpful, when styling your layouts. Using nth-child, you can specifically choose to change a particular element in the parent element. It can be used in different types of ranges (like a negative child or positive child etc.) to select elements within certain ranges.

If you are not familiar with the usage of this selector, a website named nthMaster can help you a lot. This website presents different usage of nthChild visually and with a basic description.


Layers CSS
Layers CSS is an unobtrusive, lightweight and style-agnostic CSS framework that handles the main structure without emphasizing any design. It is aimed for practical use and packed with awesome features like normalizations and sensible defaults, fluid grid + layout tools, no px definitions and dependencies and much more. Additionally, it has support for responsive layouts with fluid grids and can adjust font size on small screens.


Salvattore is a jQuery plugin with CSS-driven configuration that lets you create masonry layouts. It helps you organize the HTML elements according to the number of columns you’ve specified in CSS. Every item in your gird is placed within these columns by turn, like jQuery Masonry. To begin, you’re required to simply add a data-columns attribute to the grid element.

As Salvattore is a standalone script, it’ll run automatically once referenced in your HTML page. It is extremely lightweight (about 2.5KB minified and gzipped) and supported by all modern browsers including IE9+. You can even make your design responsive by using media queries and create a dynamic layout with live content by combining this API with your XHR functions.


Join the discussion

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orange county web designer 8 years ago
Excellent list of CSS tools. I myself a big fan of clean CSS. Thanks for sharing.
Jes 8 years ago
Great list! I think you should also add http://www.generatecss.com because it is a css generator website that can create things like image galleries, menus and even tooltip arrows!
Pol 8 years ago
One more CSS tool
Ham 7 years ago
Its a nice css tool list.. very useful for me.. But I want to us font-face css type in my site but I dont it.. How to use this font-face in css style?

this is my site http://pptbackgrounds.net/index.php
Creative Crunk 7 years ago
wonderful liost .... thanks