10 Apps to Optimize and Format CSS

Why would you ever need to optimize (or optimise, which ever spelling you prefer) or reFormat your CSS? Optimizing your CSS will not only allow your web page to load quicker, it also increases the durability and resilience of your site when there is a spike in visitors (i.e. the Digg effect) and, for me, the most important part is that it gives you more readable code.

Some of these tools are fairly basic, offering optimization and formatting without many options or user control, which are fine for coders with limited knowledge. For the CSS pros, there are some advanced tools and apps that will allow you to choose the level of compression and also offer many options regarding your optimized CSS. You can choose to eliminate unused selectors and properties, unwanted whitespace, tabs, comments and you can even change the longhand declaration to shorthand notations.

No one who codes there CSS has complete confidence that it is perfectly formatted, this is were these tools come in and help.
Please note, these tools are not CSS validation or error checkers, if you are looking for that try the The W3C CSS Validation Service.

flumpCakes Online CSS Optimiser/Optimizer

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
This feature rich tool takes your CSS file and parses and outputs a leaner version, removing any redundancies and attributes which are not needed. Here is a full list of what it can do:

  • Removes comments
  • Removes white space (such as excess spaces)
  • Converts RGB values to Hex (they’re smaller)
  • Converts Hex values in the format #RRBBGG to #RGB.
  • Changes zero values with a size specified to 0. (0px would change to 0)
  • Changes values such as border: 1px 2px 1px 2px; to border: 1px 2px;
  • Converts multiple background, font, margin, padding, list attributes into a single attribute
  • Converts multiple border values into single attributes
  • Option to convert absolute values (PX & PT) into relative values (EM)
  • Groups style attributes and values which appear mutliple times into a single style

This tool reads CSS just like a browser would. So using hacks which are browser specific will give random results, make sure any hacks are removed before use.

Styleneat – CSS Organizer

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
Styleneat organizes and standardizes your CSS – selectors, sub-selectors and properties – in a structure that makes it easier to define page areas making it easier to see how they relate to each other.
With this tool you have the option of sorting the properties alphabetically, sorting the selectors alphabetically and you have the choice of multi or single line formatting.

Clean CSS – Optmize and Format your CSS

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
CleanCSS is a CSS optimizer and formatter with a reasonable amount of options, that takes your CSS code and makes it cleaner and more concise.

CSS Compressor – Online Code Compressor

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
CSS Compressor, obviously compresses the CSS to reduce the code size and make your web pages load faster. You can select from four levels of compression, depending on how legible you want the compressed CSS to be versus degree of compression.

Code Beautifier – CSS Formatter and Optimiser

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
This tool is based on the popular open-source CSS parser and optimizer, CSS Tidy. Code Beautifier offers the most options compared to all of the tools in this article.
You can sort and merge selectors and properties, compress colors and font-weights, choose between lower and uppercase formatting and even has the option to discard invalid properties.

CSS SuperScrub

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
CSS SuperScrub can significantly reduce the size and complexity of your CSS by stripping out unneeded content, stripping redundant calls, and intelligently grouping the remaining element names.
There are limited options with this tool, which is no bad thing, it works exactly as intended: It scrubs your CSS.

Online CSS Optimiser

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
Online CSS Optimizer/Optimiser is a web tool for reducing the file size of cascading style sheets. In order to save more space optimized files would be messy even so you may output it as a file. Non-valid or hacked (for certain browsers) CSS files may result in error.

CSS Compressor – CSS Drive

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
Use this utility to compress your CSS and increase the loading speed of a web page and save a little on bandwidth as well. You can choose from three levels of compression, depending on how legible you want the compressed CSS to be versus degree of compression. The "Normal" mode should work well in most cases, creating a good balance between the two.
It also has the option of an Advanced Mode that gives you more compression options.

CSS Analyser

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
The CSS Analyser is a small utilty that allows you to check the validity of your CSS against the W3C's validation service, along with a color contrast test, and a test to ensure that relevant sizes are specified in relative units of measurement.
If the CSS is specified by a URL, it will be loaded into the text area to offer an option to make changes for testing without having to re-upload.

CSS Redundancy Checker

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
CSS Redundancy Checker is a simple tool with one simple, yet useful function. It is a tool that finds CSS selectors that aren't used by any of your HTML files and any that are redundant it removes.

CSS Code Formatter and Optimizer – CSS Portal

CSS Formatting and Optimizers
Yet another code formatter and optimizer, basic, but one that is worth mentioning and trying.

Author: (576 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.