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CSS/SASS Styling for code blocks

writing  ✺  web design

For the past few years, I have used the Tech 49 Sublime Text theme as my daily driver. It also comes with a matching shell theme. This way I can have a high level of similarity between my terminal window and my text editor as I transition between them. This gave me some good inspiration for how to style the code and the pre > code elements on my personal site.

Tech 49 Sublime Text theme

Tech 49 Terminal theme

I have long ben a fan of Anonymous Pro so that was the first addition. Since I wanted to replicate the terminal window I had to make heavy use of the before and after elements of both the pre and code elements. This approach is a little hacky but it is very rare to see the use of a pre element outside of wrapping a code element. Here is what I ended up with! On this project I'm using Bourbon for some of the functions and Gulp Sass to do the compiling.

@import url(;

// Code & Code Blocks

$base-font-color: #2b2b2b;
$code-font-color: #e0f9f8;
$base-border-radius: 2px;

// Code
$code-block-background-color: mix($base-font-color, black);
  rgba(white, 0) 0,
  rgba(white, 0) 15px, rgba(white, 0.1) 15px, rgba(white, 0) 16px,
  rgba(white, 0) 32px, rgba(white, 0.1) 32px, rgba(white, 0) 33px,
  rgba(white, 0) 50px, rgba(white, 0.075) 50px, rgba(white, 0) 51px,
  rgba(white, 0) 67px, rgba(white, 0.05) 67px, rgba(white, 0) 68px;
$code-block-padding: 0.875rem;
$code-block-top-bar-height: 1.4rem;
$code-border-radius: 5px;

code, kbd, samp {
  font-family: "Anonymous Pro", monospace, serif;
  font-size: 1em;

code {
  background-color: rgba($base-font-color, 0.07);
  border-radius: $base-border-radius;
  margin-right: 2px;
  padding: 0.2em 0.3em;

pre {
    ($base-border-radius * 3)
    ($base-border-radius * 3)
    0 1.25rem 1rem -1.5rem rgba($base-font-color, 1),
    0 0.75rem 1.75rem -0.25rem rgba($base-font-color, 0.6),
    0 1.25rem 2.5rem rgba($base-font-color, 0.3);
  margin-bottom: 1.5em;
  overflow: hidden;
  padding-top: 1.25rem;
  position: relative;
  white-space: pre;

  &::before {
    @include position(absolute, 0 0 null 0);
    background-color: rgba($base-font-color, 0.4);
    content: "";
    height: 1.25rem;

  &::after {
    @include position(absolute, (1.25rem * (1.5 /5)) null null 0.5rem);
    @include size(1.25rem * (2 / 5));
    background-color: rgba($base-font-color, 0.35);
    border-radius: 0.5rem;
      0.875rem 0 0 rgba($base-font-color, 0.35),
      1.75rem 0 0 rgba($base-font-color, 0.35);
    content: "";

pre > code {
  background-attachment: local;
  background-color: $code-block-background-color;
  background-image: linear-gradient( to right, $code-block-background-gradient);
  background-position: 0 ($code-block-top-bar-height * 2);
  border-radius: 0 0 $base-border-radius $base-border-radius;
  box-shadow: 0 0 3rem $base-font-color inset;
  color: $code-font-color;
  display: block;
  margin-right: 0;
  overflow-y: scroll;
  padding: 1rem $code-block-padding;
  white-space: pre;

  &::after {
    @include position(absolute, $code-block-top-bar-height 0 0 null);
        to right,
        rgba($code-block-background-color, 0),
        rgba($code-block-background-color, 1)
    content: "";
    pointer-events: none;
    width: 3rem;
    z-index: 10;


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