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Defining variables


The unstable_moduleResolution option needs to be enabled in the StyleX Babel configuration to enable theming APIs.

In addition to authoring styles for your components that generate atomic styles, StyleX also has APIs for defining CSS Custom Properties (CSS variables) in a reliable, predictable and type-safe way.

Design Inspiration

The design of the theming APIs in StyleX are directly inspired by React's Context APIs. Variables are defined with default values similar to how React Contexts are created, and themes can be created to “provide” different values for these variables for UI sub-trees.

Defining Variables

A group of variables are defined using the stylex.defineVars function:

import * as stylex from '@stylexjs/stylex';

export const tokens = stylex.defineVars({
primaryText: 'black',
secondaryText: '#333',
accent: 'blue',
background: 'white',
lineColor: 'gray',
borderRadius: '4px',
fontFamily: 'system-ui, sans-serif',
fontSize: '16px',

This function, too, is processed at compile-time and CSS variable names are automatically generated.

This defines the variables at :root of the HTML document. They can be imported as constants and used within stylex.create calls.

Using Media Queries

Variables values can vary based on a media queries:

import * as stylex from '@stylexjs/stylex';

// A constant can be used to avoid repeating the media query
const DARK = '@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark)';

export const colors = stylex.defineVars({
primaryText: {default: 'black', [DARK]: 'white'},
secondaryText: {default: '#333', [DARK]: '#ccc'},
accent: {default: 'blue', [DARK]: 'lightblue'},
background: {default: 'white', [DARK]: 'black'},
lineColor: {default: 'gray', [DARK]: 'lightgray'},

Similarly, @supports can be used as well.

Rules when defining variables

Variables are the only type of non-local value that can be used within a stylex.create call. This is made possible by enforcing a few rules:

1. Variables must be defined in .stylex.js files

Variables must be in a file with one of the following extensions:

  1. .stylex.js
  2. .stylex.mjs
  3. .stylex.cjs
  4. .stylex.ts
  5. .stylex.tsx
  6. .stylex.jsx

2. Variables must be named exports

Every stylex.defineVars call must be a named export.

// ✅ - Named export
export const colors = stylex.defineVars({
/* ... */

const sizeVars = { ... };
// ✅ - Another Named export
export const sizes = stylex.defineVars(sizeVars);
Not Allowed:
// ❌ - Only named exports are allowed
export default stylex.defineVars({
/* ... */

// ❌ - The variable must be exported directly
const x = stylex.defineVars({
/* ... */
export const colors = x;

// ❌ - The variables cannot be nested within another object
export const colors = {
foregrounds: stylex.defineVars({
/* ... */
backgrounds: stylex.defineVars({
/* ... */

3. No other exports are allowed in the file

For now, .stylex.js files are exclusively for defining CSS variables.