Intro to Foundation | Lesson #20
Change Foundation’s Default Breakpoints
Learn to change the points at which different Foundation layouts operate.
Foundation 4.3 and later come with two breakpoints — the pixel widths at which different grids take effect. We chose its default settings to accommodate most scenarios. But most doesn’t cover everyone. Sometimes a project requires different breakpoints. Here’s how you can tailor Foundation to suit your product design’s requirements.
1. Change the Sass variables
The easiest way to the width of Foundation’s three grids is to edit their settings in SCSS. In _settings.css, look for:
Media Query Ranges
$small-range: (0em, 40em);
$medium-range: (40.063em, 64em);
$large-range: (64.063em, 90em);
$xlarge-range: (90.063em, 120em);
2. Search and replace in CSS
You’ll find breakpoints on many different lines. For example:
@media only screen and (min-width: 40.063em)
@media only screen and (min-width: 64.063em)
@media only screen and (min-width: 90.063em)
@media only screen and (min-width: 120.063em)
Each represents the point at which browsers apply different rules: Small, medium, large and extra large, respectively.
3. Which sizes to choose?
If you take a content-first approach, measure in ems or rems.
As of this writing, Foundation 5 measures columns in rems. If you prefer pixel measurements, the
rem-calc() function to tranlate pixels to rems for you. For example, with a body font size of 16px,
rem-calc(600) would tell Foundation you mean 37.5 rems.
But if you design to fit devices rather than content, here are resources to help you pick which sizes to go with.
- Quickly find the screen specifications of the most popular devices and monitors currently on the market
- Learn more about of what your current setup is capable
- Mobile phone screen resolution market share
- StatCounter mobile screen resolutions
4. Customize the download
One more thing: Did you know Foundation doesn’t have to have 12 columns? You can customize the number of columns, gutter size and container width with the custom download form.
About the instructor
Ben Gremillion is a Design Writer at ZURB. He started his career in newspaper and magazine design, saw a digital future, and learned HTML in short order. He facilitates the ZURB training courses.
Product Design Lessons, Direct to Your Inbox
We're just getting started, so sign up and we'll keep you in the know with our product design lessons. No spam here.