Theming

Design Tokens

Design tokens are the platform-agnostic way to manage design decisions in your application or website. It is a collection of attributes that describe any fundamental/atomic visual style. Each attribute is a key-value pair.

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Design tokens in Panda are largely influenced by the W3C Token Format (opens in a new tab).

A design token consists of the following properties:

  • value: The value of the token. This can be any valid CSS value.
  • description: An optional description of what the token can be used for.

Core Tokens

Tokens are defined in the panda.config file under the theme key

import { defineConfig } from '@pandacss/dev'
 
export default defineConfig({
  theme: {
    // πŸ‘‡πŸ» Define your tokens here
    extend: {
      tokens: {
        colors: {
          primary: { value: '#0FEE0F' },
          secondary: { value: '#EE0F0F' }
        },
        fonts: {
          body: { value: 'system-ui, sans-serif' }
        }
      }
    }
  }
})
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⚠️ Token values need to be nested in an object with a value key. This is to allow for additional properties like description and more in the future.

After defining tokens, you can use them in authoring components and styles.

import { css } from '../styled-system/css'
 
function App() {
  return (
    <p
      className={css({
        color: 'primary',
        fontFamily: 'body'
      })}
    >
      Hello World
    </p>
  )
}

You can also add an optional description to your tokens. This will be used in the autogenerate token documentation.

import { defineConfig } from '@pandacss/dev'
 
export default defineConfig({
  theme: {
    tokens: {
      colors: {
        danger: {
          value: '#EE0F0F',
          description: 'Color for errors'
        }
      }
    }
  }
})

Semantic Tokens

Semantic tokens are tokens that are designed to be used in a specific context. In most cases, the value of a semantic token references to an existing token.

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To reference a value in a semantic token, use the {} syntax.

For example, assuming we've defined the following tokens:

  • red and green are raw tokens that define the color red and green.
  • danger and success are semantic tokens that reference the red and green tokens.
import { defineConfig } from '@pandacss/dev'
 
export default defineConfig({
  theme: {
    tokens: {
      colors: {
        red: { value: '#EE0F0F' },
        green: { value: '#0FEE0F' }
      }
    },
    semanticTokens: {
      colors: {
        danger: { value: '{colors.red}' },
        success: { value: '{colors.green}' }
      }
    }
  }
})
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⚠️ Semantic Token values need to be nested in an object with a value key. This is to allow for additional properties like description and more in the future.

Semantic tokens can also be changed based on the conditions like light and dark modes.

For example, if you want a color to change automatically based on light or dark mode.

import { defineConfig } from '@pandacss/dev'
 
export default defineConfig({
  // ...
  theme: {
    semanticTokens: {
      colors: {
        danger: {
          value: { base: '{colors.red}', _dark: '{colors.darkred}' }
        },
        success: {
          value: { base: '{colors.green}', _dark: '{colors.darkgreen}' }
        }
      }
    }
  }
})
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NOTE 🚨: The conditions used in semantic tokens must be an at-rule or parent selector condition.

Token Nesting

Tokens can be nested to create a hierarchy of tokens. This is useful when you want to group tokens together.

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Tip: You can use the DEFAULT key to define the default value of a nested token.

import { defineConfig } from '@pandacss/dev'
 
export default defineConfig({
  // ...
  theme: {
    semanticTokens: {
      colors: {
        bg: {
          DEFAULT: { value: '{colors.gray.100}' },
          muted: { value: '{colors.gray.100}' }
        }
      }
    }
  }
})

This allows the use of the bg token in the following ways:

import { css } from '../styled-system/css'
 
function App() {
  return (
    <div
      className={css({
        // πŸ‘‡πŸ» This will use the `DEFAULT` value
        bg: 'bg',
        // πŸ‘‡πŸ» This will use the `muted` value
        color: 'bg.muted'
      })}
    >
      Hello World
    </div>
  )
}

Token Types

Panda supports the following token types:

Colors

Colors have meaning and support the purpose of the content, communicating things like hierarchy of information, and states. It is mostly defined as a string value or reference to other tokens.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    colors: {
      red: { 100: { value: '#fff1f0' } }
    }
  }
}

Gradients

Gradient tokens represent a smooth transition between two or more colors. Its value can be defined as a string or a composite value.

type Gradient =
  | string
  | {
      type: 'linear' | 'radial'
      placement: string | number
      stops:
        | Array<{
            color: string
            position: number
          }>
        | Array<string>
    }
const theme = {
  tokens: {
    gradients: {
      // string value
      simple: { value: 'linear-gradient(to right, red, blue)' },
      // composite value
      primary: {
        value: {
          type: 'linear',
          placement: 'to right',
          stops: ['red', 'blue']
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Sizes

Size tokens represent the width and height of an element. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    sizes: {
      sm: { value: '12px' }
    }
  }
}
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Size tokens are typically used in width, height, min-width, max-width, min-height, max-height properties.

Spacings

Spacing tokens represent the margin and padding of an element. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    spacing: {
      sm: { value: '12px' }
    }
  }
}
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Spacing tokens are typically used in margin, padding, gap, and {top|right|bottom|left} properties.

Fonts

Font tokens represent the font family of a text element. Its value is defined as a string or an array of strings.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    fonts: {
      body: { value: 'Inter, sans-serif' },
      heading: { value: ['Roboto Mono', 'sans-serif'] }
    }
  }
}
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Font tokens are typically used in font-family property.

Font Sizes

Font size tokens represent the size of a text element. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    fontSizes: {
      sm: { value: '12px' }
    }
  }
}
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Font size tokens are typically used in font-size property.

Font Weights

Font weight tokens represent the weight of a text element. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    fontWeights: {
      bold: { value: '700' }
    }
  }
}
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Font weight tokens are typically used in font-weight property.

Letter Spacings

Letter spacing tokens represent the spacing between letters in a text element. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    letterSpacings: {
      wide: { value: '0.1em' }
    }
  }
}
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Letter spacing tokens are typically used in letter-spacing property.

Line Heights

Line height tokens represent the height of a line of text. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    lineHeights: {
      normal: { value: '1.5' }
    }
  }
}
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Line height tokens are typically used in line-height property.

Radii

Radii tokens represent the radius of a border. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    radii: {
      sm: { value: '4px' }
    }
  }
}
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Radii tokens are typically used in border-radius property.

Borders

A border is a line surrounding a UI element. You can define them as string values or as a composite value

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    borders: {
      // string value
      subtle: { value: '1px solid red' },
      // string value with reference to color token
      danger: { value: '1px solid {colors.red.400}' },
      // composite value
      accent: { value: { width: '1px', color: 'red', style: 'solid' } }
    }
  }
}
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Border tokens are typically used in border, border-top, border-right, border-bottom, border-left, outline properties.

Border Widths

Border width tokens represent the width of a border. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    borderWidths: {
      thin: { value: '1px' },
      thick: { value: '2px' },
      medium: { value: '1.5px' }
    }
  }
}

Shadows

Shadow tokens represent the shadow of an element. Its value is defined as single or multiple values containing a string or a composite value.

type CompositeShadow = {
  offsetX: number
  offsetY: number
  blur: number
  spread: number
  color: string
  inset?: boolean
}
 
type Shadow = string | CompositeShadow | string[] | CompositeShadow[]
const theme = {
  tokens: {
    shadows: {
      // string value
      subtle: { value: '0 1px 2px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05)' },
      // composite value
      accent: {
        value: {
          offsetX: 0,
          offsetY: 4,
          blur: 4,
          spread: 0,
          color: 'rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1)'
        }
      },
      // multiple string values
      realistic: {
        value: [
          '0 1px 2px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05)',
          '0 1px 4px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1)'
        ]
      }
    }
  }
}
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Shadow tokens are typically used in box-shadow property.

Easings

Easing tokens represent the easing function of an animation or transition. Its value is defined as a string or an array of values representing the cubic bezier.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    easings: {
      // string value
      easeIn: { value: 'cubic-bezier(0.4, 0, 0.2, 1)' },
      // array value
      easeOut: { value: [0.4, 0, 0.2, 1] }
    }
  }
}
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Ease tokens are typically used in transition-timing-function property.

Opacity

Opacity tokens help you set the opacity of an element.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    opacity: {
      50: { value: 0.5 }
    }
  }
}
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Opacity tokens are typically used in opacity property.

Z-Index

This token type represents the depth of an element's position on the z-axis.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    zIndex: {
      modal: { value: 1000 }
    }
  }
}
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Z-index tokens are typically used in z-index property.

Assets

Asset tokens represent a url or svg string. Its value is defined as a string or a composite value.

type CompositeAsset = { type: 'url' | 'svg'; value: string }
type Asset = string | CompositeAsset
const theme = {
  tokens: {
    assets: {
      logo: {
        value: { type: 'url', value: '/static/logo.png' }
      },
      checkmark: {
        value: { type: 'svg', value: '<svg>...</svg>' }
      }
    }
  }
}
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Asset tokens are typically used in background-image property.

Durations

Duration tokens represent the length of time in milliseconds an animation or animation cycle takes to complete. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    durations: {
      fast: { value: '100ms' }
    }
  }
}
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Duration tokens are typically used in transition-duration and animation-duration properties.

Animations

Animation tokens represent a keyframe animation. Its value is defined as a string value.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    animations: {
      spin: {
        value: 'spin 1s linear infinite'
      }
    }
  }
}
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Animation tokens are typically used in animation property.

Aspect Ratios

Aspect ratio tokens represent the aspect ratio of an element. Its value is defined as a string.

const theme = {
  tokens: {
    aspectRatios: {
      '1:1': { value: '1 / 1' },
      '16:9': { value: '16 / 9' }
    }
  }
}

Token Helpers

To help defining tokens in a type-safe way, you can use the tokens Config Functions.

CSS variables

The generated CSS variables will be scoped using the cssVarRoot selector defined in the config.

import { defineConfig } from '@pandacss/dev'
 
export default defineConfig({
  cssVarRoot: ':where(:root, :host)'
  // ...
})

This will generate a CSS file similar to the following:

:where(:root, :host) {
  --colors-primary: #0fee0f;
  --colors-secondary: #ee0f0f;
  /* ... */
}

You can also define type-safe CSS variables using globalVars.