FAQ

What is Calcite Design System?

Calcite Design System is a collection of reusable components, coupled with implementation guidance and advice, that together can be used to build engaging and consistent products and applications. Its purpose is to create and maintain common standards of aesthetics, interface design, accessibility, usability, and patterns, while strengthening a consistent and familiar experience across and between mapping applications.

How can I use Calcite Design System?

You can start building applications at the get started page. Additionally, there is a Sketch UI kit and Figma UI kit for designers, along with the best practices for working with developers to ensure consistent design outcomes.

Calcite Design System serves as the collective documentation resource for both design guidance and composable frameworks. This includes tools, guidance, inspiration, UI kits, and other Calcite Design System frameworks.

What are the Calcite Design System repositories?

Calcite Components

Calcite Components Examples

Calcite Colors

Calcite UI Icons

Calcite Point Symbols

Calcite UI Kits

What are Calcite Components?

Calcite Components are a set of reusable web components built using Stencil.js. With Calcite Components, you can quickly build on-brand, lightweight, and accessible web applications.

The framework-agnostic components can be used to develop entire websites and applications. The set is flexible for developers and adheres to consistent, industry-standard design principles. The codebase is well supported, steadily maintained, and always being improved.

What are web components?

Web components are reusable custom elements with their functionality encapsulated away from the rest of your code. They are built on Web Component standards, will work across modern browsers, and can be used with any JavaScript library or framework that works with HTML.

What are slots?

Slots are a common web components concept, and chances are you already use them. For example, take the following HTML:

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<select>
  <option value="js">JavaScript</option>
  <option value="ts">TypeScript</option>
</select>

In web component terminology, the option elements are placed in select's default slot. Additionally, the "JavaScript" and "TypeScript" text is placed in option's respective default slots. Many Calcite Components also utilize default slots. For example, here is a calcite-dropdown component:

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<calcite-dropdown>
  <calcite-button slot="dropdown-trigger">Open Dropdown</calcite-button>
  <calcite-dropdown-item active>Date modified</calcite-dropdown-item>
  <calcite-dropdown-item>Title</calcite-dropdown-item>
</calcite-dropdown>

The calcite-dropdown-items are placed in calcite-dropdown's default slot. In many cases a default slot is all that is needed. However, as components become more complicated, the need arises to position and style child components differently. This is where named slots come into play. In the example above, calcite-button is placed into the dropdown's dropdown-trigger slot. This informs the dropdown that the calcite-button component should be handled differently than the components in the default slot. If a Calcite Component has slots, they will be listed in the documentation. For example, here are the slots for calcite-card. Read the MDN documentation about slots for a more detailed explanation.

How do I change themes?

Calcite Components provide light and dark themes which can be changed using CSS classes: calcite-theme-light and calcite-theme-dark. There is also a calcite-theme-auto class which defers to the browser's CSS 'prefers-color-scheme' media query to decide whether the light or dark theme will be used.

Setting the theme class on an element changes all of their child nodes as well. Therefore, to switch the whole app from light to dark, you can do the following:

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<div class="calcite-theme-dark">
  <!-- your app -->
</div>

How do I change the style of a component?

Calcite Components provide CSS variables to override styles. The CSS cannot be altered for a component without the variables due to web component's encapsulation. There are CSS variables for color and typography. Additionally, some Calcite Components have their own CSS variables to change component-specific styles. These styles can be found in a component's documentation. For example, here are the CSS variables provided for calcite-loader.

If you want to swap the foreground and text colors, you can use the variables:

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calcite-notice {
  --calcite-ui-foreground-1: #151515;
  --calcite-ui-text-1: #ffffff;
}

The CSS variable MDN documentation provides a detailed explanation of the functionality.

Is Internationalization supported?

All of our components that provide strings in the user interface allow those strings to be set via a property. This allows you to define the string for the locale you would like. Your application can handle internationalization as it sees fit.

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