VSCode Format on save breaks app.css


I am using VSCode to do my Phoenix app, however, when modifying the app.css I realized the formatting was literally breaking my code. Specifically, “Format on Save”:


As you can see, hover:ring-gray becomes hover: ring-gray, which is invalid and breaks the file.


Other than disabling VSCode’s format on save, does someone know how else I can fix this?

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While I still don’t know how to fix this issue in VSCode itself, I did find a workaround for this problem.
My solution was installing a new extension, namely:

Then you need to edit your VSCode settings and add this:

    "files.associations": {
        "*.css": "tailwindcss"
    "editor.quickSuggestions": {
        "strings": true

With these changes, the extension will now be responsible for formatting your css files, and because it understands that hover:ring-gray is different than hover: ring-gray it won’t change it and the app.css file won’t break.

I am not sure if this is the only solution, but it is the only solution I found.


I know more people that disable format on save than don’t. This is tagged elixirls so I assume you’re using it? Is this a newer Phoenix app like 1.7? Earlier versions required more manual processes to adjust formatting and get tailwind playing nicely.

I also can’t tell from the video but I assume it’s valid css inside brackets? I have more issues with Emmet wanting to inject closing html tags in random spots or intellisense showing me tailwind classes in markdown files or places I don’t care to have it. There’s probably some settings I can tweak but I also have a lot of plugins because I’m active in more than one ecosystem and each one has a suite of similar functionality.

It’s the only correct one imo. The file can have a .css extension, but the syntax for tailwinds @apply isn’t valid css. So it’s reasonable for any css formatter to break. You need something understanding the additional tailwind syntax to ensure formatting works correctly.


Had no idea this was a common trend. In fact, in my bubble, it has always been the opposite. I felt quite embarrassed about the issue. Happy to know I am not the only one.


Yes. Freshly created.

It is valid according to Tailwind (not css vanilla) until the moment I save the file.