Top 5 CSS Grid Generators: Features, Pros, and Cons
Looking for the best CSS grid generators to streamline your web design process? Check out our comprehensive guide on the top 5 options, with features, pros, and cons.
Written by RamotionApr 13, 202317 min read
Last updated: Aug 22, 2023
Introduction to CSS Grids
Since the inception of CSS, there has already been a great need for a perfect website layout solution which was partially and superficially fulfilled by the HTML tables in the former times. While HTML tables instigate the innovation for the early web layout setup, it's only intended for displaying mostly tabular-based information. Furthermore, it has too many limitations, including the lack of semantics, accessibility issues, adaptability, and inflexibility, which made it challenging to create complex layouts or incorporate dynamic content.
For a brief period, some interesting features of web layout were introduced, including the notable floating of elements that conventionally hacked the positioning and wrapping of different types of elements within the boundaries of web pages. However, floated layouts behave inconsistently across different browsers and devices. It also offers limited control over the positioning of elements, making it too inadequate to serve the role.
The advent of responsive web design (RWD) has revolutionalized a new layer of layout methods for CSS web designers and developers who want to create flexible and dynamic websites and apps. This made the content structuring easier and adaptable for different viewports and devices through the use of grids.
Grids being a web layout system, heavily emphasize using a grid row and grid column (in some cases, a module) to fill in the gap of limitations of the previous layout concepts and semantics. A grid lets you place design elements independently across the web design layout and customize the column structure / row structure, using intersecting lines or bars as guides. Grids are typically two-dimensional and are used to divide, organize and order information within the layout within two of the intersection lines.
Defining CSS Grid Generators
Grids in website development can be created mainly using CSS Grids, a built-in layout system in the CSS module that allows web designers and developers to create grid-based layouts with high control and flexibility. Once the grid layout is established within a grid container or section, the children inside it can be placed into flexible or fixed-layout grid slots.
With CSS grids, it's easy to define the size and position of rows and columns within the grid and the placement of grid items within those rows and columns. This makes CSS grid layout a potent tool for creating highly flexible responsive grids that adjust to different screen sizes and devices.
In addition to the CSS grid module, web designers can use layout frameworks and tools to create grids, such as Bootstrap, Flexbox, Foundation, Susy, and Materialize. These allow developers to create responsive grid-based layouts using a pre-defined CSS class and create consistent and flexible layouts without writing custom CSS code.
CSS Grid has been a valuable addition to the CSS module, and it's definitely worth learning if you're interested in building modern, responsive websites. You can create any grid layout with its accompanying features and properties, from simple grid layout to complex website designs. While coding CSS Grid layouts directly into code editors is the most preferred way by most web creators, writing CSS grid code manually can be time-consuming and error-prone. This is where CSS Grid Generators come in.
CSS Grid Generators can help you improve the grid layout design and build processes. Many web professionals and companies use CSS grid generators such as Angry Tools (which utilizes the Angry Grid system) to innovate workflow and development processes. CSS Grid Generators' built-in features can help web professionals increase efficiency and reduce errors by automating the creation of sophisticated grid layouts. CSS layout generators allow you to experiment with different design layouts and quickly iterate on the layout designs as needed.
Learning to utilize CSS grid generators can make it much easier to create grid layouts for your web designs, regardless of whether the layout is simple or complex.
What is a CSS Grid Generator?
A CSS Grid generator is a web-based tool that generates grid layouts and CSS codes in a few clicks. With a CSS Grid Layout Generator, web designers and developers can easily create customized, sophisticated, responsive layouts.
CSS grids generally allow web creators to design CSS layouts based on their project's needs. However, manually coding CSS grid layouts can be time-consuming, inefficient, and prone to many possible errors, such as mistypes or misusing CSS selectors and CSS properties. CSS grid generators provide a user-friendly interface that enables web professionals to create custom grids by specifying the parameters of their grid layout, such as the number of containers, rows and columns, grid cell size, and the gap size or gutter width between them. The CSS Grid Generator can then efficiently generate corresponding CSS code snippets that can be copied and used for your coding project.
Using the CSS Grid Layout Generator customization options, you can easily create various grid layout designs, from basic column layouts ranging from two to three column layouts to complex multiple column layouts with an overlapping grid area or a section. This can also make it easy to align items and structure content systematically, as you can spend less time composing the grid manually. CSS Grid Generators also support robust features, including nested grids, grid item alignment and justification, CSS properties customization, and adding background images to individual grid cells.
By automating the process of generating CSS code for grid layouts using a CSS layout generator, web designers and developers can focus on creating professional-grade grid layouts and responsive web designs in a matter of minutes, which can be cost-effective and a time saver for every type of web project.
Importance and Benefits of using CSS Grid Generators
A CSS grid contains elements with various properties such as grid area, grid gap (such as grid column gap and grid row gap), and CSS properties which you can neatly segregate and structure within a CSS grid layout. The CSS grid layout generator allows you to easily modify each CSS grid property.
While it's completely fine to code a CSS grid layout by hand, there are several benefits of using a CSS layout generator than doing it manually, including:
Reduce development time
Using a CSS grid layout generator can save you much time during development. Coding a CSS grid layout manually can be time-consuming as you need to do everything from scratch. Using a grid generator can automate the creation of several grid CSS properties, such as grid container, grid area, grid column, grid column gap, and row gap, regardless of how many rows and columns are in your CSS grid layout.
A CSS grid generator lets you customize the CSS grid and its CSS class based on your web project needs. With CSS grid generator, you can adjust the grid settings of the grid layout from the number of columns and rows to the detailed grid setup, such as grid gap, grid item alignment, grid row gap, grid template areas, grid template columns, grid template rows, and more.
Responsive CSS grid
Responsive web design can be a daunting CSS subject. With CSS grid generator built-in tools for creating media queries, you can quickly create responsive columns and rows within a CSS grid layout that adapts to different screen sizes.
Avoid syntax or human errors
When manually coding CSS code for a CSS grid, it's easy to make syntax errors such as missing a semicolon or using the wrong property value. In addition, creating a grid with a complicated column structure and many grid items can cause miscalculations of grid template (such as grid template areas, grid template columns, and grid template rows) values and other grid properties. CSS grid generator comes with a built-in user interface that allows you to create the grid layout visually and then generates the CSS code for you, reducing the likelihood of syntax errors.
Using a CSS Grid generator can help you maintain CSS grid consistency throughout the web page layout. Using a CSS layout generator, you can generate persistent grid container, columns, rows, grid area, grid gap, and align items systematically, which can help create a cohesive CSS layout design that is easy to navigate.
Grid Generation Tool for Developers. CSS grid generators can be a great tool to add to your list as a developer. When working with web development, having a list of software or tools to help you bootstrap some parts of the process to speed up the development is essential.
How to use CSS Grid Generators
Working with CSS grid generators to create various CSS grid layouts for your project is not complicated and can be quickly done in a few clicks.
Below are some common steps when creating a CSS grid layout using layout generators:
- Set up the grid template column and row values by entering the required values within the rows and column field in the generator's interface. In some grid generators, it allows you to use its drag-and-drop interface to create the rows and columns and even set the grid area.
- Choose the number of divs per cell by defining the divs per cell value using the explicit grid fields in the generator's interface. Most generators let you customize the grid layout by adjusting the size of individual cells and specifying the number of cells per row or column.
- Adjust the CSS properties of the grid layout, such as the grid row gap and grid column gap, along with the other properties, including the gutters, grid gap, and justify items settings within the grid template of the grid layout. Some generators also allow you to specify implicit grid settings, such as grid auto flow.
- Modify the grid template areas, grid template columns, and grid template rows as needed.
- Once all grid layout settings are set up or customized according to your needs, use the generator's preview feature to preview the look of your grid. Some grid generators automatically reflect your preview changes without clicking any button.
- After your grid layout is finalized, you can use the CSS grid layout generator to generate the code snippets to copy and paste into your web project's stylesheet.
Choosing the Right CSS Grid Layout Generator For Your Web Project
There are plenty of CSS grid generators online, and choosing the right one for your web project can be challenging as it can affect the efficiency and effectiveness of your design process. When choosing the right CSS grid generator, it is essential to select an interface that can help you quickly define the grid settings inside the grid layout, such as the gap between each column and row, as well as the flexibility of the grid container in a few minutes.
That being said, there are more specific factors to consider when selecting a CSS grid layout generator, including:
Ease of use
While CSS grid generators are primarily created for web designers and developers, it's essential to consider the tool's ease of use. There is also a wide range of users, including those with limited technical skills and beginners who might utilize the software. Even if you are already a developer, a complicated interface might slow the learning curve and affect your web project's overall development efficiency. With an intuitive interface, you can quickly create and modify grid layouts and the properties of each grid item.
Pre-built Grid Templates
A pre-built CSS Grid template or starter template allows you to choose an existing standard template from two grid template columns or grid template rows to an even more sophisticated layout. A prebuilt CSS Grid template can help you quickly start working on your project without spending too much time on the initial setup. Having different pre-built CSS grid templates as a starting point, web creators can ensure that all of their web pages have a similar look and feel, which can help to create a cohesive user experience.
A great feature to look for in a CSS grid generator is the wide range of customization options it can provide. The ability to set a grid column and row, grid area, align and justify grid items or even set a gap between each grid item and other layout parameters are some things a great grid layout must include in its application package.
A great CSS grid generator must offer resizing units such as pixels (px), fractionals (fr), and percentages (%) when resizing a grid column or grid row, which provides more control over each grid item inside a grid template.
A CSS grid generator must be responsive to accommodate different devices and screen sizes to provide a better user experience. This ensures that the layout generator is accessible to every user regardless of the type of device or even those who use assistive technologies and wish to create and manage grid items from a grid container. This feature also helps the layout tool stay relevant to users as technology evolves.
In addition, this also promotes accessibility and collaboration for developers who may not have access to the same CSS grid generator tool. Having the option to export the CSS code generated from the CSS grid generator to various coding platforms makes it easier for multiple developers to work on the same project.
A great CSS grid generator must offer any form of support through email, social media, or even just a documentation or forum that you can check to help you shorten the learning curve or answer questions you have while using the application.
Comparing the best CSS Grid Generators
After listing all factors to consider on what to look for in a great CSS grid generator, we will closely examine the top five CSS Grid Generators and how each generator passed the abovementioned criteria.
In particular, we will look at the following CSS Grid Generators:
- Angry Tools
- CSS Grid Layout Generator
- CSS Grid Generator
Check out the comparison chart below.
When it comes to CSS grid generators, there is no perfect solution that fits every project's needs. However, some grid generators offer certain advantages over others.
In particular, the Angry Tools grid generator stands out from the rest of the top CSS grid generators because of the innovative features and capabilities of the Angry Grid. Compared to other popular CSS grid generators such as Layoutit, Griddy, CSS Grid Layout Generator, and CSS Grid Generator, Angry Tools emerges as the best option for a grid generator. Angry Tools has an intuitive Angry Grid interface, flexible customization options giving you complete control over the grid template, grid item, grid column, and grid row (regardless of how many rows and columns), and robust CSS code output making it an ideal choice for web developers looking for a powerful grid generator.
Top 5 CSS Grid Layout Generators
1. Angry Tools
Angry Tools is an online CSS Grid Generator that helps web creators create custom grid layouts without hassles. The tool is called "Angry Tools" because it is part of a suite of web development tools developed by the Angry Creative agency utilizing the Angry Grid system.
The Angry Grid allows you to specify the number of grid rows and columns of the grid template and customize each grid item settings, including grid template areas, column or row gap, and align and justify items with the click of a button.
- Easy to navigate.
- Includes useful Angry Grid tools such as a color picker, a font generator, and a CSS button generator.
- Offers pre-built templates to get you started quickly.
- Provides shorthand CSS code output for Angry Grid labels and shorthand grid area.
- Responsive application.
- No HTML code snippet. Just pure CSS.
- No implicit Angry Grid settings to control specific properties such as grid auto flow.
- CSS results cannot be exported into known development platforms such as CodePen and CodeSandbox.
Layoutit is one of the most used web-based grid generator tools. It allows web designers and developers to create custom grid layouts using its drag-and-drop interface without writing any code. With Layoutit, adding a new grid row and column and customizing the grid item settings, such as the row gap, grid alignment, placement, and more, is easy.
- Visually appealing to use.
- Offers colorful labeling options.
- Provides both implicit and explicit grid settings, including the area box and children settings of each grid item.
- Can export CSS snippets to development platforms such as CodePen with one button.
- Add support for the legacy grid for old Internet Explorer browsers.
- Real-time preview.
- Responsive application.
- No pre-built grid templates.
- Can be confusing sometimes, especially if you are working on a complex grid layout with too many grid items.
Griddy is a CSS grid layout with a simple interface that allows users to select the number of rows and columns they want in their grid, adjust the grid gap, and customize the width of each grid item. It lets users add or delete columns and rows and customize different grid settings on its sidebar panel.
With Griddy, users can also add breakpoints to their grid layout, which allows them to create responsive layouts that adjust based on the screen size.
- Easy to use with a very clean user interface.
- All grid settings are placed on the sidebar settings panel.
- Responsive application.
- No pre-built grid templates.
- No HTML code snippet. Just pure CSS.
- Generates CSS components that might not be convenient for beginners.
CSS Grid Layout Generator is yet another best grid generator with various configuration settings to create a custom grid or a wide range of grid layout configurations, including fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts. The output code can be exported in three formats: vanilla CSS, JSX, and styled components.
- Offers a wide range of grid customization settings, including the option to change grid backgrounds.
- Has different customization options for container and item settings placed on separate tabs.
- CSS output can also generate JSX and styled-components versions.
- The user interface might be confusing.
- Not conducive for beginners or non-technical people.
- The application learning curve can be steep.
- Do not support responsive design.
- No pre-built grid templates.
CSS Grid Generator is the most straightforward grid generator from the list as it directly requires its users to specify the number of rows, columns, and gaps across rows and columns by entering them on the provided input fields or by clicking the points on the canvas to create a custom grid layout.
- Plain and straightforward user interface.
- Settings can be efficiently utilized immediately.
- Allows placing divs within boxes through drag and drop feature.
- The generated CSS is not well produced.
- Suitable only for beginners with basic knowledge of CSS grids.
- Limited unit options.
- No advanced grid settings such as implicit grid and grid area settings.
CSS grid generators are handy tools for web professionals who want to bootstrap their CSS grid layouts quickly. CSS grid generators enable web creators to design CSS layouts based on their project's needs while offering various customization options.
When looking for the right CSS grid generator, it's essential to consider the ease of use, available customization options, responsiveness, and built-in templates it can offer to speed up your CSS grid development.
The future of CSS grid generators may involve more advanced and innovative features that offer more customization and automation options, making it easier and faster for web professionals to create complex grid layouts. CSS grid generators may also become more compatible with other web design and development tools, such as code editors and popular frameworks. It may also integrate machine learning or AI technologies, which will improve the development's time efficiency and generate even more efficient and optimized code.