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Using the new grid system

From: Bootstrap 3: New Features and Migration

Video: Using the new grid system

In the old Bootstrap website, the grid used to be in a separate section called Scaffolding. In the new version, this lists in the CSS section. The grid is, overall, a lot simpler. The new grid is responsive, mobile first, and percent-based. What that means, practically, is that instead of assuming a 940 pixel grid, as before, the CSS starts by assuming a mobile layout and then scales everything up. This is not going to look any different in practice, it's just that the approach in the CSS is now completely backwards. Functionally, what you'll notice is that columns now use a different class. So, where as before, you used to use a div with a class of row, or if you were using it fluid grid, you would use a div with a class of row fluid, now all columns are fluid.

Using the new grid system

In the old Bootstrap website, the grid used to be in a separate section called Scaffolding. In the new version, this lists in the CSS section. The grid is, overall, a lot simpler. The new grid is responsive, mobile first, and percent-based. What that means, practically, is that instead of assuming a 940 pixel grid, as before, the CSS starts by assuming a mobile layout and then scales everything up. This is not going to look any different in practice, it's just that the approach in the CSS is now completely backwards. Functionally, what you'll notice is that columns now use a different class. So, where as before, you used to use a div with a class of row, or if you were using it fluid grid, you would use a div with a class of row fluid, now all columns are fluid.

So you simply use a class of row for everything. The amount of columns remains the same, but whereas before you used to specify a class as span and then a number, like four or eight, and those columns added to 12. In the new version, those classes have been renamed, and so you have to add a class of col, and then a class of col-lg and then the number. This means that if you upgrade to the new Bootstrap, all of your layouts and columns will break, so be careful and don't just upgrade to the new version without testing things out. Offsetting is the same as before, but you use the new class called col-offset. Nesting, which means putting columns inside other columns, looks pretty similar at first.

In the old version of Bootstrap there used to be two ways of nesting, a fluid way and a static way. The difference was in fluid nesting, the columns inside other columns always added to 12. With static columns, they always added to number of the container. Since everything is fluid now, the columns in other columns always add to the number 12. So that's also important to remember when you're migrating your layouts. There's a couple of other features that you might find interesting, there's a way of reordering columns by using a col-push class, you can see it in this section.

It sounds a bit confusing but it allows you to reorder the way columns work in a layout. It might be useful to be able to reorder columns triggered by some Javascript commands. Also there is a small column grid with tighter spacing for iPhones and tablet devices. Now, if you're coming from Bootstrap 2, this new grid system is a bit of an adjustment and it's probably the first thing you'll notice when you migrate a layout. Everything will immediately break. But frankly, it does tend to simply things, and because it gets rid of the non-responsive layout, it will be quicker to pick up. I like and dislike the new col-lg classes, but using the span for a column name in the old Bootstrap always seemed a little bit weird to me, so that's a welcome change.

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Bootstrap 3: New Features and Migration

21 video lessons · 5192 viewers

Ray Villalobos
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