How to Use Emmet to Speed Up Development

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Writing code, especially HTML and CSS, can be a very tedious process — writing closing element tags or duplicate HTML elements that serve as the page’s structure are repetitive, monotonous tasks that take up a lot of time. Fortunately, there is a freely available plugin that can speed up this process immeasurably. Emmet is a toolkit for writing HTML and CSS that can drastically change your workflow for the better. It exists as a plugin, available for all of the most popular text editors (Atom, Brackets, Sublime Text, and even vim). While a small book would be required to explain the full breadth of Emmet’s features, this post will aim to teach the very basics of this extremely useful plugin. After you get used to its syntax, you will wonder how you ever coded/lived without Emmet.

How Emmet Works

While many of the most popular text editors have some basic form of auto-completion pre-installed; Emmet takes this to a whole new level. After inputting a value within Emmet’s syntax, hitting the launch key will transform this input into HTML and CSS far beyond what you initially typed (this launch key is the TAB key by default, but can be customized to your liking). For example, Emmet can perform all of the standard features of auto-completion, such as typing p, followed by the TAB key, will result in: