Flutter for web developers

This page is for users who are familiar with the HTML and CSS syntax for arranging components of an application’s UI. It maps HTML/CSS code snippets to their Flutter/Dart code equivalents.

The examples assume:

  • The HTML document starts with <!DOCTYPE html>, and the CSS box model for all HTML elements is set to border-box, for consistency with the Flutter model.
    {
      box-sizing: border-box;
    }
    
  • In Flutter, the default styling of the “Lorem ipsum” text is defined by the bold24Roboto variable as follows, to keep the syntax simple:
    TextStyle bold24Roboto = TextStyle(
      color: Colors.white,
      fontSize: 24.0,
      fontWeight: FontWeight.w900,
    );
    

Performing basic layout operations

The following examples show how to perform the most common UI layout tasks.

Styling and aligning text

Font style, size, and other text attributes that CSS handles with the font and color properties are individual properties of a TextStyle child of a Text widget.

In both HTML and Flutter, child elements or widgets are anchored at the top left, by default.

<div class="greybox">
    Lorem ipsum
</div>

.greybox {
      background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
      width: 320px;
      height: 240px;
      font: 900 24px Georgia;
    }
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Text(
    "Lorem ipsum",
    style: TextStyle(
      fontSize: 24.0,
      fontWeight: FontWeight.w900,
      fontFamily: "Georgia",
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Setting background color

In Flutter, you set the background color using a Container’s decoration property.

The CSS examples use the hex color equivalents to the Material color palette.

<div class="greybox">
  Lorem ipsum
</div>

.greybox {
      background-color: #e0e0e0;  /* grey 300 */
      width: 320px;
      height: 240px;
      font: 900 24px Roboto;
    }
var container = Container( // grey box
    child: Text(
      "Lorem ipsum",
      style: bold24Roboto,
    ),
    width: 320.0,
    height: 240.0,
    color: Colors.grey[300],
  );

Centering components

A Center widget centers its child both horizontally and vertically.

To accomplish a similar effect in CSS, the parent element uses either a flex or table-cell display behavior. The examples on this page show the flex behavior.

<div class="greybox">
  Lorem ipsum
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child:  Center(
    child:  Text(
      "Lorem ipsum",
      style: bold24Roboto,
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Setting container width

To specify the width of a Container widget, use its width property. This is a fixed width, unlike the CSS max-width property that adjusts the container width up to a maximum value. To mimic that effect in Flutter, use the constraints property of the Container. Create a new BoxConstraints widget with a minWidth or maxWidth.

For nested Containers, if the parent’s width is less than the child’s width, the child Container sizes itself to match the parent.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px; 
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  width: 100%;
  max-width: 240px; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: bold24Roboto,
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        color: Colors.red[400],
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
      width: 240.0, //max-width is 240.0
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0, 
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Manipulating position and size

The following examples show how to perform more complex operations on widget position, size, and background.

Setting absolute position

By default, widgets are positioned relative to their parent.

To specify an absolute position for a widget as x-y coordinates, nest it in a Positioned widget that is, in turn, nested in a Stack widget.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  position: relative; 
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  position: absolute;
  top: 24px;
  left: 24px; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Stack(
    children: [
      Positioned( // red box
        child:  Container(
          child: Text(
            "Lorem ipsum",
            style: bold24Roboto,
          ),
          decoration: BoxDecoration(
            color: Colors.red[400],
          ),
          padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
        ),
        left: 24.0,
        top: 24.0,
      ),
    ],
  ), 
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Rotating components

To rotate a widget, nest it in a Transform widget. Use the Transform widget’s alignment and origin properties to specify the transform origin (fulcrum) in relative and absolute terms, respectively.

For a simple 2D rotation, the widget is rotated on the Z axis using radians. (degrees × π / 180)

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  transform: rotate(15deg); 
}
var container = Container( // gray box
  child: Center(
    child:  Transform(
      child:  Container( // red box
        child: Text(
          "Lorem ipsum",
          style: bold24Roboto,
          textAlign: TextAlign.center,
        ),
        decoration: BoxDecoration(
          color: Colors.red[400],
        ),
        padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
      ),
      alignment: Alignment.center,
      transform: Matrix4.identity()
        ..rotateZ(15 * 3.1415927 / 180),
    ), 
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Scaling components

To scale a widget up or down, nest it in a Transform widget. Use the Transform widget’s alignment and origin properties to specify the transform origin (fulcrum) in relative or absolute terms, respectively.

For a simple scaling operation along the x-axis, create a new Matrix4 identity object and use its scale() method to specify the scaling factor.

When you scale a parent widget, its child widgets are scaled accordingly.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  transform: scale(1.5); 
}
var container = Container( // gray box
  child: Center(
    child:  Transform(
      child:  Container( // red box
        child: Text(
          "Lorem ipsum",
          style: bold24Roboto,
          textAlign: TextAlign.center,
        ),
        decoration: BoxDecoration(
          color: Colors.red[400],
        ),
        padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
      ),
      alignment: Alignment.center,
      transform: Matrix4.identity()
        ..scale(1.5),
     ), 
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Applying a linear gradient

To apply a linear gradient to a widget’s background, nest it in a Container widget. Then use the Container widget’s decoration property to create a BoxDecoration object, and use BoxDecoration’s gradient property to transform the background fill.

The gradient “angle” is based on the Alignment (x, y) values:

  • If the beginning and ending x values are equal, the gradient is vertical (0° | 180°).
  • If the beginning and ending y values are equal, the gradient is horizontal (90° | 270°).

Vertical Gradient

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  background: linear-gradient(180deg, #ef5350, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0) 80%); 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: bold24Roboto,
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        gradient: LinearGradient(
          begin: const Alignment(0.0, -1.0),
          end: const Alignment(0.0, 0.6),
          colors: <Color>[
            const Color(0xffef5350),
            const Color(0x00ef5350)
          ],
        ),
      ), 
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Horizontal gradient

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  background: linear-gradient(90deg, #ef5350, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0) 80%); 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: bold24Roboto,
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        gradient: LinearGradient(
          begin: const Alignment(-1.0, 0.0),
          end: const Alignment(0.6, 0.0),
          colors: <Color>[
            const Color(0xffef5350),
            const Color(0x00ef5350)
          ],
        ),
      ), 
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Manipulating shapes

The following examples show how to make and customize shapes.

Rounding corners

To round the corners of a rectangular shape, use the borderRadius property of a BoxDecoration object. Create a new BorderRadius object that specifies the radii for rounding each corner.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* gray 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  border-radius: 8px; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red circle
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: bold24Roboto,
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        color: Colors.red[400],
        borderRadius: BorderRadius.all(
          const Radius.circular(8.0),
        ), 
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Adding box shadows

In CSS you can specify shadow offset and blur in shorthand, using the box-shadow property. This example shows two box shadows, with properties:

  • xOffset: 0px, yOffset: 2px, blur: 4px, color: black @80% alpha
  • xOffset: 0px, yOffset: 06x, blur: 20px, color: black @50% alpha

In Flutter, each property and value is specified separately. Use the boxShadow property of BoxDecoration to create a list of BoxShadow widgets. You can define one or multiple BoxShadow widgets, which can be stacked to customize the shadow depth, color, etc.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  box-shadow: 0 2px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8),
              0 6px 20px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5);
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: bold24Roboto,
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        color: Colors.red[400],
        boxShadow: <BoxShadow>[
          BoxShadow (
            color: const Color(0xcc000000),
            offset: Offset(0.0, 2.0),
            blurRadius: 4.0,
          ),
          BoxShadow (
            color: const Color(0x80000000),
            offset: Offset(0.0, 6.0),
            blurRadius: 20.0,
          ),
        ], 
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  decoration: BoxDecoration(
    color: Colors.grey[300],
  ),
  margin: EdgeInsets.only(bottom: 16.0),
);

Making circles and ellipses

Making a circle in CSS requires a workaround of applying a border-radius of 50% to all four sides of a rectangle, though there are basic shapes.

While this approach is supported with the borderRadius property of BoxDecoration, Flutter provides a shape property with BoxShape enum for this purpose.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redcircle">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* gray 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redcircle {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  text-align: center;
  width: 160px;
  height: 160px;
  border-radius: 50%; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red circle
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: bold24Roboto,
        textAlign: TextAlign.center, 
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        color: Colors.red[400],
        shape: BoxShape.circle, 
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
      width: 160.0,
      height: 160.0, 
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Manipulating text

The following examples show how to specify fonts and other text attributes. They also show how to transform text strings, customize spacing, and create excerpts.

Adjusting text spacing

In CSS you specify the amount of white space between each letter or word by giving a length value for the letter-spacing and word-spacing properties, respectively. The amount of space can be in px, pt, cm, em, etc.

In Flutter, you specify white space as logical pixels (negative values are allowed) for the letterSpacing and wordSpacing properties of a TextStyle child of a Text widget.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  letter-spacing: 4px; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum",
        style: TextStyle(
          color: Colors.white,
          fontSize: 24.0,
          fontWeight: FontWeight.w900,
          letterSpacing: 4.0, 
        ),
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        color: Colors.red[400],
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Making inline formatting changes

A Text widget lets you display text with the same formatting characteristics. To display text that uses multiple styles (in this example, a single word with emphasis), use a RichText widget instead. Its text property can specify one or more TextSpan widgets that can be individually styled.

In the following example, “Lorem” is in a TextSpan widget with the default (inherited) text styling, and “ipsum” is in a separate TextSpan with custom styling.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem <em>ipsum</em> 
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto; 
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
}
 .redbox em {
  font: 300 48px Roboto;
  font-style: italic;
} 
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child:  RichText(
        text: TextSpan(
          style: bold24Roboto,
          children: <TextSpan>[
            TextSpan(text: "Lorem "),
            TextSpan(
              text: "ipsum",
              style: TextStyle(
                fontWeight: FontWeight.w300,
                fontStyle: FontStyle.italic,
                fontSize: 48.0,
              ),
            ),
          ],
        ),
      ), 
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        backgroundColor: Colors.red[400],
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);

Creating text excerpts

An excerpt displays the initial line(s) of text in a paragraph, and handles the overflow text, often using an ellipsis. In HTML/CSS an excerpt can be no longer than one line. Truncating after multiple lines requires some JavaScript code.

In Flutter, use the maxLines property of a Text widget to specify the number of lines to include in the excerpt, and the overflow property for handling overflow text.

<div class="greybox">
  <div class="redbox">
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consec etur
  </div>
</div>

.greybox {
  background-color: #e0e0e0; /* grey 300 */
  width: 320px;
  height: 240px;
  font: 900 24px Roboto;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
}
.redbox {
  background-color: #ef5350; /* red 400 */
  padding: 16px;
  color: #ffffff;
  overflow: hidden;
  text-overflow: ellipsis;
  white-space: nowrap; 
}
var container = Container( // grey box
  child: Center(
    child: Container( // red box
      child: Text(
        "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consec etur",
        style: bold24Roboto,
        overflow: TextOverflow.ellipsis,
        maxLines: 1, 
      ),
      decoration: BoxDecoration(
        backgroundColor: Colors.red[400],
      ),
      padding: EdgeInsets.all(16.0),
    ),
  ),
  width: 320.0,
  height: 240.0,
  color: Colors.grey[300],
);