I'm using JavaScript to handle breakpoints in a single page, non-scrollable application. I want to do various things when changing viewports, such as fire off animations with a JavaScript animation library.

I've assigned the viewports like so:



<div class='box'></div>


.box {
  width: 300px;
  height: 300px;
  background-color: red;


var winWidth = '';
var newWinWidth = '';
var winHeight = '';
var newWinHeight = '';

function setWidthBreakpoints(windowWidth) { //matches bootstrap's breakpoints
    if (windowWidth >= 1200) {
        newWinWidth = 'lg';
    } else if (windowWidth >= 992) {
        newWinWidth = 'md';
    } else if (windowWidth >= 768) {
        newWinWidth = 'sm';
    } else {
        newWinWidth = 'xs';

function setHeightBreakpoints(windowHeight) {

  if (windowHeight >= 1024) { //more or less arbitrary, may add or remove
      newWinHeight = 'lg';
  } else if (windowHeight >= 480) {
      newWinHeight = 'md';
  } else {
      newWinHeight = 'sm';


window.onresize = function () {
    'use strict';

    if (newWinWidth !== winWidth || newWinHeight !== winHeight) {
        winWidth = newWinWidth;
        winHeight = newWinHeight;

function onSizeChange() {
    switch(newWinWidth + '|' + newWinHeight) {
    case 'xs|sm':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'yellow')
    case 'xs|md':
    case 'xs|lg':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'purple')
    case 'sm|sm':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'orange')
    case 'sm|md':
    case 'sm|lg':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'purple')
    case 'md|sm':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'green')
    case 'md|md':
    case 'md|lg':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'purple')
    case 'lg|sm':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'blue')
    case 'lg|md':
    case 'lg|lg':
        $('.box').css('background-color', 'purple')

In the above code, we want anything above a small height to be purple. But we have to repeat ourselves to set it four different times.

I will be supporting IE9 with this application so I chose to use JS animation library GSAP for performance and fallback reasons. This is why I am handling my media query breakpoints in Javascript.

How can I build such a scheme to minimize code repetition? Is there a more elegant way to handle combined height and width breakpoints? Am I doing it wrong? I don't foresee many more height viewports being added to this application, and the width ones are tied to Bootstrap so they won't be changing at all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What exactly do you mean with "breakpoints"? What code repition do you mean? There is hardly anything there. Also your code isn't runable like this, which is a requirment for codereview. Finally: This is something that may be more appropriate for CSS than JS. \$\endgroup\$
    – RoToRa
    Mar 6, 2015 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RoToRa I have added information in question that answers these questions. Hope this helps. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor
    Mar 8, 2015 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've never heard of this referred to as "breakpoints," which usually refers to lines of code that you want to automatically pause (break) in a debugger. Perhaps a better term is in order? (I usually hear "snap point" or the like.) \$\endgroup\$
    – fluffy
    Mar 8, 2015 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fluffy it is a term used by Twitter's Bootstrap front end framework to refer to a set point at which viewport display changes (getbootstrap.com/css), see the section called "Media Queries" under the section called "Grid System" \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor
    Mar 8, 2015 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fluffy but fair point, there is some ambiguity in the question title. Unfortunately because of Bootstrap's widespread popularity the term "breakpoint" is probably now a bit too ubiquitous for us to change it to "snap point", but I've edited the title to make it a bit clearer what is meant when the term "breakpoint" is used. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor
    Mar 8, 2015 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Here is one way to get rid of if chaines (if that is the repition you mean):

var WIDTHS = [
    {name: 'xs', max: 768},
    {name: 'sm', max: 992},
    {name: 'md', max: 1200},
    {name: 'lg'}

function getRangeName(value, ranges) {
    for (var i = 0, len = ranges.length; i < len; i++) {
        var range = ranges[i];
        if (typeof range.max === "undefined" || value < range.max) {
            return range.name;

function setWidthBreakpoints(windowWidth) {
    return getRangeName(windowWidth, WIDTHS);
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you for your answer. I will add code to make it runnable and refine the question based on your feedback \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor
    Mar 6, 2015 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Conor Keep in mind not to modify the code in the original question (although extending it to make it runnable should be ok). \$\endgroup\$
    – RoToRa
    Mar 7, 2015 at 7:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added the necessary fixes to make the code runnable and a CodePen. Will also add some more details to the question. Thanks again for your feedback. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor
    Mar 8, 2015 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Conor A nice way to say thanks for feedback is to upvote \$\endgroup\$
    – janos
    Jun 8, 2015 at 18:20

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