Exporting components in React.js

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: May 2, 2022

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Exporting components in React.js #

Use named exports to export a component in React, e.g. export function Button() {}. The exported component can be imported by using a named import as import {Button} from './another-file.js'. You can use as many named exports as necessary in a file.

Here is an example of exporting components from a file called Buttons.js.

Buttons.js
// 👇️ named export export function Button() { return <button>Click</button>; } // 👇️ named export export const SubmitButton = () => { return <button type="submit">Submit</button>; };

Note that using export on the same line as the function's definition is the same as exporting the components as an object after they have been declared.

Buttons.js
function Button() { return <button>Click</button>; } const SubmitButton = () => { return <button type="submit">Submit</button>; }; // 👇️ named exports export {Button, SubmitButton};

Here is how we would import the components in a file called App.js.

App.js
// 👇️ named exports import {Button, SubmitButton} from './Buttons'; export default function App() { return ( <div> <Button /> <SubmitButton /> </div> ); }

Make sure to correct the path that points to the Buttons.js module if you have to. The example above assumes that Buttons.js and App.js are located in the same directory.

For example, if you were importing from one directory up, you would do import {Button, SubmitButton} from '../Buttons'.

We wrapped the names of the function components in curly braces when importing them - this is called a named import.

The import/export syntax is called ES6 Modules in JavaScript.

In order to be able to import a component from a different file, it has to be exported using a named or default export.

The example above uses named exports and named imports.

The main difference between named and default exports and imports is - you can have multiple named exports per file, but you can only have a single default export.

If you try to use multiple default exports in a single file, you would get an error.

Buttons.js
// 👇️ default export export default function Button() { return <button>Click</button>; } const SubmitButton = () => { return <button type="submit">Submit</button>; }; // 👇️ default export // ⛔️ Parsing error: Only one default export allowed per module. export default SubmitButton

IMPORTANT: If you are exporting a variable (or an arrow function) as a default export, you have to declare it on 1 line and export it on the next. You can't declare and default export a variable on the same line.

Having said that, you can use 1 default export and as many named exports as you need in a single file.

Let's look at an example that exports 2 function components and uses both - default and named exports.

Buttons.js
// 👇️ default export export default function Button() { return <button>Click</button>; } // 👇️ named export export const SubmitButton = () => { return <button type="submit">Submit</button>; };

And here is how you would import the two components.

App.js
// 👇️ default and named imports import Button, {SubmitButton} from './Buttons'; export default function App() { return ( <div> <Button /> <SubmitButton /> </div> ); }

Notice that we didn't wrap the default import in curly braces.

App.js
// 👇️ default import import Button from './Buttons'

We used a default import to import the Button component and a named import to import the SubmitButton component.

Note that you can only have a single default export per file, but you can have as many named exports as necessary.

In my experience, most real world codebases exclusively use named exports and imports because they make it easier to leverage your IDE for autocompletion and auto-imports.

You also don't have to think about which members are exported with a default or named export.

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