React JS Cheat Sheet

React Js Cheat Sheet : Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. This guide targets React v15 to v16. React allows developers to create large web applications that can change data, without reloading the page. The main purpose of React is to be fast, scalable, and simple. It works only on user interfaces in the application. It might seem overwhelming for a beginner to learn the React framework. After all, it has gone through a lot of changes since it was first released around 2013. Here’s a React JS cheat sheetnot a full tutorial but a simple-to-understand and concise overview on what it takes to learn React basics.

I’ve put together a super helpful cheat sheet to give you a complete overview of all of the React concepts you need to know in 2022.

What is React?

ReactJs is JavaScript library designed to create single-page applications with reusable UI components.

React stores the information DOM by creating a virtual DOM in its memory. Before it renders the DOM nodes onto the browser, it checks for changes between its past and present virtual DOM. If there’s a change (i.e. some text content updated), it will update its virtual DOM and then renders to the real DOM on the browser. See diagram below for visualization.

React Components

Components are one of the building blocks of a React App. They are basically React functions that returns an HTML element. Think of them as a large HTML blocks of code that independently does a certain function for the app. Like the navigation bar or the panels.

In React, all these components are structured as nodes in the Virtual DOM. It will render onto the browser according to how we specify them to look like.

import React from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
class Hello extends React.Component {
  render () {
    return <div className='message-box'>
      Hello {this.props.name}
    </div>
  }
}
const el = document.body
ReactDOM.render(<Hello name='John' />, el)

Use the React.js jsfiddle to start hacking. (or the unofficial jsbin)

Import multiple exports

import React, {Component} from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
class Hello extends Component {
  ...
}

Properties

<Video fullscreen={true} autoplay={false} />
render () {
  this.props.fullscreen
  const { fullscreen, autoplay } = this.props
  ···
}
 
 
Use this.props to access properties passed to the component.

See: Properties

States

render () {
  this.state.username
  const { username } = this.state
  ···
}

Use states (this.state) to manage dynamic data.

With Babel you can use proposal-class-fields and get rid of constructor.

class Hello extends Component {
  state = { username: undefined };
  ...
}

Nesting

class Info extends Component {
  render () {
    const { avatar, username } = this.props

    return <div>
      <UserAvatar src={avatar} />
      <UserProfile username={username} />
    </div>
  }
}

As of React v16.2.0, fragments can be used to return multiple children without adding extra wrapping nodes to the DOM.

import React, {
  Component,
  Fragment
} from 'react'

class Info extends Component {
  render () {
    const { avatar, username } = this.props

    return (
      <Fragment>
        <UserAvatar src={avatar} />
        <UserProfile username={username} />
      </Fragment>
    )
  }
}

Children

class AlertBox extends Component {
  render () {
    return 
{this.props.children}
} }

Children are passed as the children property.

Defaults

Hello.defaultProps = {
  color: 'blue'
}

See: defaultProps

Setting default state

class Hello extends Component {
  constructor (props) {
    super(props)
    this.state = { visible: true }
  }
}

Set the default state in the constructor().

And without constructor using Babel with proposal-class-fields.

class Hello extends Component {
  state = { visible: true }
}

See: Setting the default state

Other components

Functional components

function MyComponent ({ name }) {
  return <div className='message-box'>
    Hello {name}
  </div>
}

Functional components have no state. Also, their props are passed as the first parameter to a function.

See: Function and Class Components

Pure components

import React, {PureComponent} from 'react'

class MessageBox extends PureComponent {
  ···
}

Performance-optimized version of React.Component. Doesn’t rerender if props/state hasn’t changed.

See: Pure components

Component API

this.forceUpdate()
this.setState({ ... })
this.setState(state => { ... })
this.state
this.props

These methods and properties are available for Component instances.

See: Component API

Lifecycle

Mounting

MethodDescription
constructor (props)Before rendering #
componentWillMount()Don’t use this #
render()Render #
componentDidMount()After rendering (DOM available) #
componentWillUnmount()Before DOM removal #
componentDidCatch()Catch errors (16+) #

Set initial the state on constructor().
Add DOM event handlers, timers (etc) on componentDidMount(), then remove them on componentWillUnmount().

Updating

MethodDescription
componentDidUpdate (prevProps, prevState, snapshot)Use setState() here, but remember to compare props
shouldComponentUpdate (newProps, newState)Skips render() if returns false
render()Render
componentDidUpdate (prevProps, prevState)Operate on the DOM here

Called when parents change properties and .setState(). These are not called for initial renders.

See: Component specs

Hooks (New)

State Hook

import React, { useState } from 'react';

function Example() {
  // Declare a new state variable, which we'll call "count"
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

  return (
    <div>
      <p>You clicked {count} times</p>
      <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>
        Click me
      </button>
    </div>
  );
}

Hooks are a new addition in React 16.8.

See: Hooks at a Glance

Declaring multiple state variables

function ExampleWithManyStates() {
  // Declare multiple state variables!
  const [age, setAge] = useState(42);
  const [fruit, setFruit] = useState('banana');
  const [todos, setTodos] = useState([{ text: 'Learn Hooks' }]);
  // ...
}

Effect hook

import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';

function Example() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

  // Similar to componentDidMount and componentDidUpdate:
  useEffect(() => {
    // Update the document title using the browser API
    document.title = `You clicked ${count} times`;
  }, [count]);

  return (
    <div>
      <p>You clicked {count} times</p>
      <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>
        Click me
      </button>
    </div>
  );
}

If you’re familiar with React class lifecycle methods, you can think of useEffect Hook as componentDidMountcomponentDidUpdate, and componentWillUnmount combined.

By default, React runs the effects after every render — including the first render.

Building your own hooks

Define FriendStatus

import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';

function FriendStatus(props) {
  const [isOnline, setIsOnline] = useState(null);

  useEffect(() => {
    function handleStatusChange(status) {
      setIsOnline(status.isOnline);
    }

    ChatAPI.subscribeToFriendStatus(props.friend.id, handleStatusChange);
    return () => {
      ChatAPI.unsubscribeFromFriendStatus(props.friend.id, handleStatusChange);
    };
  }, [props.friend.id]);

  if (isOnline === null) {
    return 'Loading...';
  }
  return isOnline ? 'Online' : 'Offline';
}

Effects may also optionally specify how to “clean up” after them by returning a function.

Use FriendStatus

function FriendStatus(props) {
  const isOnline = useFriendStatus(props.friend.id);

  if (isOnline === null) {
    return 'Loading...';
  }
  return isOnline ? 'Online' : 'Offline';
}

See: Building Your Own Hooks

Hooks API Reference

Also see: Hooks FAQ

Basic Hooks

HookDescription
useState(initialState)
useEffect(() => { … })
useContext(MyContext)value returned from React.createContext

Full details: Basic Hooks

Additional Hooks

HookDescription
useReducer(reducer, initialArg, init)
useCallback(() => { … })
useMemo(() => { … })
useRef(initialValue)
useImperativeHandle(ref, () => { … })
useLayoutEffectidentical to useEffect, but it fires synchronously after all DOM mutations
useDebugValue(value)display a label for custom hooks in React DevTools

Full details: Additional Hooks

DOM nodes

References

class MyComponent extends Component {
  render () {
    return <div>
      <input ref={el => this.input = el} />
    </div>
  }

  componentDidMount () {
    this.input.focus()
  }
}

Allows access to DOM nodes.

See: Refs and the DOM

DOM Events

class MyComponent extends Component {
  render () {
    <input type="text"
        value={this.state.value}
        onChange={event => this.onChange(event)} />
  }

  onChange (event) {
    this.setState({ value: event.target.value })
  }
}

Pass functions to attributes like onChange.

See: Events

Other features

Transferring props

<VideoPlayer src="video.mp4" />
class VideoPlayer extends Component {
  render () {
    return <VideoEmbed {...this.props} />
  }
}

Propagates src="..." down to the sub-component.

See Transferring props

Top-level API

React.createClass({ ... })
React.isValidElement(c)
ReactDOM.render(<Component />, domnode, [callback])
ReactDOM.unmountComponentAtNode(domnode)
ReactDOMServer.renderToString(<Component />)
ReactDOMServer.renderToStaticMarkup(<Component />)

There are more, but these are most common.

See: React top-level API

JSX patterns

Style shorthand

const style = { height: 10 }
return <div style={style}></div>
return <div style={{ margin: 0, padding: 0 }}></div>

See: Inline styles

Inner HTML

function markdownify() { return "<p>...</p>"; }
<div dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{__html: markdownify()}} />

See: Dangerously set innerHTML

Lists

class TodoList extends Component {
  render () {
    const { items } = this.props

    return <ul>
      {items.map(item =>
        <TodoItem item={item} key={item.key} />)}
    </ul>
  }
}

Always supply a key property.

Conditionals

<Fragment>
  {showMyComponent
    ? <MyComponent />
    : <OtherComponent />}
</Fragment>

Short-circuit evaluation

<Fragment>
  {showPopup && <Popup />}
  ...
</Fragment>

New features

Returning multiple elements

You can return multiple elements as arrays or fragments.

Arrays

render () {
  // Don't forget the keys!
  return [
    <li key="A">First item</li>,
    <li key="B">Second item</li>
  ]
}

Fragments

render () {
  return (
    <Fragment>
      <li>First item</li>
      <li>Second item</li>
    </Fragment>
  )
}

See: Fragments and strings

Returning strings

render() {
  return 'Look ma, no spans!';
}

You can return just a string.

See: Fragments and strings

Errors

class MyComponent extends Component {
  ···
  componentDidCatch (error, info) {
    this.setState({ error })
  }
}

Catch errors via componentDidCatch. (React 16+)

See: Error handling in React 16

Portals

render () {
  return React.createPortal(
    this.props.children,
    document.getElementById('menu')
  )
}

This renders this.props.children into any location in the DOM.

See: Portals

Hydration

const el = document.getElementById('app')
ReactDOM.hydrate(<App />, el)

Use ReactDOM.hydrate instead of using ReactDOM.render if you’re rendering over the output of ReactDOMServer.

See: Hydrate

Property validation

PropTypes

import PropTypes from 'prop-types'

See: Typechecking with PropTypes

KeyDescription
anyAnything

Basic

KeyDescription
string
number
funcFunction
boolTrue or false

Enum

KeyDescription
oneOf(any)Enum types
oneOfType(type array)Union

Array

KeyDescription
array
arrayOf(…)

Object

KeyDescription
object
objectOf(…)Object with values of a certain type
instanceOf(…)Instance of a class
shape(…)

Elements

KeyDescription
elementReact element
nodeDOM node

Required

KeyDescription
(···).isRequiredRequired

Basic types

MyComponent.propTypes = {
  email:      PropTypes.string,
  seats:      PropTypes.number,
  callback:   PropTypes.func,
  isClosed:   PropTypes.bool,
  any:        PropTypes.any
}

Required types

MyCo.propTypes = {
  name:  PropTypes.string.isRequired
}

Elements

MyCo.propTypes = {
  // React element
  element: PropTypes.element,

  // num, string, element, or an array of those
  node: PropTypes.node
}

Enumerables (oneOf)

MyCo.propTypes = {
  direction: PropTypes.oneOf([
    'left', 'right'
  ])
}

Arrays and objects

MyCo.propTypes = {
  list: PropTypes.array,
  ages: PropTypes.arrayOf(PropTypes.number),
  user: PropTypes.object,
  user: PropTypes.objectOf(PropTypes.number),
  message: PropTypes.instanceOf(Message)
}
MyCo.propTypes = {
  user: PropTypes.shape({
    name: PropTypes.string,
    age:  PropTypes.number
  })
}

Use .array[Of].object[Of].instanceOf.shape.

Custom validation

MyCo.propTypes = {
  customProp: (props, key, componentName) => {
    if (!/matchme/.test(props[key])) {
      return new Error('Validation failed!')
    }
  }
}

Wrapping Up

And that’s it for this React JS Cheat Sheet for beginners covering React basics. Ofcourse, it’s just concise article, so it cannot cover every single aspect of React. But, I hope it has been a great overview to help anyone embark on a React journey without feeling intimidated or too overwhelmed.

Thanks for reading and if you find this React JS cheat sheet helpful, please like and share this article around for more reach. Cheers!

Read More: How to Use Redux in Your ReactJS App in Just 10 Minutes?

Rahul Sharma

Rahul Sharma is a Founder of Logical IDEA and Bee Flirty. He is a Professional WP Developers, UX Designer, and Digital Marketing Expert. Previously, He Worked as a Digital Marketing Head for An eCommerce Startup. He Graduated with honors from Lovely Professional University with a Dual Degree in Information Technology.

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