React Tips

React Tips — Error Handling, Input Validation, and More

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React is a popular library for creating web apps and mobile apps.

In this article, we’ll look at some tips for writing better React apps.

Pass Props Without Value to Component

We can pass boolean props without a value to a component if its value is true .

For instance, we can write:

<input type="button" disabled />;

instead of:

<input type="button" disabled={true} />;

They’re the same.

Access Child Component Functions via Refs

We can assign a ref to a component in a class component to access its methods.

For instance, we can write:

class App extends React.Component {
  save() {

  render() {
    return (
      <Dialog action={}>
        <Content ref="content"/>

class Content extends React.Component {
  save() {

We have the App component that has the Content that has a ref assigned to it.

Then we can get the component instance with getWrapperdInstance .

And we can call the save method with that.

getDerivedStateFromError and componentDidCatch

Both are methods that let us handle errors in a class component.

getDerivedStateFromError is a static method that lets us set a state when an error occurs.

componentDidCatch lets us commit side effects and access this , which is the component instance.

For instance, we can write:

class ErrorBoundary extends React.Component {
  state = { hasError: false };

  static getDerivedStateFromError(error) {
    return { hasError: true };

  componentDidCatch(error, info) {
    console.log(error, info);

  render() {
    if (this.state.hasError) {
      return <h1>error.</h1>;

    return this.props.children;

We have the static getDerivedStateFromError method to access the error parameter.

Then we can return something which is the state that’s rendered with the next render.

componentDidCatch lets us access the component instance.

It also has the error and info parameters with more error data.

getDerivedStateFromError works with server-side rendering.

This is because it’s a render phase lifecycle, which is available on server-side rendered apps.

Allow File Input to Select the Same File in React Component

We can let a file input select the same file in a React component if we set it to null after we click on it.

For instance, we can write:

  onChange={(event)=> {
  onClick={(event)=> { = null

We have the onChange prop that takes a function to read a file.

In the onClick prop, we set the file input value to null .

Passing a Number to a Component

We can pass a number to a component by passing in a number in curly brackets.

For instance, we can write:

Rectangle width={10} height={20} />

Using the Same Component for Different Route path in React Router

We can use the same component for different routes by passing in an array into the path prop.

So we can write:

<Route exact path={["/add", "/edit"]}>
  <User />

Conditional Validation in Yup

We can validate a field conditionality with Yup by using the when method.

For instance, we can write:

  showName: yup.boolean(),
  name: yup
    .when("showName", {
      is: true,
      then: yup.string().required("name is required")

We have the showName boolean field.

And we only validate the name field when it’s true as indicated in the is field.

then lets us do the validation only when showName is true .

Then we return the 'name is required' message if it is.

Fix ‘ Failed form propType: You provided a checked prop to a form field without an onChange handler.’ Warning

To fix this warning, we can add the checked prop with a value if we’re creating a controller component.

For instance, we can write:


If it’s an uncontrolled component, we can write populate the defaultChecked prop:


Only Allow Numbers to be Inputted in React

We can set the pattern attribute to the regex string we want for restricting the input to numbers.

For instance, we can write:

<input type="text" pattern="[0-9]*" onInput={this.handleChange.bind(this)} value={this.state.goal} />

We specified the pattern and we listen to the inpurt pro.

Then in the handleChange method, we can write:

handleChange(evt) {
  const goal = ( ? : this.state.goal;
  this.setState({ goal });

We only set the state if it’s valid, then we won’t get any invalid input in the state.


We can check for input validity in the input handler.

Also, we don’t have to pass in true explicitly into a prop.

Error boundary components have special hooks that we can run code when errors occur.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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