React Answers

What are the three dots in React doing?

Spread the love

In React, the three dots (...) are used as part of the spread syntax (...) in JavaScript. This syntax allows an iterable (like an array) to be expanded into individual elements.

In the context of React, the spread syntax is commonly used for props and state management.

Here’s how it works:

Props Spreading:

function MyComponent(props) {
  return <ChildComponent {...props} />;

In this example, props is an object containing various properties that were passed to MyComponent.

The spread syntax {…props} spreads out all the properties of props and passes them as individual props to ChildComponent.

This is useful when you want to pass all props from a parent component to a child component without explicitly listing each prop.

Array Spreading:

function MyComponent() {
  const array1 = [1, 2, 3];
  const array2 = [...array1, 4, 5, 6];
  console.log(array2); // Output: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

In this example, ...array1 spreads out the elements of array1, and then 4, 5, and 6 are added individually. This creates a new array array2 containing all the elements from array1 along with the additional elements.

State Spreading:

function MyComponent() {
  const [state, setState] = useState({ count: 0, isOn: false });

  const toggleIsOn = () => {
    setState(prevState => ({ ...prevState, isOn: !prevState.isOn }));

  return (
      <p>Count: {state.count}</p>
      <p>isOn: {state.isOn ? 'ON' : 'OFF'}</p>
      <button onClick={() => setState(prevState => ({ ...prevState, count: prevState.count + 1 }))}>
        Increment Count
      <button onClick={toggleIsOn}>
        Toggle isOn

In this example, when updating the state using setState, the spread syntax { ...prevState } is used to copy all properties of the previous state object into a new state object.

This ensures that any properties not explicitly updated will remain unchanged.

In summary, the three dots (...) in React are used to spread out elements of arrays, properties of objects, or elements of iterables.

This is a powerful feature of JavaScript that is commonly used in React for various purposes, including prop spreading, array concatenation, and state management.

By John Au-Yeung

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

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