ReactJS - Refs


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The ref is used to return a reference to the element. Refs should be avoided in most cases, however, they can be useful when we need DOM measurements or to add methods to the components.

Using Refs

The following example shows how to use refs to clear the input field. ClearInput function searches for element with ref = "myInput" value, resets the state, and adds focus to it after the button is clicked.

App.jsx

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

class App extends React.Component {
   constructor(props) {
      super(props);
		
      this.state = {
         data: ''
      }
      this.updateState = this.updateState.bind(this);
      this.clearInput = this.clearInput.bind(this);
   };
   updateState(e) {
      this.setState({data: e.target.value});
   }
   clearInput() {
      this.setState({data: ''});
      ReactDOM.findDOMNode(this.refs.myInput).focus();
   }
   render() {
      return (
         <div>
            <input value = {this.state.data} onChange = {this.updateState} 
               ref = "myInput"></input>
            <button onClick = {this.clearInput}>CLEAR</button>
            <h4>{this.state.data}</h4>
         </div>
      );
   }
}
export default App;

main.js

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import App from './App.jsx';

ReactDOM.render(<App/>, document.getElementById('app'));

Once the button is clicked, the input will be cleared and focused.

React Refs Example

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