Interop with React

A little understanding of what reagent is doing really helps when trying to use React libraries and reagent together.

Creating React Elements directly

The reagent.core/create-element function simply calls React’s createElement function (and therefore, it expects either a string representing an HTML element or a React Component).

As an example, here are four ways to create the same element:

(defn integration []
   [ "Hello " [:strong "world"]]

   (r/create-element "div"
                     #js{:className "foo"}
                     "Hello "
                     (r/create-element "strong"

   (r/create-element "div"
                     #js{:className "foo"}
                     "Hello "
                     (r/as-element [:strong "world"]))

   [ "Hello " (r/create-element "strong"
(defn mount-root []
  (reagent/render [integration]
    (.getElementById js/document "app")))

This works because reagent/render itself expects (1) a React element or (2) a Hiccup form. If passed an element, it just uses it. If passed a Hiccup, it creats a (cached) React component and then creates an element from that component.

Creating React Elements from Hiccup forms

The reagent.core/as-element function creates a React element from a Hiccup form. In the previous section, we discussed how reagent/render expects either (1) a Hiccup form or (2) a React Element. If it encounters a Hiccup form, it calls as-element on it. When you have a React component that wraps children, you can pass Hiccup forms to it wrapped in as-element.

Creating Reagent “Components” from React Components

The function reagent/adapt-react-class will turn a React Component into something that can be placed into the first position of a Hiccup form, as if it were a Reagent function. Take, for example the react-flip-move library and assume that it has been properly imported as a React Component called FlipMove. By wrapping FlipMove with adapt-react-class, we can use it in a Hiccup form:

(defn top-articles [articles]
  [(reagent/adapt-react-class FlipMove)
   {:duration 750
    :easing "ease-out"}

There is also a convenience mechanism :> (colon greater-than) that shortens this and avoid some parenthesis:

(defn top-articles [articles]
  [:> FlipMove
   {:duration 750
    :easing "ease-out"}

This is the equivalent JavaScript:

const TopArticles = ({ articles }) => (
  <FlipMove duration={750} easing="ease-out">

Creating React Components from Reagent “Components”

The reagent/reactify-component will take a Form-1, Form-2, or Form-3 reagent “component”. For example:

(defn exported [props]
  [:div "Hi, " (:name props)])

(def react-comp (r/reactify-component exported))

(defn could-be-jsx []
  (r/create-element react-comp #js{:name "world"}))


  • adapt-react-class and reactify-component are not perfectly symmetrical, because reactify-component requires that the reagent component accept everything in a single props map, including its children.

Example: “Decorator” Higher-Order Components

Some React libraries use the decorator pattern: a React component which takes a component as an argument and returns a new component as its result. One example is the React DnD library. We will need to use both adapt-react-class and reactify-component to move back and forth between React and reagent:

(defn react-dnd-component
  (let [decorator (DragDropContext HTML5Backend)]
       (decorator (reagent/reactify-component top-level-component)))]))

This is the equivalent javascript:

import HTML5Backend from 'react-dnd-html5-backend';
import { DragDropContext } from 'react-dnd';

class TopLevelComponent {
  /* ... */

export default DragDropContext(HTML5Backend)(TopLevelComponent);

Example: Function-as-child Components

Some React components expect a function as their only child. React autosizer is one such example.

[(reagent/adapt-react-class AutoSizer)
 (fn [dims]
  (let [dims (js->clj dims :keywordize-keys true)]
   (reagent/as-element [my-component (:height dims)])))]

Getting props and children of current component

Because you just pass argument to reagent functions, you typically don’t need to think about “props” and “children” as distinct things. But reagent does make a distinction and it is helpful to understand this particularly when interoperating with native elements and React libraries.

Specifically, if the first argument to your reagent function is a map, that is assigned to this.props of the underlying reagent component. All other arguments are assigned as children to this.props.children.

When interacting with native React components, it may be helpful to access props and children, which you can do with reagent.core/current-component. This function returns an object that allows you retrieve the props and children passed to the current component.

Beware that current-component is only valid in component functions, and must be called outside of e.g event handlers and for expressions, so it’s safest to always put the call at the top, as in my-div here:

(ns example
  (:require [reagent.core :as r]))

(defn my-div []
  (let [this (r/current-component)]
    (into [:div.custom (r/props this)]
          (r/children this))))

(defn call-my-div []
    [my-div "Some text."]
    [my-div {:style {:font-weight 'bold}}
      [:p "Some other text in bold."]]])

React Interop Macros

Please do not use these macros. They will be removed at some point. Either use extern inference, externs or proper goog.object/get.

Reagent provides two utility macros $ and $! for getting and setting javascript properties in a way that is safe for advanced compilation.

($ o :foo) is equivalent to (.-foo o) ($ o foo arg1 arg2) is the same as (.foo o arg1 arg2)


($! o :foo 1) is equivalent to (set! (.-foo o) 1)

Note, these are not necessary if your JavaScript library has an externs file or if externs inference is on and working.