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Measuring Text on React with Hooks

daniloab_ profile image Danilo Assis ・2 min read

Sometimes UI brings constraints that make development a little bit harder. This week at Entria I need to implement an array of labels that fills buttons.

The problem, simply, I need all buttons to have the same size because of the UI. Reading the React docs I found a simple way to implement this and I think should be a good idea shared with everyone.

So, just to situate us let's imagine that we need to implement a scale of buttons. And the labels of these buttons are dynamic, so the user can have any type of strings on this.

A good scale example can be: "does not meet", "partially meets", "meets", "surpasses".

That is, we have our array ["does not meet", "partially meets", "meets", "surpasses"]

Our component will receive these labels as array from our backend. Thinking our user in some scenarios will have a poor internet connection, we need to understand how to handle this case until we have the bigger text. So, I create a hook for this:

const [isCalculating, setIsCalculating] = useState<boolean>(true);

Until this hook will set as false, our component won't be rendered. After, we need to calculate the bigger text of all. At this point, we go to this react doc https://reactjs.org/docs/hooks-faq.html#how-can-i-measure-a-dom-node.

Based on this, we will measure a DOM node and with our hook, we can know if this is already done or not.

If our hook isCalculating is true we will call a function to get the biggerText and set it on a DOM node (span tag).

The function's really easy and simple. I just got my array of labels and with a reduce I got the bigger text and return it.

When returned, will be set on span that contains the react measure function example. I just add two things:

  • New hooks called setWidth setting the dom node width. We will use it later.

  • The hooks isCalculating setting as false.

Now, our component will check our hook, see it is false and returned our whole component with the scale of buttons.

Alt Text

So, if we have a case where the scale is bigger than width screen, we can handle easily with css flexbox:

Alt Text

Feel free to contact me to give advice about better ways to implement this or improves my English. My DMs on twitter is always open.

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