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Tan Li Hau
Tan Li Hau

Posted on • Updated on

Explain Svelte slots like I'm five

If you prefer watching video tutorials, you can watch me explain slots on YouTube

Watch on YouTube


What is a slot?

Just like element, you can pass child element to Components

<div>
  <div>Children</div>
</div>

<Component>
  <div>Children</div>
</Component>
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However, the child elements passed to a Component won't show up on the screen, unless explicitly specified using a <slot> element in the Component.

The <slot> element decides where to insert the child elements of the Component

<!-- Component.svelte -->
Some content #1
<slot />
Some content #2

<!-- What you'll see on the DOM -->
Some content #1
<div>Children</div>
Some content #2
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You can use the <slot> element multiple times, it just means you want to insert the child elements multiple times in various places

<!-- Component.svelte -->
Some content #1
<slot />
Some content #2
<slot />
<slot />
Some content #3
<slot />
Some content #4

<!-- What you'll see on the DOM -->
Some content #1
<div>Children</div>
Some content #2
<div>Children</div>
<div>Children</div>
Some content #3
<div>Children</div>
Some content #4
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Named Slot

But sometimes you want to have some of the child elements inserted at 1 place, and the other in another place....

That's when you want a named slot!

<!-- Component.svelte -->
<slot name="header" />
Some Content here
<slot name="footer" />
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To specify which elements go to which named slots, you use the slot="xxx" attribute

<Component>
  <div slot="header">Header</div>
  <div slot="footer">Footer</div>
</Component>

<!-- What you'll see on the DOM -->
<div slot="header">Header</div>
Some Content here
<div slot="footer">Footer</div>
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svelte:fragment

Unfortunately, if you want multiple elements going into the same slot, specifying the same slot attribute value to more than one elements end up with an error ⚠️😢

<Component>
  <div slot="header">Header #1</div>
  <div slot="header">Header #2</div>
  <div slot="footer">Footer</div>
</Component>

<!-- ⚠️ Duplicate slot name "header" in <Component> -->
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That's when you use a <svelte:fragment> to group them!

<Component>
  <svelte:fragment slot="header">
    <div>Header #1</div>
    <div>Header #2</div>
  </svelte:fragment>
  <div slot="footer">Footer</div>
</Component>

<!-- What you'll see on the DOM -->
<div>Header #1</div>
<div>Header #2</div>
Some Content here
<div slot="footer">Footer</div>
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Docs: <svelte:fragment>

Slot fallback

Finally, what happens if you didn't pass elements to the Component, but the Component expects something with a slot?

Nothing happens!

<Component>
</Component>

<!-- What you'll see on the DOM -->  
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Of course, you can always provide a fallback content if nothing is provided 😅

<!-- Component.svelte -->
<slot>Fallback content</slot>

<!-- What you'll see on the DOM -->
Fallback content
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Reference

Discussion (1)

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James Nisbet

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