Master the Art of Using React`s ForwardRef with Typescript: Learn with Code Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. What is React's ForwardRef?
  3. Why should you use ForwardRef with TypeScript?
  4. Understanding the Syntax of ForwardRef with TypeScript
  5. Code Example: Creating a ForwardRef Component
  6. Code Example: Using the Forwarded Ref in TypeScript
  7. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using ForwardRef with TypeScript
  8. Conclusion


Hey there, fellow React developers! Are you ready to take your skills to the next level? Because today, I'm going to teach you how to master the art of using React's ForwardRef with Typescript. And trust me, once you've got this nifty little tool under your belt, your React apps will be even more amazing than they already are!

But before we dive into the code examples, let me give you a quick to what ForwardRef is and why you should care about it. Essentially, ForwardRef is a feature in React that allows you to pass down a ref from a parent component to a child component. This can come in handy in a lot of different situations, but it's especially useful when you're working with complex UI components or libraries.

Now, you might be thinking, "But wait, I already know how to use refs in React. What's the big deal?" Well, the cool thing about ForwardRef is that it allows you to write more concise and easier-to-read code. It also gives you more control over how your components are rendered and accessed by other components.

So, are you ready to learn more? Let's get started!

What is React’s ForwardRef?

So, have you heard of React's ForwardRef? It's a nifty little feature that allows you to pass a ref from a parent component down to a child component. But what exactly does that mean?

Well, let's say you have a parent component that renders a child component. Normally, if you wanted to access a DOM node from the child component, you'd have to pass a callback function down from the parent to the child, and then call that callback function from the child to update the state in the parent.

But with ForwardRef, you can pass a ref directly from the parent to the child, allowing you to access the child's DOM nodes and methods without having to go through a callback function. How amazing is that?

But, there's a catch. Like most things in React, using ForwardRef can get a bit tricky, especially when you're working with Typescript. But don't worry, I've got you covered. In the next few paragraphs we'll dive into how to use ForwardRef with Typescript, and I'll show you some code examples to help illustrate the point.

Why should you use ForwardRef with TypeScript?

So, you've been using React for a while now and you're feeling pretty confident in your skills. But have you heard about ForwardRef? If not, you're missing out on a nifty little feature that can take your React game to the next level.

ForwardRef allows you to pass a ref to a child component so that you can access its DOM node or React element. This can be really useful when you're working with complex components that have multiple levels of nesting.

But Well, for starters, TypeScript helps you catch errors at compile-time rather than runtime. This means that you can catch mistakes early and avoid having bugs show up in your code after deployment.

By using ForwardRef with TypeScript, you can ensure that your ref is always pointing to the correct type of element. This can save you a lot of headaches down the road, particularly if you're working on a large project with lots of components.

Plus, using ForwardRef with TypeScript is just plain fun. It's like solving a puzzle or cracking a code. When you get it right, it feels amazingd! So why not give it a try and see how much more efficient and effective your React code can be with ForwardRef and TypeScript?

Understanding the Syntax of ForwardRef with TypeScript

Alright, peeps! Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of React's ForwardRef syntax with Typescript. Now, you might be wondering what in tarnation is ForwardRef and why do I need to use it?

Well, my friend, ForwardRef is a way to forward refs down to a child component in React. It's particularly handy when you're working with higher-order components (HOCs) and you need to access the refs of the wrapped component.

So, let's break down the syntax. In order to use ForwardRef, you'll need to import it first:

import React, { forwardRef } from "react";

Notice the use of forwardRef here? That's where the magic happens. forwardRef is a function that you can wrap around your component, like so:

const MyComponent = forwardRef((props, ref) => {
  return <button ref={ref}>{props.children}</button>;

Now, let's take a closer look at what's going on here. We're creating a functional component called MyComponent, and we're using forwardRef to forward the ref to the underlying button element.

The props parameter contains all of the props passed to the component, and the ref parameter is the ref object that's being passed down.

Now, here's where it gets even cooler. Since we're using Typescript, we can add type annotations to our forwardRef function:

interface MyComponentProps {
  children: string;

const MyComponent = forwardRef<HTMLButtonElement, MyComponentProps>((props, ref) => {
  return <button ref={ref}>{props.children}</button>;

Here, we're defining a type for MyComponentProps and we're specifying that the component should render a button element (HTMLButtonElement).

See how amazing it is? You're now a ForwardRef pro! Keep practicing and soon enough, you'll be using it like a boss.

Code Example: Creating a ForwardRef Component

Let's dive right into creating a ForwardRef component with code examples! First things first, we need to import the necessary libraries.

import React, {forwardRef} from 'react';

Now, let's create a simple component that accepts a ref and renders a div with some text.

interface MyComponentProps {}

export const MyComponent = forwardRef<HTMLDivElement, MyComponentProps>((props, ref) => {
  return (
    <div ref={ref}>
      <p>Here's some nifty text!</p>

In this example, we're using Typescript to define the props interface as an empty object. We're also using the forwardRef function to create the component, which takes two type arguments. The first is the type of the ref we'll be using (in this case, HTMLDivElement), and the second is the type of our component props (in this case, MyComponentProps).

The forwardRef function takes a function as its argument, which accepts our props and ref as parameters. In this function, we're simply rendering a div with some text, and passing the ref prop to the div so that it can be used to reference the DOM element.

And that's it! With just a few lines of code, we've created a component that works seamlessly with React's forwardRef function and Typescript. Imagine how amazing it would be to have fully typed components throughout your application. Happy coding!

Code Example: Using the Forwarded Ref in TypeScript

Okay, so let's dive into an actual code example of using Forwarded Ref in TypeScript. This is where things get nitty-gritty, but trust me, it's worth it.

First, let's create our functional component, which we'll call MyComponent:

import React from 'react';

type Props = {
  name: string;
  age: number;

const MyComponent = React.forwardRef<HTMLDivElement, Props>((props, ref) => {
  return <div ref={ref}>{} is {props.age} years old</div>;

export default MyComponent;

Alright, let's break this down. We're using React.forwardRef to create a new component that accepts a ref parameter. We're also using TypeScript generics to specify that the ref will point to an HTML div element.

The props parameter is of type Props, which we defined earlier as an object with a name property of type string and an age property of type number.

The actual markup of our component is just a simple div that displays the name and age passed in through the props. We also pass the ref parameter to the div element so that we can access it later.

Now let's see how we can actually use this component with a forwarded ref.

import React, { useRef } from 'react';
import MyComponent from './MyComponent';

const App = () => {
  const myComponentRef = useRef<HTMLDivElement>(null);

  const handleClick = () => {
    myComponentRef.current?.scrollIntoView({ behavior: 'smooth' });

  return (
      <button onClick={handleClick}>Scroll to MyComponent</button>
      <MyComponent name="Alice" age={25} ref={myComponentRef} />

export default App;

We're importing our MyComponent and rendering it within our App component. Notice that we're passing in a name and age as props, just like we defined earlier.

The key here is the ref prop that we're passing in. We're using the useRef hook to create a reference to an HTML div element, which is the same type that we specified earlier in our MyComponent definition. We're passing this reference as the ref prop to MyComponent.

Now, in our handleClick function, we're using the reference to our component to scroll it into view. This is just a simple example, but you can see how powerful it can be to have access to a component's DOM element through a forwarded ref.

How amazing is it that we can use TypeScript to ensure that our reference is of the correct HTML element type? TypeScript has really become an essential tool for React development, and Forwarded Ref is just one example of how it can make our lives easier.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using ForwardRef with TypeScript

Let's be real, using ForwardRef with TypeScript can be a bit tricky at times. But fear not, my friend, because I've got some common mistakes that you can avoid to make your life a whole lot easier.

First off, make sure you're using the correct typings for the ref. It's easy to accidentally use the wrong interface and end up with a big, fat error message staring at you. Double-checking your types beforehand can save you a lot of headache.

Another mistake to avoid is forgetting to forward the ref. Sounds obvious, right? But it's happened to the best of us. Always make sure to include the forwardRef function and pass the ref parameter along to the child component. Otherwise, you'll find yourself scratching your head wondering why your ref isn't working as expected.

Lastly, don't forget to handle the case where no ref is provided. This is where the if (!ref) return null line comes in handy. It's a nifty little way to gracefully handle this edge case without your code breaking.

So there you have it, folks. By being mindful of your typings, forwarding the ref, and handling edge cases, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of using ForwardRef with TypeScript. How amazing would it be to avoid those pesky errors and breeze through your coding with ease?


Well, there you have it, folks! I hope this guide has proved useful in helping you master the art of using React's ForwardRef with Typescript. Remember, it's all about understanding how the code works and learning to use it effectively in your own projects.

Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things – after all, that's how we learn and grow as developers! And always keep in mind that there's a whole community of developers out there who are eager to help and share their knowledge with others.

So go forth, my friends, and build some nifty React components using ForwardRef and Typescript. Who knows – maybe you'll come up with something truly groundbreaking and change the face of web development forever. How amazingd it be?

I am a driven and diligent DevOps Engineer with demonstrated proficiency in automation and deployment tools, including Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, and Ansible. With over 2 years of experience in DevOps and Platform engineering, I specialize in Cloud computing and building infrastructures for Big-Data/Data-Analytics solutions and Cloud Migrations. I am eager to utilize my technical expertise and interpersonal skills in a demanding role and work environment. Additionally, I firmly believe that knowledge is an endless pursuit.

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