Max RozenMax Rozen

How to use SVGs in your React App

Trying to render an SVG in your React app, and getting errors? You’re not alone - it’s a relatively common issue.

There are two ways to do it, and both have tradeoffs.

Using <img> tags, and passing your SVG’s URL

Here’s a basic example:

import React from 'react';
import logoSrc from './logo.svg';

const MyLogo = () => {
  return <img src={logoSrc} />;

The benefit of this approach is that your logo will not end up in your bundle, but rather exported as a static file when you run yarn build (assuming you’re using a standard webpack config, such as the one found in create-react-app).

This then gives you the option of aggressively caching icons that you know won’t change.

You would typically use this approach for larger company logos on your marketing site, or for illustrations in your app.

Creating a React component, and passing props

The other option is to create a React component containing your SVG. Also known as “inlining” your SVG.

This done by pasting your raw svg markup into a new React component.

There are a few ways to achieve this:

  • Manually, byremoving/replacing all HTML props with the React equivalent, and adding {...props} to the main svg element),
  • CLI via SVGR - a utility to automate this process
  • Webpack config via SVGR

If you’re using create-react-app, it already has SVGR’s webpack config built-in, so you can already use your SVGs like React components:

import Star from './star.svg';
const App = () => (
    <Star />

Here’s what a manually created SVG-based React component looks like:

import React from 'react';

export const DeleteIcon = (props) => (
    viewBox="0 0 24 24"
    <path d="M6 19c0 1.1.9 2 2 2h8c1.1 0 2-.9 2-2V7H6v12zM19 4h-3.5l-1-1h-5l-1 1H5v2h14V4z" />
    <path d="M0 0h24v24H0z" fill="none" />

This approach lets you easily access props on your SVG icon. For example, changing the fill color:

<DeleteIcon fill="#fff" />

The downside being that your icons won’t be as easily cached, so I would use this approach for smaller icons, such as the Material Design Icons.

Do you struggle to keep up with best practices in React?

I send a single email weekly with an article like this one to help improve the quality of your React apps. Lots of developers like them, and I'd love to hear what you think as well. You can always unsubscribe.

    Join 153 React developers who signed up this month!


    © 2020 Max Rozen. All rights reserved.