Get React Component Data by DOM Node

By  on  

Retrieving a React component's DOM node is fairly simple from within the component itself, but what if you want to work backward:  retrieve a component's instance by DOM node?  This is a task that the old Dojo Toolkit's Dijit framework allowed with the dijit.byId method, so it made me think if you could do the same with React.  It turns out you can retrieve a component instance by DOM node!

The following function allows you to get a React component instance by DOM node:

function findReactElement(node) {
    for (var key in node) {
        if (key.startsWith("__reactInternalInstance$")) {
            return node[key]._debugOwner.stateNode;
        }
    }
    return null;
}

If the node is a React component root, you'll see a load of amazing information, like its props, state, context, refs, list of methods, and more:

React Element State

Modifying props/state and calling render methods don't appear to actually do anything, so manipulation doesn't look possible from the outside, but it is useful to be able to get the component instance based on DOM node if for nothing other than inspection.  Nice!

Recent Features

  • By
    Designing for Simplicity

    Before we get started, it's worth me spending a brief moment introducing myself to you. My name is Mark (or @integralist if Twitter happens to be your communication tool of choice) and I currently work for BBC News in London England as a principal engineer/tech...

  • By
    Vibration API

    Many of the new APIs provided to us by browser vendors are more targeted toward the mobile user than the desktop user.  One of those simple APIs the Vibration API.  The Vibration API allows developers to direct the device, using JavaScript, to vibrate in...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    background-size Matters

    It's something that makes all men live in fear, and are often uncertain of. It's never spoken, but the curiosity is always there. Nine out of ten women agree in the affirmative. Advertisers do their best to make us feel inadequate but...

  • By
    jQuery Wookmark

    The first thing that hits you when you visit Pinterest is "Whoa, the columns are the same width and the photos are cut to fit just the way they should."  Basic web users probably think nothing of it but as a developer, I can appreciate the...

Discussion

  1. Hristo

    This is not a good practice in my opinion. What if React change these properties in the next versions? In general this approach seems counter-OOP, it’s like stirring in the gut…

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!