Skip to main content
Guides - Advanced Installation
Toggle Light/Dark ThemeView GitHubToggle right to left

# Advanced Installation

This guide will cover the following topics:

  • Using the CDN hosted UMD bundle of react-md
  • Using the CDN hosted pre-compiled themes
  • Pre-compiling the base react-md styles for quicker builds
  • Self-hosting the fonts instead of relying on Google Fonts
    • also self-hosting the material icons font
  • Switching to the SVG Icons instead of font icons

# Using the CDN hosted UMD bundle of react-md

The base react-md package is available as a UMD bundle that has been hosted through the CDN: The UMD will export a global variable named ReactMD that will contain all the exported components, hooks, and utils just like the npm package:

import { Configuration, Layout, Button, useToggle } from "react-md";

Would be the same as:

const { Configuration, Layout, Button, useToggle } = ReactMD;

To use the UMD bundle, you'll want to add a new <script> tag to your index.html:

123456789101112131415   <body>
     <noscript>You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.</noscript>
     <div id="root"></div>
+    <script src=""></script>
       This HTML file is a template.
       If you open it directly in the browser, you will see an empty page.

       You can add webfonts, meta tags, or analytics to this file.
       The build step will place the bundled scripts into the <body> tag.

       To begin the development, run `npm start` or `yarn start`.
       To create a production bundle, use `npm run build` or `yarn build`.

Note the @next in the pathname. You'll want to change this to be the specific version of react-md you are using otherwise you'll always get the latest version which might cause your app to break.

This can be used with a custom webpack configuration as well, but requires a bit more work. Check out the documentation on configuring externals.

# Using the CDN hosted pre-compiled themes

The base react-md package also pre-compiles a few different themes for you with all the features enabled which are also available through Each theme will follow the naming pattern of:


So a few examples are:

  • react-md.indigo-pink-200-dark.min.css
  • react-md.indigo-pink-200-light.min.css
  • react-md.light_blue-deep_orange-200-light.min.css
  • react-md.light_blue-deep_orange-700-dark.min.css
  • react-md.purple-pink-200-dark.min.css
  • react-md.purple-pink-200-light.min.css
  • react-md.teal-pink-200-dark.min.css
  • react-md.teal-pink-200-light.min.css

Once again, you can use these .css files by updating your index.html to include a new <link> tag in the <header>:

1234567891011     <meta
       content="Web site created using create-react-app"
     <link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="logo192.png" />
       manifest.json provides metadata used when your web app is installed on a
       user's mobile device or desktop. See
     <link rel="manifest" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/manifest.json" />
+    <link rel="stylesheet" href="" />

Note the @next in the pathname. You'll want to change this to be the specific version of react-md you are using otherwise you'll always get the latest version which might cause your app to break.

If you want to see which themes are available, you can use the browse feature from to see all the .css files:

# Pre-compiling the base react-md styles for quicker builds

The initial build for react-md styles can take awhile since it does a lot behind the scenes to validate the different colors, contrast ratios, and other things to prevent errors. Since you won't really be changing the react-md styles much once you've defined your theme or other custom overrides, you can speed up this process by just pre-building the base react-md CSS file. If you are using all the default "feature flags" within react-md, you can use the CDN hosted pre-compiled theme for this OR if you want to ensure everything works locally, you can import the .css file from the react-md dist folder:

123456+import 'react-md/dist/css/react-md/teal-pink-200-light.min.css';
 import React from 'react';
 import { render } from 'react-dom';
 import App from './App';

 render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'));

See the naming conventions above for choosing your default theme.

If you have changed more than just the color variables and the light/dark theme toggle, you'll need to manually compile the base react-md styles yourself. The including styles without webpack guide will go into full details for this, but here's a quick version.

First, install node-sass if you haven't already:

$ npm install --save-dev node-sass

Or with yarn:

$ yarn add --dev node-sass

Next, create a new src/react-md.scss file that will import the react-md library along with your variable overrides:

12345678@import "./my-custom-variables";

// or just define them in this file
$rmd-list-vertical-padding: 0.565rem;
$rmd-icon-use-font-icons: false;
$rmd-icon-icon-spacing-with-text: 0.75rem;

@import "react-md/dist/scss/styles";

Note that there is no leading tilde (~) for the @import statement for the react-md styles file along with now being dist/scss instead of just dist. This is to work without webpack.

Next, create a new script in your package.json to compile the base styles:

1234567   "scripts": {
     "start": "react-scripts start",
+    "styles": "node-sass --include-path=node_modules src/react-md.scss src/react-md.css",
     "build": "react-scripts build",
     "test": "react-scripts test",
     "eject": "react-scripts eject"

Note that node-sass is run with --include-path=node_modules. This is required now that it is being compiled without webpack.

Run the new styles script to generate your src/index.css file:

$ npm run styles

Or with yarn:

$ yarn styles

Finally, update the src/index.js to include the newly created react-md.css file:

123456+import './react-md.css';
 import React from 'react';
 import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
 import './index.css';
 import App from './App';
 import * as serviceWorker from './serviceWorker';

You're done! The normal build process will now include the newly compiled react-md.css file and handle the auto-prefixing based on the browserlist. Depending on your preference, you can commit this generated file to git if you know it won't change much, add a postinstall script to automatically generate this file for you, or use something like npm-run-all to run the styles command before the react-scripts start.

# Self-hosting the fonts

Sometimes it might not be ideal to use Google Fonts for providing the fonts due to limited connectivity or since there is no control over Google changing the font without notice. Luckily, the fonts from Google fonts can be downloaded through the website so they can be hosted locally. The @react-md/typography package also exports a mixin that helps referencing a locally hosted font: rmd-typography-host-google-font. This quick example will go through the steps for self-hosting the Roboto font.

First, download the Roboto font zip and extract into a roboto directory:

$ mkdir roboto
$ cd roboto
$ unzip ../
$ cd ..
$ tree roboto
├── LICENSE.txt
├── Roboto-Black.ttf
├── Roboto-BlackItalic.ttf
├── Roboto-Bold.ttf
├── Roboto-BoldItalic.ttf
├── Roboto-Italic.ttf
├── Roboto-Light.ttf
├── Roboto-LightItalic.ttf
├── Roboto-Medium.ttf
├── Roboto-MediumItalic.ttf
├── Roboto-Regular.ttf
├── Roboto-Thin.ttf
└── Roboto-ThinItalic.ttf

0 directories, 13 files

Next, move the fonts into your app's public directory:

$ cd /path/to/my/app
$ mkdir public/fonts
$ mv ~/Downloads/roboto public/fonts/roboto

Next, include the font with the weights by using the rmd-typography-host-google-font mixin:

@import "~@react-md/typography/dist/mixins";

@include rmd-typography-host-google-font;

Once this file has been saved, your fonts will automatically be loaded from the /fonts/roboto folder on your website since the default arguments will include the Roboto font, the default font weights, and resolve to the /fonts/roboto folder with an absolute path.

# Using Relative Paths for Fonts

Since this is an absolute path, the fonts will not be bundled with the normal build process and will always resolve to /fonts/roboto even if your app is hosted in production in a child route. Luckily, you can update this mixin to use relative imports instead so the fonts will be bundled, hashed, and update location with your build configuration.

Instead of copying the fonts into the public directory, all that is required is to copy it into your src directory. From there, update the mixin to reference the fonts locally:

$ cd /path/to/my/app
$ mkdir src/fonts
$ mv ~/Downloads/roboto src/fonts/roboto
1234567@import "~@react-md/typography/dist/mixins";

@include rmd-typography-host-google-font(

Note the ~./ for the third argument. This will resolve to the src directory within react-scripts (tested 3.3.1). If you do not like this syntax, you'll need to create a path something like: ../../../../src/fonts/roboto to resolve to your src directory.

You're done! The fonts should now be bundled as part of the react-scripts build process and generate urls such as: /static/media/RobotoRegular.3e1af3ef.ttf or ...prefix.../static/media/RobotoRegular.3e1af3ef.ttf

# Self-hosting the Material Icons font

Self hosting the material icons font will be similar to the other Google Fonts hosting. However, instead of using the rmd-typography-host-google-font mixin, you'll use the rmd-icon-host-material-icons mixin from the @react-md/icon package instead.

1234567891011@import "~@react-md/icon/dist/mixins";

// if material icons are in `public/fonts/material-icons`
@include rmd-icon-host-material-icons;

// if material icons are in `public/material-icons`
@include rmd-icon-host-material-icons("/material-icons");

// if material icons are in `src/fonts/material-icons` and should be part of the
// build process
@include rmd-icon-host-material-icons("~./fonts/material-icons");

# Switching to SVG Icons

All the icons within react-md use a Material Icons font icon implementation by default. Luckily all these default icons can be quickly configured and changed using the IconProvider from the @react-md/icon package (or as the icons prop from the @react-md/layout package's Configuration component). In addition, all the material icons are available as React components from the @react-md/material-icons package for convenience.

1234567891011121314151617181920212223import React from "react";
import { render } = "react-dom";
import { IconProvider, ConfigurableIcons } from "@react-md/icon";
import {
} from "@react-md/material-icons";

const overrides: ConfiguredIcons = {
  // and/or any other configurable icons
  back: <KeyboardArrowLeftSVGIcon />,
  expander: <KeyboardArrowDownSVGIcon />,
  forward: <KeyboardArrowRightSVGIcon />,

  <IconProvider {...overrides}>
    <App />

Or using the Configuration component:

123456789101112131415161718192021222324import React from "react";
import { render } = "react-dom";
import { Configuration } from "@react-md/layout";
import { ConfigurableIcons } from "@react-md/icon";
import {
} from "@react-md/material-icons";

const icons: ConfiguredIcons = {
  // and/or any other configurable icons
  back: <KeyboardArrowLeftSVGIcon />,
  expander: <KeyboardArrowDownSVGIcon />,
  forward: <KeyboardArrowRightSVGIcon />,

  <Configuration icons={icons}>
    <App />