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react-md - Guides - Creating A New App

Creating a New App

This guide will help you create a new app with react-md along with create-react-app as the project bootstrapper. The basic requirements for continuing are:

  • node installed with at least version 14 to make things simple
  • yarn or npm
  • experience in React

If you want to get started immediately, you can view the GitHub examples folder which outlines quick ways to spin up a new project with different build tools. Another alternative is using the react-md GitHub template to bootstrap a new repo with Next.js and some reasonable defaults.

Bootstrapping a new Project

To get started, let's use create-react-app to bootstrap our new project:

npx create-react-app my-app

Or with yarn:

yarn create react-app my-app

Once the command has completed, cd into the my-app directory and install react-md and sass:

npm install --save react-md
npm install --save-dev sass

Or with yarn:

yarn add react-md
yarn add --dev sass

Now that we've initialized our project, we can go ahead and start up the app with the start command:

npm run start

Or with yarn:

yarn start

Once the app starts, you should see a page like this:

Create React App's starting page

Great! Let's start adding some react-md into the mix. First, let's add the general Configuration and Layout to our app. Start by editing the main src/index.js to use the Configuration component:

 import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
+import { Configuration } from 'react-md';
 import './index.css';
 import App from './App';
 import reportWebVitals from './reportWebVitals';

-    <App />
+    <Configuration>
+      <App />
+    </Configuration>

Next, update the src/App.js to include the Layout component. Since the Layout component is also used to render a navigation pane, we'll use the useLayoutNavigation hook along with an empty navigation tree to handle that behavior to start with.

+import { Layout, useLayoutNavigation } from 'react-md';
 import logo from './logo.svg';
 import './App.css';

+const navItems = {};
 function App() {
   return (
+    <Layout
+      title="react-md App"
+      navHeaderTitle="My App"
+      treeProps={useLayoutNavigation(navItems, window.location.pathname)}
+    >
       <div className="App">
         <header className="App-header">
           <img src={logo} className="App-logo" alt="logo" />
             Edit <code>src/App.js</code> and save to reload.
             rel="noopener noreferrer"
             Learn React
+    </Layout>

When you hit save, you'll be presented with this beauty:

react-md without styles

What?! That doesn't look anything close to how it was advertised! No problem. Let's fix that by adding the base styles. Create a new file src/App.scss that will import the react-md scss library as well as generate the default styles:

@use "react-md" as *;

@include react-md-utils;

Next, update src/App.js to import this file.

 import logo from './logo.svg';
 import { Layout, useLayoutNavigation } from 'react-md';
 import './App.css';
+import './App.scss';

 const navItems = {};

Once you save this file, you should now see an app with a decent looking layout with the default color scheme.

react-md default styles but without fonts

If you get an error like this:

Missing sass error you can fix it by ensuring to install sass and restarting your dev server.

We're getting close, but if you resize your browser, you'll notice something weird in the layout:

Missing Material Icons font

Aha! We're missing the final part of including fonts! react-md defaults to using the Roboto font along with the Material Icons font icon library. Luckily, both of these can be quickly added to your site with Google Fonts. Let's update the public/index.html one more time to add a <link> for the fonts:

       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="" />
+    <link rel="stylesheet" href=",500:700&display=swap" />

Once you save, you should now have both the material icons font and the Roboto font available.

react-md fonts loaded

🎉 Your first setup has been completed.

Where do I go from here?

Well now that you've setup the basics for your first react-md styled app, you'll probably be interested in:

  • Configuring your layout - This will also go into more details about the navigation tree.
  • Customizing your theme - The default colors, sizes, and fonts might not be your thing so this is all configurable.
  • Advanced Installation - Using default styles from to speed up initial compilation and optionally using the UMD bundle.
  • viewing the different packages within react-md and seeing the components they provide.