Adding Event Handlers

Last updated 5 months ago

Previous: Installing Slate

Adding Event Handlers

Okay, so you've got Slate installed and rendered on the page, and when you type in it, you can see the changes reflected. But you want to do more than just type a plaintext string.

What makes Slate great is how easy it is to customize. Just like other React components you're used to, Slate allows you to pass in handlers that are triggered on certain events. You've already seen how the onChange handler can be used to store the changed editor value, but let's try adding more...

Let's use the onKeyDown handler to change the editor's content when we press a key.

Here's our app from earlier:

class App extends React.Component {
state = {
value: initialValue,
}
onChange = ({ value }) => {
this.setState({ value })
}
render() {
return <Editor value={this.state.value} onChange={this.onChange} />
}
}

Now we add an onKeyDown handler:

class App extends React.Component {
state = {
value: initialValue,
}
onChange = ({ value }) => {
this.setState({ value })
}
// Define a new handler which prints the key that was pressed.
onKeyDown = (event, change) => {
console.log(event.key)
}
render() {
return (
<Editor
value={this.state.value}
onChange={this.onChange}
onKeyDown={this.onKeyDown}
/>
)
}
}

Cool, now when a key is pressed in the editor, its corresponding keycode is logged in the console.

Now we want to make it actually change the content. For the purposes of our example, let's implement turning all ampersand, &, keystrokes into the word and upon being typed.

Our onKeyDown handler might look like this:

class App extends React.Component {
state = {
value: initialValue,
}
onChange = ({ value }) => {
this.setState({ value })
}
onKeyDown = (event, change) => {
// Return with no changes if the keypress is not '&'
if (event.key !== '&') return
// Prevent the ampersand character from being inserted.
event.preventDefault()
// Change the value by inserting 'and' at the cursor's position.
change.insertText('and')
return true
}
render() {
return (
<Editor
value={this.state.value}
onChange={this.onChange}
onKeyDown={this.onKeyDown}
/>
)
}
}

With that added, try typing &, and you should see it suddenly become and instead!

This offers a sense of what can be done with Slate's event handlers. Each one will be called with the event object, and a change object that lets you perform changes to the editor's value. Simple!

Next: Defining Custom Block Nodes