Easy to understand React Hook recipes by Gabe Ragland
What all this about?

Hooks are an upcoming feature that lets you use state and other React features without writing a class. This websites provides easy to understand code examples to help you understand how hooks work and hopefully inspire you to take advantage of them in your next project. Be sure to check out the official docs.

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This hook allows you to detect clicks outside of a specified element. In the example below we use it to close a modal when any element outside of the modal is clicked. By abstracting this logic out into a hook we can easily use it across all of our components that need this kind of functionality (dropdown menus, tooltips, etc).

import { useState, useEffect, useRef } from 'react';

// Usage
function App() {
  // Create a ref that we add to the element for which we want to detect outside clicks
  const ref = useRef();
  // State for our modal
  const [isModalOpen, setModalOpen] = useState(false);
  // Call hook passing in the ref and a function to call on outside click
  useOnClickOutside(ref, () => setModalOpen(false));

  return (
      {isModalOpen ? (
        <div ref={ref}>
          👋 Hey, I'm a modal. Click anywhere outside of me to close.
      ) : (
        <button onClick={() => setModalOpen(true)}>Open Modal</button>

// Hook
function useOnClickOutside(ref, handler) {
  useEffect(() => {
    const listener = event => {
      // Do nothing if clicking ref's element or descendent elements
      if (!ref.current || ref.current.contains( {


    document.addEventListener('mousedown', listener);
    document.addEventListener('touchstart', listener);

    return () => {
      document.removeEventListener('mousedown', listener);
      document.removeEventListener('touchstart', listener);
  }, []); // Empty array ensures that effect is only run on mount and unmount
  • Andarist/use-onclickoutside - Similar logic implemented as a library. Also accounts for passive events. Good choice if you want to pull something from github/npm.
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