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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
How to Add the Extension
3.
How to Use the Extension
4.
Practical Examples
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is DevTools React?
5.2.
How do I open DevTools in React?
5.3.
How do I debug React in Chrome Dev Tools?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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React Devtools

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Introduction

In the world of React development, visibility into the inner workings of your application is not just helpful; it's essential. React DevTools is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox that provides a powerful way to inspect and debug React applications. 

React devtools

 

This article will guide you through adding and using React DevTools, ensuring you have the knowledge to leverage this tool effectively.

 

How to Add the Extension

For Chrome:

  • Go to the Chrome Web Store.
     
  • Search for "React DevTools".
add extension
  • Find the extension offered by Facebook Inc.
     
  • Click "Add to Chrome" and confirm by clicking "Add extension".
     
  • Check the extension by clicking on manage extensions. 
     
add extension

For Firefox:

  • Visit the Firefox Browser Add-Ons page.
     
  • Search for "React DevTools".
     
  • Select the extension provided by Facebook Inc.
     
  • Click "Add to Firefox" and approve the addition.
     
  • Once installed, the React DevTools icon will appear in your browser's extension area, signifying that it's ready to use.

Also see,  React Native Reanimated

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How to Use the Extension

After installation, using React DevTools is straightforward:

  • Open your React application in the browser.
     
  • Press F12 or right-click on the page and select "Inspect" to open the developer tools.
     
  • Click on the React DevTools icon, which should now appear alongside other developer tools tabs like "Elements" and "Console".
     
  • Here, you'll see your React component hierarchy. This view is interactive and allows you to select components to inspect their current props, state, and hooks.
use extension

Inspecting Components

Click on a component in the hierarchy to view and edit its current props and state in the right-hand pane. This feature is invaluable for debugging, as it allows you to see how data flows through your application.

Profiling Performance

React DevTools comes with a profiler that helps you measure the performance of your React application. It records how your app renders and lets you find performance bottlenecks.

Debugging Hooks

For applications using React Hooks, DevTools provides a way to inspect the current hooks state. This is crucial for understanding the logic and state of functional components.

Practical Examples

Example 1: Editing Props and State

Suppose you have a UserProfile component. With React DevTools, you can simulate changes to the user's profile by editing the props and state, without changing the code or refreshing the page.
 

Example 2: Performance Profiling

Imagine your application feels sluggish. Use the Profiler tool to record a session where you navigate through the slow parts of your app. React DevTools will highlight components that take a long time to render.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DevTools React?

DevTools for React is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that provides a suite of debugging tools designed for React applications. It allows developers to inspect the React component hierarchies, observe component state and props, and diagnose rendering issues.

How do I open DevTools in React?

To open DevTools in React, first install the React DevTools extension for your browser (Chrome or Firefox). Then, navigate to your React application in the browser, right-click, select "Inspect" to open the developer console, and click on the "React" tab.

How do I debug React in Chrome Dev Tools?

To debug React in Chrome DevTools, install the React DevTools extension. Open your React app in Chrome, right-click, and select "Inspect" to open DevTools. Use the "React" tab to inspect components, their state, and props. For code debugging, use the "Sources" tab.

Conclusion

React DevTools is an indispensable extension for any React developer. It provides deep insights into the component tree, allows for real-time editing of props and state, and offers performance profiling tools. By integrating React DevTools into your development process, you can debug and optimize your applications more effectively, leading to higher-quality software and a better end-user experience. Whether you're a seasoned developer or new to React, mastering React DevTools will significantly enhance your development capabilities.

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