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Posted on • Originally published at bharathikannan.com

How to use Nextjs Link with Chakra UI

One of the frequently asked questions on chakra ui library discussions is, How do I use nextjs link with chakra ui button or chakra link? In this post let us explore some common patterns to use nextjs link with chakra.

NextJS provides a Link component out of the box, that can be used for Client-side transitions between different routes. This Link component is exported from next/link package.

What is so special about this component is, it prefetches the linked route by default to provide rapid fast 🚀 page transitions. Until the Link becomes visible to the user, it won't prefetch the route, and once the Link is visible the prefetch is done in the background.

So, to use this component with our design system, we can create a custom component wrapper and make it reusable across the application. Let's see how to do that next.

Create Chakra Button with Next Link

Surround chakra Button with next's Link and provide a passHref prop so that it forwards href to the rendered anchor tag for proper semantics and SEO.

import Link from "next/link";
import { Button } from "@chakra-ui/react";

function ChakraNextLinkButton({ href, children, ...props }) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref>
      <Button as="a" {...props}>
        {children}
      </Button>
    </Link>
  );
}

function IndexPage() {
  return (
      <ChakraNextLinkButton href="/about" colorScheme="facebook">
        About
      </ChakraNextLinkButton>
  );
}
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Notice the as prop in chakra button on line number 7. We are rendering anchor tag instead of button on DOM and applying chakra button styles to it! You can pass all the chakra button props to the component ChakraNextLinkButton like onClick, padding, margin etc.

With this approach, we are following proper web semantics.

We can change the variant prop to 'link' to the same component to render the link styles.

<ChakraNextLinkButton href="/about" variant="link">
   About
</ChakraNextLinkButton>
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At the same time, if you want to have control over next's Link via props, you would need to separate the props in the custom component and pass it appropriately like below

import Link from "next/link";
import { Button } from "@chakra-ui/react";

function ChakraNextLinkButton({ href, children, prefetch = true, ...props }) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref prefetch={prefetch}>
      <Button as="a" {...props}>
        {children}
      </Button>
    </Link>
  );
}

function IndexPage() {
  return (
      <ChakraNextLinkButton
            href="/about"
            colorScheme="facebook"
            prefetch={false}>
            About without prefetch
       </ChakraNextLinkButton>
  );
}
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See more about Next's Link props in next's documentation about Link component

Create Chakra Link with Next Link

If we want to use Chakra's Link with Next's Link, we can do that easily by this method.

import Link from "next/link";
import { Link as ChakraLink } from "@chakra-ui/react";

function ChakraNextLink({ href, children, ...props }) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref>
      <ChakraLink {...props}>{children}</ChakraLink>
    </Link>
  );
}

function IndexPage() {
  return (
      <ChakraNextLink href="https://bharathikannan.com" isExternal color="red">
        Visit my homepage
      </ChakraNextLink>
  )
}
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Notice that we can pass isExternal prop to the custom component, and that would forward the prop to Chakra's Link component to add the target="_blank" and rel="noopener noreferrer" attributes to rendered HTML automatically.

Usage with Typescript

If you are using next js with typescript and if you want to make use of typescript intellisense, code completion and static type checking for our custom chakra components, you can create a new prop type by merging Chakra's Props and Next's Props and provide it to our component like below

import Link, { LinkProps } from "next/link";
import {
  Button,
  ButtonProps,
} from "@chakra-ui/react";

type ChakraAndNextProps = ButtonProps & LinkProps;

function ChakraNextLinkButton({
  href,
  children,
  prefetch = true,
  ...props
}: ChakraAndNextProps) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref prefetch={prefetch}>
      <Button as="a" {...props}>
        {children}
      </Button>
    </Link>
  );
}

function IndexPage() {
  return (
      <ChakraNextLinkButton href="/about" colorScheme="facebook">
        About
      </ChakraNextLinkButton>
  );
}
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Wow! Now we got code completion with static props checking!

And for the Chakra Link,

import Link, { LinkProps } from "next/link";
import {
  Link as ChakraLink,
  LinkProps as ChakraLinkProps,
} from "@chakra-ui/react";

type ChakraLinkAndNextProps = ChakraLinkProps & LinkProps;

function ChakraNextLink({ href, children, ...props }: ChakraLinkAndNextProps) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref>
      <ChakraLink {...props}>{children}</ChakraLink>
    </Link>
  );
}


function IndexPage() {
  return (
    <ChakraNextLink href="https://bharathikannan.com" isExternal color="red">
      Visit my homepage
    </ChakraNextLink>
  );
}
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Great! Now we won't be missing Chakra's prop intellisense!

Note: In the above examples, you are responsible for separating chakra props and next props and passing it to the corresponding components!

Bonus Tip

You can shorten the prop spreading on components without mentioning children

// BEFORE
function ChakraNextLinkButton({ href, children, prefetch = true, ...props }) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref prefetch={prefetch}>
      <Button as="a" {...props}>
        {children}
      </Button>
    </Link>
  );
}

// AFTER
function ChakraNextLinkButton({ href, prefetch = true, ...props }) {
  return (
    <Link href={href} passHref prefetch={prefetch}>
      <Button as="a" {...props} />
    </Link>
  );
}
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Sandbox Links

Here is the sandbox link for all the above examples to see it live ✅

Do you think anything else to be added? Did you notice any issues in the post? Let me know at my Twitter handle, or please feel free to submit a PR to my post on the blog, How to use Nextjs Link with Chakra UI


References

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