Creating Graphs as React Components with D3.js

Published Mar 21, 2017
Creating Graphs as React Components with D3.js

Creating the Graphs as React Components

Because of the complexity of D3.js, I am going to break these tutorials into two articles.

There are quite a bit of articles out there on getting started with D3.js. In this article, I will assume you have some basic understanding of D3, and will focus on using D3 as a React component.

Creating the Bars

In D3, creating a bar for a bar graph is pretty easy — it is just a group of SVG rectangles drawn to the screen. First, we want create a simple component to allow us to configure individual bars. The props allow us to change the color, width, height, and location of each bar. I will get into how we can use these props to display data later.

import React from 'react';

const Bar = (props) => {
  return (

Bar.propTypes = {
  fill: React.PropTypes.string,
  width: React.PropTypes.number,
  height: React.PropTypes.number,
  x: React.PropTypes.number,
  y: React.PropTypes.number,
  className: React.PropTypes.string

Bar.defaultProps = { className: 'barchart-bar' };

export default Bar;

Creating the Line

In D3, you create a path to plot data points on the screen, and then draw a line between the points. Same with the bars, by allowing the passing in of props, we can plot the points and line for the path.

import React from 'react';

const Path = (props) => {
  return (
      {...props} />

Path.propTypes = {
  fill: React.PropTypes.string,
  path: React.PropTypes.string,
  stroke: React.PropTypes.string,
  strokeWidth: React.PropTypes.number,
  className: React.PropTypes.string

Path.defaultProps = { className: 'linechart-path' };

export default Path;

Creating the BarLine Graph

I created a component that simply takes in data via props and combines the previous two components together. Putting them together like this allows us to scale the bars and lines together. The D3 code here can be pretty complex, but take a look at's D3 course (and I will have a intro to D3 post soon). To summerize, we are calculating the scale of the bars and lines (I am skipping the scaling of the axis, but it is similar to scaling the bars and path).

import * as d3 from 'd3'
import React from 'react'
import Chart from '../chart'
import Axis from '../axis'
import DataSeries from './DataSeries'

class BarLineChart extends React.Component {

  render () {
    return (
        height={this.props.height + + this.props.margins.bottom}>
            transform={`translate(${this.props.margins.left}, 	 ${})`}>

BarLineChart.propTypes = {
  margins: React.PropTypes.obj,
  barWidth: React.PropTypes.number,
  barMargin: React.PropTypes.number,
  width: React.PropTypes.number,
  height: React.PropTypes.number,
  className: React.PropTypes.string,

BarLineChart.defaultProps = {
  className: 'BarLineChart',
  margins: {top: 20, right: 20, bottom: 30, left: 40},
  barWidth: 15,
  barMargin: 15,

export default BarLineChart

Here is the final product:

Screenshot 2016-09-06 13.40.21.png

To learn how to build interactive charts with D3.js, watch this video. You will be able to display your dataset as a table, bar chart, column chart, scatter plot, etc.

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