⌨️ React Keyboard Navigator

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A suite of React components and hook that provides an ability to select sibling React components through keyboard interactive.

react-keyboard-navigator

🧩 Installation

yarn add react-keyboard-navigator (or npm/pnpm)

πŸ’‘ Concept

import { KeyboardNavigatorBoard, KeyboardNavigatorElement, useKeyboardNavigator } from 'react-keyboard-navigator'

This suite contains two polymorphic higher-order component: KeyboardNavigatorBoard and KeyboardNavigatorElement, the former scopes the control zone, and the latter wraps your selectable component. They both receive a special prop as, which indicates what’s the component ultimately rendered as.

There is another necessary React hook in this suite — useKeyboardNavigator. It returns a marker which adheres to the KeyboardNavigatorElement and KeyboardNavigator for connecting them.

const { markRef } = useKeyboardNavigator()

<KeyboardNavigatorBoard as="div" markRef={markRef} active={boardActive}>
    {children}
<KeyboardNavigatorBoard />

<KeyboardNavigatorElement as="span" markRef={markRef} active={elementActive} onActiveChange={handleElementActiveChange}>
    {children}
</KeyboardNavigatorElement>

πŸ’« Signature

KeyboardNavigatorBoard‘s active state can be driven by an external prop or internal automatic detecting. An explicitly passed active prop forces this detection disabled. If you let this active prop be omitted, the autoActive detecting mechanism will be enabled with an initial active state initialActive. It is also a polymorphic higher-order component, so you can pass any props which the as one takes and the base type definition.

type KeyboardNavigatorBoardProps = {
    markRef: RegistrySymbol,
    as: React.ElementType,
    active?: boolean,
    // if we explicitly passed the `active` prop, it means the `active` state of KeyboardNavigatorBoard is controlled by external, the `autoActive` prop is forced to `false`.
    // Otherwise, the `autoActive` fallbacks to enabled.
    autoActive?: boolean,
    onAutoActiveChange?: (active: boolean) => void,
    // if the `autoActive` feature is enabled, the initial is used to determine the initial active state, it has the default value of `false`
    initialActive?: boolean,
}

KeyboardNavigatorElement is a active-state-controlled component (see the controlled component explanation), and it is polymorphic higher-order-component, also receives any props which the as one takes. Therefore it mixes the base type definition with the as one’s props:

type KeyboardNavigatorElementProps = {
    markRef: RegistrySymbol,
    active?: boolean,
    onActiveChange?: (active: boolean) => void,
    as: React.ElementType,
}

useKeyboardNavigator receives:

  1. directionMap for customize keyboard mapping, see the Customization section for details.
  2. eventCallback for catching the active state pass-by, if the caller explicitly returns a false value means manually to prevent this pass-by happening.
  3. didChange for catching the next tick of active state pass-by, it is convenient to manipulate the related elements, e.g. trigger focus, blur, etc.
  4. rootContainer for set a always existed and active KeyboardNavigatorBoard, e.g. document.body. If this option is provided, you don’t have to always mark a selectable element through wrapped itself by KeyboardNavigatorBoard.

type UseKeyboardNavigatorOption = {
    directionMap?: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap
    eventCallback?: (e: KeyboardEvent, eventInfo: { fromElement: HTMLElement, toElement?: HTMLElement }) => void | false
    didChange?: (fromElement: HTMLElement, toElement: HTMLElement) => void
    rootContainer?: HTMLElement
}

πŸ“Ž Example

import { KeyboardNavigatorBoard, KeyboardNavigatorElement, useKeyboardNavigator } from 'react-keyboard-navigator'

const Demo = ({ blocks }: Props) => {
   const { markRef } = useKeyboardNavigator({
      // prevent the default page scrolling behavior when we are using the keyboard to switch the active state between components
      eventCallback: evt => evt.preventDefault()
   })

   const [highlightBlockIndex, setHighlightBockIndex] = useState(0)

   const [boardActive, setBoardActive] = useState(true)

   return (
      <div>
         <div onClick={() => setBoardActive(!boardActive)} style={{ cursor: 'pointer' }}>Active controlled: {boardActive ? 'βœ…' : '❌'}</div>
         <hr />
         <KeyboardNavigatorBoard
            as="main"
            markRef={markRef} active={boardActive}
         >
            {blocks.map((word, index) => (
               <KeyboardNavigatorElement
                  key={word.key}
                  as="span"
                  className="block" style={{ top: word.y, left: word.x, borderColor: index === highlightBlockIndex ? 'orange' : 'lightblue' }} onClick={() => setHighlightBockIndex(index)}
                  markRef={markRef} active={index === highlightBlockIndex} onActiveChange={() => setHighlightBockIndex(index)}
               >
                  {word.text}{' '}
               </KeyboardNavigatorElement>
            ))}
         </KeyboardNavigatorBoard>
      </div>
   )
}

You can see the live preview here: Random Placement, and other examples: Interest Gallery, MacOS Finder

Customization πŸ‘‡

There are two customizable stuff in keyboard navigation: distance calculation strategy and direction mapping.

  1. distance calculation strategy determines how to calculate the distance between the start point and the specified direction. It support DISTANCE、 PROJECT、custom calculation method (distance: number, angleDegree: number) => number.
  2. direction mapping binds the keyboard key to the direction. There are total 8 directions and some built-in direction-keyboard mapping has been defined:
Group Name Direction Keyboard Key
ArrowDirectionMap UP ArrowUp
DOWN ArrowDown
LEFT ArrowLeft
RIGHT ArrowRight
WasdDirectionMap UP W
DOWN S
LEFT A
RIGHT D
IJKLDirectionMap UP I
DOWN K
LEFT J
RIGHT L
HJKLDirectionMap UP K
DOWN H
LEFT J
RIGHT L
NumPadDirectionMap UP_LEFT 7
UP 8
UP_RIGHT 9
LEFT 4
RIGHT 6
DOWN_LEFT 1
DOWN 2
DOWN_RIGHT 3

By default we use the ArrowDirectionMap.

An valid custom direction could be:

const ArrowDirectionMap: DirectionKeyMap = {
    UP: 'ArrowUp',
    DOWN: 'ArrowDown',
    LEFT: 'ArrowLeft',
    RIGHT: 'ArrowRight',
}

or

const ArrowDirectionMapWithVerticalProjectFirstStrategy: DirectionDetailsMap = {
    UP: {
        key: 'ArrowUp',
        strategy: 'PROJECT',
    },
    DOWN: {
        key: 'ArrowDown',
        strategy: 'PROJECT',
    },
    LEFT: {
        key: 'ArrowLeft',
        strategy: 'DISTANCE',
    },
    RIGHT: {
        key: 'ArrowRight',
        strategy: 'DISTANCE',
    }
}

We exported all the built-in direction-keyboard mapping presets. They are grouped by different direction key styles, and there all have subgroups with different strategy scheduling.

First, import DirectionMapPresets. Secondly, use your preferred preset:

useKeyboardNavigator({
    directionMap: DirectionMapPresets.WasdDirectionMap.horizontalProjectFirst
})

Create your own direction mapping

We can create our own direction mapping:

const MyDirectionMapping = {
    UP: 'U',
    DOWN: 'D',
    LEFT: 'L',
    RIGHT: 'R',
}

Or through a helper for creating DirectionDetailsMap:

import { StrategiesHelper } from 'react-keyboard-navigator'

const MyDirectionMapping = StrategiesHelper.horizontalProjectFirst({
    UP: 'U',
    DOWN: 'D',
    LEFT: 'L',
    RIGHT: 'R',
})

If this StrategiesHelper doesn’t satisfy your needs, feel free to use your own calculation.

const YourOwnDirection: DirectionDetailsMap = {
    UP: {
        key: 'U',
        strategy: 'PROJECT',
    },
    DOWN: {
        key: 'D',
        strategy: 'PROJECT',
    },
    LEFT: {
        key: 'L',
        strategy: (distance: number, angleDegree: number) => angleDegree < 10 ? 0 : distance * Math.log(angleDegree) / Math.log(10),
    },
    RIGHT: {
        key: 'R',
        strategy: (distance: number, angleDegree: number) => angleDegree < 10 ? 0 : distance * Math.log(angleDegree) / Math.log(10),
    }
}

Signature of Customization stuff

DirectionMapPresets

import { DirectionMapPresets } from 'react-keyboard-navigator'
See its structure

Object {
  "ArrowDirectionMap": Object {
    "distance": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "ArrowDown",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowLeft",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowRight",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "ArrowUp",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "horizontalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "ArrowDown",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowLeft",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowRight",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "ArrowUp",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "horizontalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "ArrowDown",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowLeft",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowRight",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "ArrowUp",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "project": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "ArrowDown",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowLeft",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowRight",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "ArrowUp",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "verticalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "ArrowDown",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowLeft",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowRight",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "ArrowUp",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "verticalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "ArrowDown",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowLeft",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "ArrowRight",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "ArrowUp",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
  },
  "HJKLDirectionMap": Object {
    "distance": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "H",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "K",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "horizontalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "H",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "K",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "horizontalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "H",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "K",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "project": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "H",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "K",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "verticalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "H",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "K",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "verticalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "H",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "K",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
  },
  "IJKLDirectionMap": Object {
    "distance": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "k",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "I",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "horizontalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "k",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "I",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "horizontalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "k",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "I",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "project": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "k",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "I",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "verticalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "k",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "I",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "verticalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "k",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "J",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "L",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "I",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
  },
  "NumPadDirectionMap": Object {
    "distance": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "2",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "DOWN_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "1",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "DOWN_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "3",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "4",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "6",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "8",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "7",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "9",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "horizontalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "2",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "DOWN_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "1",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "DOWN_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "3",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "4",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "6",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "8",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "7",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "9",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "horizontalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "2",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "DOWN_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "1",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "DOWN_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "3",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "4",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "6",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "8",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "7",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "9",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "project": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "2",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "DOWN_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "1",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "DOWN_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "3",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "4",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "6",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "8",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "7",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "9",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "verticalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "2",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "DOWN_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "1",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "DOWN_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "3",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "4",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "6",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "8",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "7",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "9",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "verticalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "2",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "DOWN_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "1",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "DOWN_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "3",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "4",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "6",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "8",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP_LEFT": Object {
        "key": "7",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP_RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "9",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
  },
  "WasdDirectionMap": Object {
    "distance": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "S",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "A",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "D",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "W",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "horizontalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "S",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "A",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "D",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "W",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "horizontalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "S",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "A",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "D",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "W",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "project": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "S",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "A",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "D",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "W",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
    "verticalDistanceFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "S",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "A",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "D",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "W",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
    },
    "verticalProjectFirst": Object {
      "DOWN": Object {
        "key": "S",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
      "LEFT": Object {
        "key": "A",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "RIGHT": Object {
        "key": "D",
        "strategy": "DISTANCE",
      },
      "UP": Object {
        "key": "W",
        "strategy": "PROJECT",
      },
    },
  },
}

StrategiesHelper

import { StrategiesHelper } from 'react-keyboard-navigator'
See its structure

{
  distance: (directionMap: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap, keepOrigin?: boolean) => DirectionDetailsMap,
  project: (directionMap: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap, keepOrigin?: boolean) => DirectionDetailsMap,
  horizontalProjectFirst: (directionMap: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap, keepOrigin?: boolean) => DirectionDetailsMap,
  horizontalDistanceFirst: (directionMap: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap, keepOrigin?: boolean) => DirectionDetailsMap,
  verticalProjectFirst: (directionMap: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap, keepOrigin?: boolean) => DirectionDetailsMap,
  verticalDistanceFirst: (directionMap: DirectionKeyMap | DirectionDetailsMap, keepOrigin?: boolean) => DirectionDetailsMap,
}

GitHub

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