Getting Started with React Virtuoso

React Virtuoso is a family of powerful yet easy-to-use React components that can render enormous data sets.

Out of the box, Virtuoso:

  • Handles items with variable dynamic height; no manual measurements or hard-coding of item heights necessary;
  • Supports grouping with sticky headers;
  • Supports responsive grid layout;
  • Automatically handles content resizing;
  • Supports headers and footers.
  • Can pin the first N items to the top of the list.

To start, install react-virtuoso in your React project. The package exports the Virtuoso, TableVirtuoso, GroupedVirtuoso, and VirtuosoGrid components.

npm install react-virtuoso

Add the Component to your application.

import * as React from 'react'
import * as ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
import { Virtuoso } from 'react-virtuoso'

const App = () => (
  <Virtuoso
    style={{ height: '400px' }}
    totalCount={200}
    itemContent={index => <div>Item {index}</div>}
  />
)

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'))

Here's how it looks (live editor):

import { Virtuoso } from 'react-virtuoso'

export default function App() {
  return <Virtuoso
    style={{ height: "400px", }}
    totalCount={200}
    itemContent={(index) => <div>Item {index}</div>}
  />
}

Grouping

The GroupedVirtuoso component is similar to the "flat" Virtuoso, with the following differences:

  • Instead of totalCount, the Component accepts groupedCounts: number[], which specifies the amount of items in each group. For example, passing [20, 30] will render two groups with 20 and 30 items each;
  • In addition the item render prop, the Component requires an additional group render prop, which renders the group header. The group callback receives the zero-based group index as a parameter;
  • The itemContent render prop gets called with an additional second parameter, groupIndex: number.
import { GroupedVirtuoso } from 'react-virtuoso'

  const groupCounts = []
  for (let index = 0; index < 1000; index++) {
    groupCounts.push(10)
  }

export default function App() {

  return (
    <GroupedVirtuoso
    style={{ height: "400px" }}
      groupCounts={groupCounts}
      groupContent={index => {
        return (
          <div style={{ backgroundColor: 'white' }}>
            Group {index * 10} &ndash; {index * 10 + 10}
          </div>
        )
      }}
      itemContent={(index, groupIndex) => {
        return (
              <div>Item {groupIndex}.{index}</div>
        )
      }}
    />
  )
}

Check the grouped numbers, grouped by first letter and groups with load on demand examples.

Table

The TableVirtuoso component works like the Virtuoso one, but with HTML tables. It supports window scrolling, sticky headers, and fixed columns.

Check the Basic Table example for a sample implementation.

Grid

The VirtuosoGrid component displays same sized items in multiple columns. The layout and item sizing is controlled CSS class properties or styled containers, which allows you to use media queries, min-width, percentage, etc.

Check the responsive grid columns example for a sample implementation.

Footer

The Component accepts an optional footer render property, which is rendered after all items. The footer can be used to host a "load more" button or an indicator that the user has reached the end of the list.

Check the footer, press load more and endless scrolling examples for practical applications of the footer.

Pinned Items

The Virtuoso component accepts an optional topItems property that specifies how many items must remain "pinned" at the top of the list. Check the top items example.

Scroll to Index

The Virtuoso components provide an imperative scrollToIndex method with an optional align that scrolls the specified item into view. GroupedVirtuoso exports convenience callback to obtain the group item indices to scroll to a given group.

Check the scroll to index and scroll to group examples for possible usage of the method.

Customize the Scroll Container

You can swap the Virtuoso scroller implementation to add custom scroll logic or to integrate a custom scrolling library (like React scrollbars).

Check the custom scroll container example for a starting point.

Performance

Several factors affect the component's performance. The first and most important one is the size of the visible area. Redrawing more items takes more time and reduces the frame rate. To see if this affects you, reduce the component width or height; Set the style property to something like {{width: '200px'}}.

Next, if the items are complex or slow to render, use React.memo for the itemContent contents.

// Item contents are cached properly with React.memo
const InnerItem = React.memo(({ index }) => {
  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log('inner mounting', index)
    return () => {
      console.log('inner unmounting', index)
    }
  }, [index])
  return <div style={{ height: 30 }}>Item {index}</div>
})

// The callback is executed often - don't inline complex components in here.
const itemContent = (index) => {
  console.log('providing content', index)
  return <InnerItem index={index} />
}

const App = () => {
  return <Virtuoso totalCount={100} itemContent={itemContent} style={{ height: 300 }} />
}

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'))

You can experiment with the overscan property that specifies how much more to render in addition to the viewport's visible height. For example, if the component is 100px tall, setting the overscan to 150 will cause the list to render at least 250px of content.

In a nutshell, increasing the overscan causes less frequent re-renders, but makes each re-render more expensive (because more items will get replaced).

Loading images and displaying complex components while scrolling can cause jank. To fix that, you can hook to the isScrolling callback and replace the problematic content in the item with a simplified one. Check the scroll handling example for a possible implementation.

Gotchas

Setting CSS margins to the content or the item elements is the Kryptonite of Virtuoso's content measuring mechanism - the contentRect measurement does not include them.

If this affects you, the total scroll height will be miscalculated, and the user won't be able to scroll all the way down to the list.

To avoid that, if you are putting paragraphs and headings inside the item, make sure that the top/bottom elements' margins do not protrude outside of the item container.

<Virtuoso
  totalCount={100}
  item={index => (
    <div>
      <p style={{ margin: 0 }}>Item {index}</p>
    </div>
  )}
/>

A few more common problems are present in the troubleshooting section.

Browser Support

Virtuoso uses position: sticky to keep the virtual viewport at the top of the scroller when in grouped mode. This does not work in IE 11.