Thomas Step

This is where I share my thoughts and experiences that I encounter developing software.

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22 March 2021

Make React Perform An Action Whenever The Enter Key Is Pressed

by Thomas

A while ago I wanted to add functionality to a React page to do something when a user pressed the enter key on a Material UI TextField, and the solution I found involves capturing events. Of course, the events can be applied to other elements as well, but for my sake, I’ll use a TextField in the code snippets. I already had a Button set up to take action, but I wanted the same behavior when the enter key was pressed, which is fairly common web app behavior.

<Button
  variant="contained"
  onClick={(e) => doSomething(e)}
>
  This button does something
</Button>

The doSomething function was the desired shared behavior. Setting up the same thing for TextField was much easier than I thought it would be.

<TextField
  onKeyDown={(e) => (
    e.keyCode === 13 ? doSomething(e) : null
  )}
/>

Now, I get the same behavior as clicking the Button. The onKeyDown event captures keyboard input and a keyCode of 13 means that the user pressed enter. There is more information about keycodes on the MDN Web Docs if anyone would like to know more. One thing worth mentioning is that this only works when the TextField is being focused on by the user. Granted, that was my desired outcome, but it’s still something to be made aware of.

tags: dev - javascript