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Let's get a deeper look into the theme of React Datepickers. Datepickers are important just because they help to select a date from a calendar and/or time from a time range.
Generally speaking, a Datepicker is a GUI widget that allows the end-user to see and select days, months, years, etc., from the calendar. It also sometimes includes the possibility of choosing both date and time or only time. In that case, such widgets are, totally unsurprisingly, called date and time pickers, and timepicker respectively. Thus, React Datepicker is a Datepicker that is built on the React basis.
Looked at in a more practical way, a React Datepicker is a lot more than just a tool. It is a way to simplify the end-user experience when using your site or app and to make it more convenient. Let’s clarify what we mean by presenting a couple of small benefits of using this widget.
If used on a browser version of a site, a React Datepicker allows users to set or choose the date with only a mouse and removes the necessity to write down the date. And giving the end-user an option is always a nice touch as it’s better they have something they don’t need than need something they don’t have.
Having a React Datepicker will simplify the visual presentation of available date options. For example, if the date is unavailable for choosing, the widget will not provide the possibility of choosing a said date.
Using a React Datepicker eliminates the chance that the end-user will select any nonexistent dates, such as February 30th or, more realistically, September 31st.
Many React Datepickers allow a choice of date ranges, thus, conveniently narrowing down the choice for the end-user.
React Datepickers solve the problem of date format confusion. This point might need a little elaboration. For example, an end-user has put down the following date – 12/05/21. Does this date mean May 12th, 2021, or December 5th, 2021? A React Datepicker solves the problem and visually shows you and our hypothetical end-user what day of what month and in which year the hypothetical end-user has chosen.
So, as you can see, a datepicker might seem a small and inconsequential widget, but it provides convenience to both users and admin. And, as we’ve already mentioned, while its presence might go unnoticed, if required, its absence would definitely cause a negative reaction. That being said, we suggest having a closer look into the inner workings of a React Datepicker with an example of the stages of one such widget development.
The process of creating a simple React Datepicker consists of the following stages:
And that’s basically it. Of course, in this instance, we are talking about the simplest version of such a widget. And even in this case, you have quite a creative space for UI Framework tinkering. So, now it’s time to get an even closer look into each of the stages.
Creating a new React App
This point is just what it says on the tin. You use the “create-react-app” command to set up a new program. At the end of this stage, you get the following lines of code:
npx create-react-app react-datepicker-app
To check the app at this point, localhost:3000 is the location.
Installing Datepicker in React App
The next step is actually installing a Datepicker into your app. You can do this via both npm and yarn.
To install a datepicker via npm – use the following line of code:
npm install react-datepicker –save
And to do it via yarn, use the code as follows:
yarn add react-datepicker
Installing Bootstrap UI Framework
The third and final step in creating a basic React Datepicker is adding the Bootstrap intuitive ready-made styling that will also serve as a powerful tool for front-end development. You can also do it via both npm and yarn.
The line of code for npm is:
npm install bootstrap –save
And for yarn, it goes like this:
yarn add bootstrap
Bear in mind the necessity of having a CSS format file with your stylings or any downloaded stylings of your choosing.
Of course, such a created date picker might not meet all of your requirements. That’s why we suggest using any of the entrees from our following list. After all, why not use an already made template for your app, if it suits your requirements perfectly or almost perfectly, with a possibility of making changes to it?
Let’s, first of all, get the classic out of the way. react-datepicker is one of the most popular date pickers on the market today. There is a downside to consider, which is that in its standard form, react-datepicker is in English. So, if your next app or project is not in English, it will require a bit of tinkering around with to change. But, nonetheless, it is simple, reliable and you can never go wrong with a classic.
2. Material-UI date and time pickers
High-quality date and time pickers are included in one of the world’s most popular component libraries – Material-UI. Better yet, Material-UI, being a nice component library, has already separated their selection of date and time pickers into a package.
But this is not the only reason it is on this list. Material-UI date and time pickers are also neat, beautifully designed widgets that use dialogue windows and/or inline popovers to provide a possibility of selecting separate dates. And, as a nice little touch, current dates are indicated by a different color and type weight.
3. React Material Admin Full Datepicker
This date picker can be described as exceptionally stylish and smooth-looking. By coming along as a part of ready to use React Material-UI Admin & Dashboard Template, it can serve as an organizer for any kind of task management. Using it for your next project by itself or as a part of the ADT would be a smart thing to do.
4. Airbnb react-dates
Airbnb hasn’t become one of the most used travel-related projects by cutting corners. Although we cannot claim that it is perfect in any way, what we can say with certainty is that Airbnb’s react datepicker is sleek and accessible, as well as being mobile-friendly, which is always good. And, it should be mentioned, Airbnb react-dates is trying to differentiate the formula by not fully relying on CSS but rather on react-with-styles.
5. Carbon design date picker
Due to being created by IBM, Carbon design React date picker is one of the most thought-through widgets on the market today. This component library is tried, tested, polished, and constantly maintained to answer to the highest industry standards. And the whole system stands on three pillars: a simple date input, calendar pickers, and a time picker. But each pillar is strong enough to hold on its own, so there is a possibility to use each component independently. A must-see. Or, to be more precise, a must-try.
6. React Rainbow datepicker
Another library entry is on our list. React Rainbow datepicker is packed to the brim with different colorful and high-quality, tested, accessible, and eye-catching components. In fact, there are over 80 of them in this library. Each one can be downloaded individually via the link below, and each one of them can, no doubt, certainly become a beautiful addition to your project.
7. Sing App React Datepicker
A date picker entry comes as a part of a React Admin Dashboard Template. It retains all the factual usefulness and overall stylishness while adding a bunch of useful features that come with being a part of ADT. And, as you can see from the picture, it also allows for task highlighting on the overall dialogue window. In summary, Sing App React Datepicker is beautiful and more useful than most other date pickers. What is awesome about this datepicker is that it can contain event data.
React-datime-picker is a two-for-one offer. Created by Wojciech Maj, these date pickers also include the preinstalled time picker, and neither of them relies on momentjs. Instead, it provides quite a flexibility that allows for creating anything from decade pickers to numbered weeks, which might come in handy in some specific situations.
This date picker would be most useful if used as an organizing tool or event calendar, as it uses flexbox over the classic tables-ception approach. It is based on React and is compatible with the latest browser versions. Also, react-big-calendar includes the possibility of custom stylings, and the inclusion of SASS files is a cherry on the cake.
11. Light Blue React Node.Js Datepicker
This product also comes as part of the whole React Admin Dashboard Template (which comes with a full Node.JS Backend). But Light Blue React Node.Js Datepicker also doubles by being a time picker, as it allows users to choose a particular time for each of the highlighted tasks. And, by pulling those duties, this date picker is a must-try for your next project.
12. react date range picker
React date range picker is a useful React component that can be a nice addition to any app! It allows the user to choose a date range inside an opening calendar. It is small in size, occupying only 18 kilobytes of space, and relies on date-fns.
13. Ant design datepicker
This date picker’s design is so smooth and elegant that we can only compare it to the sharply dressed aesthetic of the Roaring 20’s ladies and gentlemen. It also doesn’t do any harm that this datepicker is a part of a well-known and popular ant design library. If you’re not used to working with MomentJS, you can always replace it with a lib of your choice. But, not taking that into consideration, Ant design datepicker is an all-around cool and beautiful date and time picker.
React Native DatePickers are also commonly used web components available for iOs and Android, TimePickerAndroid, and DatePickerIOS. Here is one of the most popular repositories with React Native date picker widely known among developers. And a full list of react native libraries may be checked here.
Just from scratch, we can offer several popup calendars/datepickers for React (using Bootstrap): react-bootstrap-datetimepicker or react-bootstrap-daterangepicker, and the React-Bootstrap based date picker itself. They work well with React 0.14.x and 0.15.x and start running with:
npm install react-bootstrap-date-picker
We could also recommend using FullCalendar that integrates perfectly with React. Fullcalendar matches the functionality of FullCalendar’s standard API. Fullcalendar documentation is wholly described and presented here.
In conclusion, we would like to say that even though a date and/or time picker might seem inconsequential, bear in mind the simple truth that the best and biggest things, be it a site, an app, or a building, are all made up of tiny, seemingly inconsequential things. And that makes them beautiful at the end of the day. So, choosing the right little things is the right passage to creating something great and meaningful.