Defining Events on Components

Events can be added to React nodes inside of a components render configuration option (discussed in Ch. 4 section 4.7 and Ch. 5 section 5.8).

In the code example, two React events (i.e., onClick & onMouseOver) are set on React nodes (via JSX) using what looks like component props.

source code

Basically, React when rendering a component looks for special React prop events (e.g., onClick) and treats these props differently from other props (all React events shown in table below). Obviously the difference being, that eventing in the real DOM is being wired up behind the scenes.

Part of this wiring is auto binding the context of the handler/callback to the scope of the component instance. In the code example below the value of this inside of the handlers/callbacks will reference the component instance itself.

source code

React supports the following events and event specific syntheticEvent properties:

Event Type/Category: Events: Event Specific Properties:


onCopy, onCut, onPaste DOMDataTransfer, clipboardData


onCompositionEnd, onCompositionStart, onCompositionUpdate data


onKeyDown, onKeyPress, onKeyUp altKey, charCode, ctrlKey, getModifierState(key), key, keyCode, locale, location, metaKey, repeat, shiftKey, which


onChange, onInput, onSubmit DOMEventTarget, relatedTarget


onFocus, onBlur


onClick, onContextMenu, onDoubleClick, onDrag, onDragEnd, onDragEnter, onDragExit onDragLeave, onDragOver, onDragStart, onDrop, onMouseDown, onMouseEnter, onMouseLeave onMouseMove, onMouseOut, onMouseOver, onMouseUp altKey, button, buttons, clientX, clientY, ctrlKey, getModifierState(key), metaKey, pageX, pageY, DOMEventTarget relatedTarget, screenX, screenY, shiftKey,




onTouchCancel, onTouchEnd, onTouchMove, onTouchStart altKey DOMTouchList changedTouches, ctrlKey, getModifierState(key), metaKey, shiftKey, DOMTouchList targetTouches, DOMTouchList touches,


onScroll detail, DOMAbstractView view


onWheel deltaMode, deltaX, deltaY, deltaZ,


onAbort, onCanPlay, onCanPlayThrough, onDurationChange, onEmptied, onEncrypted, onEnded, onError, onLoadedData, onLoadedMetadata, onLoadStart, onPause, onPlay, onPlaying, onProgress, onRateChange, onSeeked, onSeeking, onStalled, onSuspend, onTimeUpdate, onVolumeChange, onWaiting


onLoad, onError


onAnimationStart, onAnimationEnd, onAnimationIteration animationName, pseudoElement, elapsedTime


onTransitionEnd propertyName, pseudoElement, elapsedTime


  • React normalizes events so that they behave consistently across different browsers.
  • Events in React are triggered on the bubbling phase. To trigger an event on the capturing phase add the word "Capture" to the end of the event name (e.g., onClick would become onClickCapture).
  • If you need the browser event details for a given event you can access this by using the nativeEvent property found in the SyntheticEvent object passed into React event hander/callbacks.
  • React does not actually attach events to the nodes themselves, it uses event delegation.
  • e.stopPropagation() or e.preventDefault() should be triggered manually to stop event propagation instead of returning false;.
  • Not all DOM events are provided by React. But you can still make use of them using React lifecycle methods.

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