November 30, 2018

1055 words 5 mins read



react + d3 = vx | visualization components

repo name hshoff/vx
repo link
language TypeScript
size (curr.) 8901 kB
stars (curr.) 6876
created 2017-03-15
license MIT License


vx is a collection of reusable low-level visualization components. vx combines the power of d3 to generate your visualization with the benefits of react for updating the DOM.


Remix on Glitch

Let’s make a simple bar graph.

First we’ll install the relevant packages:

$ npm install --save @vx/mock-data @vx/group @vx/shape @vx/scale
import React from 'react';
import { letterFrequency } from '@vx/mock-data';
import { Group } from '@vx/group';
import { Bar } from '@vx/shape';
import { scaleLinear, scaleBand } from '@vx/scale';

// We'll use some mock data from `@vx/mock-data` for this.
const data = letterFrequency;

// Define the graph dimensions and margins
const width = 500;
const height = 500;
const margin = { top: 20, bottom: 20, left: 20, right: 20 };

// Then we'll create some bounds
const xMax = width - margin.left - margin.right;
const yMax = height - - margin.bottom;

// We'll make some helpers to get at the data we want
const x = d => d.letter;
const y = d => +d.frequency * 100;

// And then scale the graph by our data
const xScale = scaleBand({
  rangeRound: [0, xMax],
  padding: 0.4,
const yScale = scaleLinear({
  rangeRound: [yMax, 0],
  domain: [0, Math.max(],

// Compose together the scale and accessor functions to get point functions
const compose = (scale, accessor) => data => scale(accessor(data));
const xPoint = compose(xScale, x);
const yPoint = compose(yScale, y);

// Finally we'll embed it all in an SVG
function BarGraph(props) {
  return (
    <svg width={width} height={height}>
      {, i) => {
        const barHeight = yMax - yPoint(d);
        return (
          <Group key={`bar-${i}`}>
              y={yMax - barHeight}

// ... somewhere else, render it ...
// <BarGraph />

For more examples using vx, check out the gallery.



The goal is to create a library of components you can use to make both your own reusable chart library or your slick custom one-off chart. vx is largely unopinionated and is meant to be built upon. Keep your bundle sizes down and use only the packages you need.


Under the hood, vx is using d3 for the calculations and math. If you’re creating your own awesome chart library on top of vx, it’s easy to create a component api that hides d3 entirely. Meaning your team could create charts as easily as using reusable react components.

But why?

Mixing two mental models for updating the DOM is never a good time. Copy and pasting d3 code into componentDidMount() is just that. This collection of components lets you easily build your own reusable visualization charts or library without having to learn d3. No more selections or enter()/exit()/update().


Beta We’re still in pre v1. Need to add interactions. No breaking changes planned right now read more. Check out the road to v1.

If you’re a curious coder, feel free to install and play around with the packages. I recommend using --save-exact when you npm install.


Lots coming soon, check out the roadmap.

In the wild


  1. What does vx stand for?

    vx stands for visualization components.

  2. Do you plan on supporting animation/transitions?

    A common criticism of vx is it doesn’t have animation baked in, but this was a concious choice. It’s a powerful feature to not bake it in.

    Imagine your app already bundles react-motion, adding a hypothetical @vx/animation is bloat. Since vx is react, it already supports all react animation libs.

    Charting libraries are like style guides. Each org or app will eventually want full control over their own implementation.

    vx makes this easier for everyone. No need to reinvent the wheel each time.

    more info:


  3. Do I have to use every package to make a chart?

    nope! pick and choose the packages you need.

  4. Can I use this to create my own library of charts for my team?

    Please do.

  5. Does vx work with preact?

    yup! need to alias react + react-dom and use preact-compat. Here’s a quick demo: more info

  6. I like using d3.

    Me too.


Yarn workspaces are used to manage dependencies and build config across packages in the umbrella vx monorepo, and lerna is used to manage versioning.


Run the following to setup your local dev environment:

# Install `yarn`, alternatives at
curl -o- -L | bash

# Clone or fork `vx`
git clone # or your fork
cd vx

# install dependencies, and have `yarn` symlink within-`vx` dependencies

# build packages and generate types for local development
yarn build

Rebuild one package

Upon modification of a single package you can run

# build the package as cjs version
yarn build-one --workspaces=@vx/package

# build the esm version (the @vx/demo next server sources these files)
yarn build-one --workspaces=@vx/package --esm

# generate d.ts(definition files) for a lib
yarn type-one --workspaces=@vx/package --esm

from the vx monorepo root to re-build the package with your changes.

Running demo pages

You can use the local next.js dev server within packages/vx-demo to view and iterate on your changes in the gallery. From the packages/vx-demo folder run yarn dev to start the next server which (if correctly sym-linked) will also watch for changes you make to other packages (upon re-building them).

Config generation

vx uses @airbnb/nimbus to generate build configuration for eslint, prettier, jest, babel, and typescript.



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