September 16, 2019

662 words 4 mins read



a UI builder for React web apps

repo name Pagedraw/pagedraw
repo link
language CoffeeScript
size (curr.) 50735 kB
stars (curr.) 2714
created 2019-01-12
license MIT License


Pagedraw is a UI builder for React web apps. It works like a Sketch or Figma style design tool, but emits good quality JSX code. You can play with a demo on the web without installing at Videos about pagedraw can be found on Youtube. See for more info.

Pagedraw is not currently under development. We do not recommend using it for production. Please fork and use it for something cool!

Here is a blog post with some lessons we took from working on Pagedraw.


Download the final release at

Clone and use it as the scaffolding for your app. It’s based on create-react-app; all very standard. You’ll want to do the ususal yarn to install dependencies.

Open the Pagedraw app, which will ask you to pick a file. Pick sample-app/main.pagedraw.json to open.

Run yarn start in sample-app (or whatever you’ve renamed it). This is just the regular create-react-app’s yarn start. Once you have your localhost development environment up, try doing things around in Pagedraw. It should live update in the localhost environment. You’re all set up!

Adding Pagedraw to an existing project

Use as a reference.

Put a main.pagedraw.json in the root of your repo. All files built by Pagedraw will be written into a /src/pagedraw/ folder. These are regular JSX/CSS files, so you can import them just like the rest of your code.

If you ever want to stop using Pagedraw, just delete the source *.pagedraw.json files. The generated files will still live in src/pagedraw, and you can treat them like any other code files.

The editor itself is straightforward if you’ve used a design tool like Sketch or Figma. Detailed documentation is available at

When you open Pagedraw for the first time, it will ask you to open a .pagedraw.json file. If you’d like to create a new file, click cancel when it asks you to open a file, and it’ll ask you where to create a new file.


Setting up the development environment

As a prerequisite, install

  1. Node.js version 8.9.0. (nvm is useful here)
  2. yarn
# clone the repo and install the project dependencies
git clone
cd pagedraw
yarn install
cd desktop-app/ && npm install && cd ..

Running Pagedraw in development

In the background, run

yarn devserver

then start Electron with

yarn run-electron

Config for development

Turn on asserts the first time you run in development mode, which will help you debug. In the Electron developer tools console, run __openConfigEditor() and set your local config to

  "crashButton": true,
  "asserts": true

Running tests

To run the standard tests, run all the servers needed for Pagedraw development, as described in the section above. While yarn devserver is running, run

yarn test


  • Today all images brought into Pagedraw are stored as part of the Pagedraw doc as base64 encoded strings and they also get compiled to generated code as img tags with base 64 data srcs. That bloats the Pagedraw docs and forces an unnecessary constraint on generated code. We should move to a world where that system is more flexible and generates code that requires images instead
  • Same thing for fonts. Today they’re being stored directly in the Pagedraw doc as base64 strings and also injected into the compiled code as such
  • Make Sketch Importer into a Sketch to Pagedraw converter command instead of a server.
  • Compile-Check can work with local /compiler-blobs, and not depend on S3 to host them. Look in /compiler-blob-builder and /deploy-checks/fetch-other-compiler-build.js.

The code in the repository is being provided to you under an open source license. There are multiple contributors to this code. All contributions provided after 2/1/2019 were done in a personal capacity, and the license you receive to code following 2/1/2019 is from the contributors personally and not their respective employers.

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