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1.1.10 • Public • Published

📦 ClickableBox

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React component to add onClick to HTML elements without sacrificing accessibility.

What is this?

It's very hard to remove all styles from HTML button elements. It's also hard to create clickable divs that are accessible. This can cause developers to ship inaccessible UI.

The ClickableBox React component accepts an onClick prop and an element to render. It returns the element with the onClick as well as the attributes and event listeners needed to make it as accessible as a button.


You can install ClickableBox with npm, Yarn, or pnpm.

npm install clickable-box
yarn add clickable-box
pnpm install clickable-box


Here's how to use ClickableBox to make a clickable SVG:

// import ClickableBox from 'clickable-box';

  aria-label="Close modal"
  <CloseIcon />

ClickableBox will return a span that looks like this:

  // Make the element clickable
  // Make the element navigable by keyboard
  // Call `this.closeModal` if the user presses either the
  // enter or space key while the element is in focus
  // Tell screen readers that the element is a button
  // All other props are passed through to the element
  aria-label="Close modal"
  <CloseIcon />

The resulting HTML is accessible for users navigating by screen readers, keyboard, and mouse/touch.


There are a few props that are built into ClickableBox:

prop type description
onClick function | defaults to: undefined The action to perform when the element is pressed
is string, React.Element | defaults to: span The element to render
disabled boolean | defaults to: false Makes element non-interactive, even if onClick is provided
ref React.Ref Provides access to the React element

You can pass any custom prop as well. This component will forward those props to the rendered element.

When should you use this?

  • You're building a button that looks like plain text.
  • You're building a button that has content spanning multiple columns or rows.
  • You're making a clickable SVG icon.

When shouldn't you use this?

  • You're linking to another page: Use an a tag with an href instead. The anchor tag is semantically correct, allows users to preview the URL, open it in a new tab, and copy the link to their clipboard.
  • You're using this as a submit button in a form. (It's possible, but there's a quirk.)
  • You're building a button that looks like a button: This is fairly easy to build as a button element with CSS.
  • You think it'd be easier to simply style a button: This is a good sign that you should use a button element instead.


How can I style this with cursor: pointer?

ClickableBox accepts all props including className and style prop. If you prefer, you can add the cursor style globally with this CSS:

/* Targets all instances of `ClickableBox` */
[role="button"] {
  cursor: pointer;

What are accessibility best practices for ClickableBox?

  • Pass aria-label to ClickableBox if children contains an SVG and no descriptive text. The value of aria-label should describe the action that will happen if the button is interacted with. It will be announced to users navigating with screen readers.
  • You shouldn't use ClickableBox within an anchor tag or another button. You also shouldn't use an a or button in the children prop.

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npm i clickable-box

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  • danoc