2.2.1 • Public • Published


    This package provides a single React component. The component contains an input field with a drop down menu to pick a possible option based on the current input as a React component.

    Have a look at to see how you can do something similar with pure html, css, and js. For more information about React and the ecosystem see this guide.


    Check it out on my personal website!


    Feel free to get inspired and more importantly please provide your feedback on structure and style.

    Using Gatsby or Next.js?

    This component is not compatible with server-side rendering since it has css bundled with it.

    I created a plain version of this package without css. Find more information here.


    • Version 2.x.x serves a functional component using hooks
    • Version 1.x.x serves a class component

    The documentation below mainly applies for both versions but will be updated based on version 2.x.x updates in the future.


    Version 2.2.0

    • update React peer-dependency version to 17.0.2

    Version 2.1.0

    Motivation: issue 23

    Offer optional value prop, in case the user requires full control to change/clear the input value based on side effects


    • deprecates optional initialValue prop
    • introduces optional value prop instead (default undefined)
    • introduces optional clearOnClickInput prop (default false)
    • introduces optional onClick lifecycle method prop (default empty function)

    Version 2.0.0


    • refactors component to functional component using hooks
    • adds useStateRef to reduce re-renders and boost performance


    Installation via npm

    npm i react-datalist-input

    Basic Usage

    import React, { useState, useMemo, useCallback } from "react";
    import DataListInput from "react-datalist-input";
    const YourComponent = ({ myValues }) => {
      // selectedItem
      const [item, setItem] = useState();
       * your callback function gets called if the user selects one option out of the drop down menu
       * @param selectedItem object (the selected item / option)
      const onSelect = useCallback((selectedItem) => {
        console.log("selectedItem", selectedItem);
      }, []);
      // the array you want to pass to the react-data-list component
      // key and label are required properties
      const items = useMemo(
        () =>
 => ({
            // required: what to show to the user
            // required: key to identify the item within the array
            // feel free to add your own app logic to access those properties in the onSelect function
            someAdditionalValue: oneItem.someAdditionalValue,
            // or just keep everything
      return (
          placeholder="Select an option from the drop down menu..."


    Prop Type Required/Optional Default Value
    items array required -
    onSelect function required -
    match function optional internal matching function
    onDropdownOpen function optional -
    onDropdownClose function optional -
    placeholder string optional ''
    itemClassName string optional -
    activeItemClassName string optional -
    inputClassName string optional -
    dropdownClassName string optional -
    requiredInputLength number optional 0
    clearInputOnSelect boolean optional false
    clearInputOnClick boolean optional false
    suppressReselect boolean optional true
    dropDownLength number optional infinite
    value string optional undefined
    debounceTime number optional 0
    debounceLoader string optional 'Loading...'
    onInput function optional -
    onClick function optional -


    • Required property!
    • The array of options for the drop down menu.
    • Every item inside the array needs to have following properties:
      • key : an id that identifies the item within the array
      • label: the label that will be shown in the drop down menu


    • Required property!
    • The callback function that will be called if the user selects one item of the drop down menu.
    • Gets only called if the item changes. Selecting the same item twice will only trigger the function once (the first time).
    • Parameter: (selectedKey)
      • selectedKey: the Key Property of the item that the user selected


    • Pass a match function as stated above for creating your own matching algorithm for the autocomplete functionality.

    • Parameter: (currentInput, item)

      • currentInput: String, the current user input typed into the input field
      • item: Object, the item of the items array (with key and label properties)
    • Default match function:

     * default function for matching the current input value (needle) and the values of the items array
     * @param currentInput String (the current user input)
     * @param item (one item of the items array)
     * @returns {boolean}
    const match = (currentInput, item) =>
      item.label.substr(0, currentInput.length).toUpperCase() ===
    • If you are looking to have the same behavior as the HTML element datalist, use a match function like follows:
    const match = (currentInput, item) =>


    • The callback function that will be called after opening the drop down menu.
    • It will fire only once and not be called again after new input.


    • The callback function that will be called after closing the drop down menu.


    • The placeholder that will be shown inside the input field.
    • Default is an empty string


    • Additional classes to style each input field in the dropdown menu.
    • Default is an empty string
    • Removes the default styling if set


    • Additional classes to style the active input field.
    • Default is an empty string
    • Removes the default styling if set


    • Additional classes to style the input field.
    • Default is an empty string
    • Removes the default styling if set


    • Additional classes to style the dropdown box.
    • Default is an empty string
    • Adds on the required styling (e.g. position:absolute)
    • Removes the default styling if set


    • Number to specify the threshold until when the dropdown menu should appear.
    • Example requiredInputLength=3, only if the user input is longer than 2 characters, the dropdown menu will appear.
    • Default is zero.


    • Should the input field be cleared on select or filled with selected item?
    • Default is false.
    • This property does not work if the prop value is set, you have to use the lifecycle method onSelect and set your value state on your own.


    • Should the input field be cleared on click or filled with selected item?
    • Default is false.
    • This property does not workif the prop value is set, you have to use the lifecycle method onClick and set your value state on your own.


    • If suppressReselect is set to false, selecting the same item again, it will trigger another onSelect callback call.
    • Default is true.


    • Only display the first dropDownLength matches in the dropdown. Useful if the array is really big.
    • Number to specify max length of drop down.
    • Default is Infinity.


    • initialValue is deprecated, use value instead
    • value can be used to specify and override the value of the input field
    • For example, value="hello world" will print hello world into the input field
    • Default is undefined
    • If you want to clean the input field based on side effects use value of empty string.
    • Use value only if you want complete control over the value of the input field. react-datalist-input will priotize whatever value is set over anything the user selects or has selected. If you use value, you will have to update it on your own using the onClick, onInput, andonSelect lifecycle methods.
    • Don't confuse this with a placeholder (see placerholder prop). This property sets the actual value of the input field.
    • The flags clearInputOnSelect and clearInputOnClick won't work and have to be implemented via the mentioned lifecycle methods.

    The following useEffect is used to decide if the component should update with the new value property:

    useEffect(() => {
      // the parent component can pass its own value prop that will override the internally used currentInput
      // this will happen only after we are have finished the current computing step and the dropdown is invisible
      // (to avoid confusion of changing input values for the user)
       * we have to distinguish undefined and empty string value
       * value == undefined => not set, use internal current input
       * value !== undefined => value set, use value and override currentInput
       * this enables value === '' to clear the input field
      const isValuePropSet = value !== undefined;
      const isValueDifferent = currentInputRef.current !== value;
      // is drop down visible or are we currently matching based on user input
      const isMatchingRunning = visible || isMatchingDebounced;
      if (isValuePropSet && isValueDifferent && !isMatchingRunning) {
    }, [visible, isMatchingDebounced, value, setCurrentInput, currentInputRef]);


    • Use debounceTime to define a debounce timeout time (in milliseconds) before the matching algorithm should be called
    • New user input will trigger a new call to the debounce step and will clear every unresolved timeout
    • For example, debounceTime={1000} will call the matching algorithm one second after the last user input
    • This is useful if items is very large and/or the match-algorithm is doing some heavier operations
    • debounceTime may improve the user experience by reducing lag times as it reduces the calls to the matching and rendering of the dropdown.
    • Be careful, using too much debounceTime will slow down the response time of this component.
    • If you still have performance issues even when using a debounceTime={3000} or higher, you might want to consider using another package / user input instead. Think about a "search/look-up"-button next to your input field or even consider running the search functionality in a dedicated backend.
    • Default is zero which means no timeout/debouncing is used.


    • Only in use if debounceTime is set
    • Of type node which can be anything that react can render and will be shown as a loading bar
    • Default is string "loading...".


    • The callback function that will be called whenever the user types into the input field
    • Exposing this function supports use cases like resetting states on empty input field
    • The callback will receive the newValue of type string from


    • The callback function that will be called whenever the user clicks the input field
    • This callback is exposed so you can implement clearOnClickInput on your own if you pass the value prop
    • The callback will receive the currentInput of type string based on clearOnClickInput and the last user input


    npm i react-datalist-input

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    • andrelandgraf