1.1.2 • Public • Published


Webpack plugin to generate React component documentation.
Unlike most other loaders/plugins this plugin also renders the documentation to a human readable format.
All documentation is emitted to the output path defined by webpack.


npm install --save-dev react-docgen-plugin


Once installed, can be used in your webpack configuration file

const ReactDocGenPlugin = require('react-docgen-plugin');
const ReactDocGenMarkdownRenderer = require('react-docgen-markdown-renderer');
module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    new ReactDocGenPlugin({
      // (resource) => Boolean | RegExp
      include: () => true,
      // Optional Array<Renderer>
      renderers: [new ReactDocGenMarkdownRenderer({
        componentsBasePath: process.cwd()
      // Optional (file, composedModule) => String
      resolveCompose(file, composedModule) {
        return '';
      // Optional String
      outputPath: '',
      // Optional Array<Addon>
      addons: []

By default react-docgen-plugin will use react-docgen-markdown-renderer with the above configuration.


include (resource) => Boolean | RegExp This property is mandatory.
Either a predicate or a RegExp to match every resource with. Documentation will only be generated to resources that have been matched.

renderers Array<Renderer> This property is optional.
An array of Renderer objects. A Renderer is an object that consists of an extension property and a render(file, content) => String function.
The extension represents the file extension that this renderer emits.
The render(file, content) => String function is in charge of rendering the documentation according to the given component file path and content.
The default value for renderers is [new ReactDocGenMarkdownRenderer({ componentsBasePath: process.cwd() })] which emits a markdown documentation.

resolveCompose (file, composedModule) => String This property is optional.
In case you're composing components but have aliases or using third party components.
This returns the absolute path to the composed module or undefined if this module can't be composed for some reason.

outputPath String This property is optional.
In case you want to output the documentation to a location other than the config.output.path directory.

isComposingComponent Function A function that determines whether or not a component composes another component. The function signiture is ({ composingFile, composedFile, composingFileDisplayName, composedFileDisplayName }, defaultIsComposingComponent: Function) => bool. composingFile - The react-docgen object of the composing file.
composedFile - The react-docgen object of the composed file.
composingFilePath - The path of the composing file.
composedFilePath - The path of the composed file.
defaultIsComposingComponent - The default implementation of isComposingComponent.

resolver Resolver An optional resolver, it will be supplied to react-docgen, see the docs about resolvers.
Defaults to reactDocgen.resolver.findExportedComponentDefinition.

addons Array<Addon> This property is optional.
In case there's a custom logic you want to add both to the renderers you're using and react-docgen you're probably gonna use this. Addons are a powerful way to enhance the basic functionality of this plugin. This package comes with an advanced composition plugin, appropriately called, AdvancedComposeAddon. It allows for more advanced composition detection like prop: PropTypes.shape(MyComponent.propTypes) and more. To use it simply add the following:

const AdvancedComposeAddon = require('react-docgen-plugin/addons/AdvancedComposeAddon');
new ReactDocGenPlugin({
  addons: [new AdvancedComposeAddon()],

And now it can detect many types of compositions in your prop types! The reason it's not configured by default is it that adds a lot of overhead during the documentation parsing stage.


I want an HTML documentation

You can implement your own renderer, but you can use this neat trick instead:

var MDToHTMLConverter  = require('showdown').Converter;
class MyHTMLRenderer {
    this.mdRenderer = mdRenderer;
    this.extension = '.html';
  render(...args) {
    return new MDToHTMLConverter().makeHTML(this.mdRenderer(..args));
module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    new ReactDocGenPlugin({
      renderers: [new MyHTMLRenderer(new ReactDocGenMarkdownRenderer({
        componentsBasePath: process.cwd()

And Voila! you've just created an HTML renderer :)
This approach can be used for every format that has a converter from markdown.

I want a [insert format here] renderer

Well, in that case you have to implement your own renderer.
You can look at react-docgen-markdown-renderer for more details on how to do just that.

I want to create an addon

Nice! Addons are really powerful and allow you to customize everything with relative ease. An addon has a getHandlebarsPlugin method and a reactDocgenCustomHandlers property. Let's start with reactDocgenCustomHandlers. This property will be passed to react-docgen as custom handlers. You can write your own or import an existing handler, it doesn't matter, as long as it does the job. You can look at the source of advancedComposesHandler.js to get a sense of how it should look.

Next up is getHandlebarsPlugin. Since we're gonna have custom handlers for react-docgen we might need a way to represent them in the templating engine. When writing custom renderers, this assumes that you'll always use handlebars(hence the name getHandlebarsPlugin) to render the output string. Though a bit limiting, handlebars is extremely versatile, that's why it was chosen as the templating engine. So getHandlebarsPlugin takes in an options object, this object has an extension property of a renderer and returns a handlebars plugin function. That function takes in a handlebars instance and returns it. This allows you to configure it in anyway you want! You can look at the source of AdvancedComposeAddon.js for reference.

It's recommended to extend Addon from react-docgen/addons/Addon but it's not mandatory, you can just implement getHandlebarsPlugin and reactDocgenCustomHandlers and you're good to go!

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