0.3.0 • Public • Published

React Image Scroller

A basic component for making scrolling galleries based on a horizontally scrolling container.


Live demo at

How is this any different than every other image gallery?

It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. Rather than creating all of the functionality an image gallery needs from scratch, it builds on top of existing functionality that the browser already provides. Namely, it uses a horizontally scrolling container augmented with additional behaviour, which gives us a lot of free functionality that performs much better than a custom implementation ever could, such as native scrolling performance, scroll bars (if desired), automatic touch support, and scroll wheel support. The end product is one that is much more enjoyable to use, while most other JavaScript image galleries feel like heavy, opaque black boxes that are cumbersome to manipulate.

This component can also display multiple images side-by-side, and does not require all images to be the same size. This makes it work well for displaying odd-sized content like screenshots, or a mix of portait and landscape photographs.

Furthermore, React Image Scroller is bare bones. It does not try to include bells and whistles that can be trivially implemented if they are needed. It is simply a wrapper component that handles all the tricky calculations required for the augmented scrolling behaviour and exposes that functionality through a few instance methods (next, previous, and scrollTo). It also accepts a render prop called renderWithin that allows you (the developer) to draw whatever custom elements you need on top of the scrolling container, including next/previous arrows or index buttons.

Browser Support

With polyfills (see below), React Image Scroller works reasonably well in all recent browsers, including Internet Explorer 11**.

** Except for the use of object-fit: contain on IE11, which prevents images from being stretched. Unless you plan on using this component at narrow widths with wide images on the desktop, this shouldn't be a problem.


The easiest way to use React-Image-Scroller is to install it from NPM and include it in your own React build process. Don't forget to install any necessary polyfills (see below).

npm install react-image-scroller --save

You can also use the UMD build by including dist/ImageScroller.js in your page. If you use this, make sure you have already included a UMD React build.


React Image Scroller uses the following browser features which are not yet available in all browsers. However, there are polyfills available that backfill the functionality:


To use React-Image-Scroller, wrap it around a set of images or other elements. Like this:

import ImageScroller from 'react-image-scroller';
    <img src="1.jpg" alt="First" />
    <img src="2.jpg" alt="Second" />
    <img src="3.jpg" alt="Third" />
    <img src="4.jpg" alt="Fourth" />
    <img src="5.jpg" alt="Fifth" />


  • children/items: A list of elements to render. (default: [])

  • boolean hideScrollbar: Hide the horizontal scrollbar on the scroll container. (default: true)

  • string innerClassName: A class name to set on the element that wraps the items. (default: '')

  • object innerStyle: A style object to set on the element that wraps the items. (default: {})

  • (status: Status) => any onChange: A function to call whenever the status changes. Status is an object that contains the indices of items in each position:

         previous: int | null;
         current: int[];
         next: int | null;
  • (provided) => ReactNode renderWithin: A function that returns a ReactNode that will be rendered inside a div that is absolutely positioned over the image scroller. This div fills the width of the image scroller, but is contained within the vertical bounds of the scrolling container, i.e., it does not overlap the scrollbar if it is present. provided is an object containing handy values and methods:

         scrollTo: (itemIndex: int) => any;
         next: () => any;
         previous: () => any;
         items: ReactNode[];
         status: Status;
  • boolean scrollOnClick: Bring the item fully into view when it is clicked. (default: true)

  • boolean scrollWithArrows: Scroll to the next/previous when the right/left arrow keys are pressed, if the image scroller contains the focus. (default: true)

  • string scrollContainerClassName: A class name to set on the scroll container. (default: '')

  • object scrollContainerStyle: A style object to set on the scroll container. (default: {})

All other props will be passed on to the root div.


You can manipulate the scroll position of the image scroller by calling these methods on the component's ref:

  • scrollTo: (itemIndex: int) => any Scroll the scroll container so that the item of index itemIndex is positioned in the centre.
  • next: () => any Scroll the scroll container to the next item, fitting in as many items in view as possible.
  • previous: () => any Scroll the scroll container to the previous item, fitting in as many items in view as possible.


To run the examples locally, run:

npm install
npm start

Then open localhost:8000 in a browser.

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npm i react-image-scroller

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