How do I edit multiple input controlled components in React?

I have a component that stores a contact object as state - {firstName: "John", lastName: "Doe", phone: "1234567890} I want to create a form to edit this object but if I want the inputs to hold the value of the original contact parameter, I need to make each input a controlled component. However, I don't know how to create a handleChange function that will adjust to each parameter because my state only holds {contact: {...}}. Below is what I currently have -

  getInitialState: function () {
    return ({contact: {}});
  },
  handleChange: function (event) {
    this.setState({contact: event.target.value });
  },
  render: function () {
    return (
        <div>
          <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange} value={this.state.contact.firstName}/>
          <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
          <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
        </div>
      );
    }

I wish in my handleChange I can do something like

  handleChange: function (event) {
    this.setState({contact.firstName: event.target.value });
  }

Answers:

Answer

There's a "simple" way to do this, and a "smart" way. If you ask me, doing things the smart way is not always the best, because I may be harder to work with later. In this case, both are quite understandable.

Side note: One thing I'd ask you to think about, is do you need to update the contact object, or could you just keep firstName etc. directly on state? Maybe you have a lot of data in the state of the component? If that is the case, it's probably a good idea to separate it into smaller components with narrower responsibilities.

The "simple" way

  changeFirstName: function (event) {
    const contact = this.state.contact;
    contact.firstName = event.target.value;
    this.setState({ contact: contact });
  },
  changeLastName: function (event) {
    const contact = this.state.contact;
    contact.lastName = event.target.value;
    this.setState({ contact: contact });
  },
  changePhone: function (event) {
    const contact = this.state.contact;
    contact.phone = event.target.value;
    this.setState({ contact: contact });
  },
  render: function () {
    return (
      <div>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.changeFirstName.bind(this)} value={this.state.contact.firstName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.changeLastName.bind(this)} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.changePhone.bind(this)} value={this.state.contact.phone}/>
      </div>
    );
  }

The "smart" way

  handleChange: function (propertyName, event) {
    const contact = this.state.contact;
    contact[propertyName] = event.target.value;
    this.setState({ contact: contact });
  },
  render: function () {
    return (
      <div>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange.bind(this, 'firstName')} value={this.state.contact.firstName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange.bind(this, 'lastName')} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange.bind(this, 'phone')} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
      </div>
    );
  }



Update: Same examples using ES2015+

This section contains the same examples as shown above, but using features from ES2015+.

To support the following features across browsers you need to transpile your code with Babel using e.g. the presets es2015 and react, and the plugin stage-0.

Below are updated examples, using object destructuring to get the contact from the state, spread operator to create an updated contact object instead of mutating the existing one, creating components as Classes by extending React.Component, and using arrow funtions to create callbacks so we don't have to bind(this).

The "simple" way, ES2015+

class ContactEdit extends React.Component {

  changeFirstName = (event) => {
    const { contact } = this.state;
    const newContact = {
      ...contact,
      firstName: event.target.value
    };
    this.setState({ contact: newContact });
  }
  changeLastName = (event) => {
    const { contact } = this.state;
    const newContact = {
      ...contact,
      lastName: event.target.value
    };
    this.setState({ contact: newContact });
  }
  changePhone = (event) => {
    const { contact } = this.state;
    const newContact = {
      ...contact,
      phone: event.target.value
    };
    this.setState({ contact: newContact });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.changeFirstName} value={this.state.contact.firstName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.changeLastName} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.changePhone} value={this.state.contact.phone}/>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

The "smart" way, ES2015+

Note that handleChangeFor is a curried function: Calling it with a propertyName creates a callback function which, when called, updates [propertyName] of the (new) contact object in the state.

class ContactEdit extends React.Component {

  handleChangeFor = (propertyName) => (event) => {
    const { contact } = this.state;
    const newContact = {
      ...contact,
      [propertyName]: event.target.value
    };
    this.setState({ contact: newContact });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChangeFor('firstName')} value={this.state.contact.firstName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChangeFor('lastName')} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
        <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChangeFor('phone')} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
      </div>
    );
  }
}
Answer

ES6 one liner approach

<input type="text" 
       value={this.state.username}
       onChange={(e) => this.setState({ username: e.target.value })}
       id="username"/>
Answer

There are two ways to update the state of a nested object:

  1. Use JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(object)) to create a copy of the object, then update the copy and pass it to setState.
  2. Use the immutability helpers in react-addons, which is the recommended way.

You can see how it works in this JS Fiddle. The code is also below:

var Component = React.createClass({
    getInitialState: function () {
    return ({contact: {firstName: "first", lastName: "last", phone: "1244125"}});
  },
  handleChange: function (key,event) {
    console.log(key,event.target.value);

    //way 1 
    //var updatedContact = JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(this.state.contact));
    //updatedContact[key] = event.target.value;

    //way 2 (Recommended)
    var updatedContact = React.addons.update(this.state.contact, {
        [key] : {$set: event.target.value}
    });
    this.setState({contact: updatedContact});
  },
  render: function () {
    return (
        <div>
          <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange.bind(this,"firstName")} value={this.state.contact.firstName}/>
          <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange.bind(this,"lastName")} value={this.state.contact.lastName}/>
          <input type="text" onChange={this.handleChange.bind(this,"phone")} value={this.state.contact.phone}/>
        </div>
      );
    }
});

ReactDOM.render(
  <Component />,
  document.getElementById('container')
);
Answer

The neatest approach

Here is an approach that I used in my simple application. This is the recommended approach in React and it is really neat and clean. It is very close to ArneHugo's answer and I thank hm too. The idea is a mix of that and react forms site. We can use name attribute of each form input to get the specific propertyName and update the state based on that. This is my code in ES6 for the above example:

class ContactEdit extends React.Component {

  handleChangeFor = (event) => {
    const name = event.target.name;
    const value = event.target.value;
    const { contact } = this.state;
    const newContact = {
      ...contact,
      [name]: value
    };
    this.setState({ contact: newContact });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <input type="text" name="firstName" onChange={this.handleChangeFor} />
        <input type="text" name="lastName" onChange={this.handleChangeFor}/>
        <input type="text" name="phone" onChange={this.handleChangeFor}/>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

The differences:

  • We don't need to assign state as value attribute. No value is needed
  • The onChange method does not need to have any argument inside the function call as we use name attribute instead
  • We declare name and value of each input in the begening and use them to set the state properly in the code and we use rackets for name as it is an attribute.

We have less code here and vey smart way to get any kind input from the form because the name attribute will have a unique value for each input. See a working example I have in CodPen for my experimental blog application in its early stage.

Answer

Here is generic one;

handleChange = (input) => (event) => {
    this.setState({
        ...this.state,
        [input]: event.target.value
    });
}

And use like this;

<input handleChange ={this.handleChange("phone")} value={this.state.phone}/>
Answer

<input> elements often have a property called name. We can access this name property from the event object that we receive from an event handler:

Write a generalized change handler

constructor () {
    super();
    this.state = {
      name: '',
      age: ''
    };
    this.handleChange = this.handleChange.bind(this);
  }
  handleChange (evt) {      
    this.setState({ [evt.target.name]: evt.target.value });
  }

render () {
    return (
      <form>

        <label>Name</label>
        <input type="text" name="name" onChange={this.handleChange} />

        <label>Age</label>
        <input type="text" name="age" onChange={this.handleChange} />

      </form>
    );
  }

source

Answer
handleChange(event){
    this.setState({[event.target.name]:event.target.value});
    this.setState({[event.target.name]:event.target.value});
  }
Answer
updatePrevData=(event)=>{
    let eventName=event.target.name;
   this.setState({
       ...this.state,
       prev_data:{
        ...this.state.prev_data,
        [eventName]:event.target.value
       }

   })

   console.log(this.state)

}

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