Dynamically Highlighting Text in React Native

Dynamically Highlighting Text in React Native

Or… How I learned to love React FlowBox.

This one should have been easy — or so I thought. I had a block of text, and I needed to highlight text in that block. I figured I’d whip something together, and be done in a few minutes. Then, I started WAY overthinking things.

Let’s walk through all the things I did wrong. :)

First — here’s my stated output:

Image for post

Actually, ‘var1’ is a clickable pressable box.

The text came from this:

“text”: “Carefully, ‘{var var1}’ you say to the Grue! “

This is a JSON file containing the data I’m reading in. It could just as easily be a REST service or other item.

I’ve defined a pseudo-grammar to allow me to specify variables and other actions in the text, which allow me to control the program flow, none of which is the point of this article.

What I want to do is to highlight the var1 in that sentence, ensuring that it stands out to the user.

This sentence, if it was not dynamic, could be composed of the following:

     <Text> Hello 
        <Pressable
          onPress={() => {
            console.log('foo!');
          }}>
          <Text>
            Hello <Text style={{color: 'red'}}> you again </Text>
          </Text>
        </Pressable>
      </Text>

And that would have been all well and good.

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