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Displaying lists with FlatList component in React Native

React Native, FlatList, Lists1 min read

When building mobile applications, it is common to display lists of data such as contacts, messages, or products. In React Native, the FlatList component provides an efficient way to display these lists while minimizing performance issues. In this article, we will explore how to use the FlatList component in React Native.

Getting Started

To get started with FlatList, you need to import the component from the react-native library:

1import { FlatList } from 'react-native';

Once you have imported the component, you can start using it in your code.

Basic Usage

The simplest way to use FlatList is by passing an array of data to the data prop and a function that returns a component for each item in the list to the renderItem prop:

1const data = [
2 { id: 1, name: 'John' },
3 { id: 2, name: 'Jane' },
4 { id: 3, name: 'Bob' },
7const renderItem = ({ item }) => {
8 return (
9 <View>
10 <Text>{}</Text>
11 </View>
12 );
15<FlatList data={data} renderItem={renderItem} />;

In the example above, we pass an array of objects to the data prop, and a function that returns a View component containing a Text component that displays the name of each item to the renderItem prop. The FlatList component will automatically render each item in the list using the provided renderItem function.

Key Extractor

When rendering a large number of items, it is important to provide a unique key prop to each item. This allows React Native to efficiently update the component tree when changes occur. To do this, we can use the keyExtractor prop:

1const keyExtractor = (item) =>;
4 data={data}
5 renderItem={renderItem}
6 keyExtractor={keyExtractor}

In the example above, we pass a function to the keyExtractor prop that extracts the id property from each item and converts it to a string. This ensures that each item has a unique key prop.

More Props

The FlatList component has many other props that can be used to customize its behavior, including:

  • numColumns: Specifies the number of columns to use when displaying the items.
  • horizontal: Determines whether the list should be displayed horizontally or vertically.
  • refreshing: Determines whether the list should show a refresh indicator.
  • onRefresh: A callback function that is called when the user pulls down on the list to refresh it.

Wrapping Up

In this article, we learned how to use the FlatList component in React Native to efficiently display large lists of data. We explored the basic usage of the component, how to extract keys for each item, and some of the other available props. With FlatList, you can easily display lists of any size with minimal performance issues.