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Build layouts faster with the new Grid component

Siriwat Kunaporn

@siriwatknp

You can now use the new Grid component, shipped with Material UI v5.9.0, for updated features and a better developer experience when building layouts.

import Grid from '@mui/material/Grid'; // The current grid, a.k.a. Grid v1
import Grid from '@mui/material/Unstable_Grid2'; // The new grid, a.k.a. Grid v2

The motivation

What's new

For v2, the Grid component has been rewritten from scratch using CSS variables and calc(), which help address many of the issues listed above.

💥 Breaking change

The negative margin in the new Grid spreads equally on all sides by default. This is the same as the Grid in Material UI v4.

🚀 New features

Disable the scrollbar

A new prop called disableEqualOverflow solves the problem of an unwanted scrollbar appearing on small viewports.

Offset

We have added the long-awaited offset feature to v2 of the Grid. Thanks to CSS variables, we're able to implement this feature with just a few lines of code.

✨ Improvements

Simplifying logic

Some parts of the layout calculation are delegated to CSS by using CSS variables and calc(). Taken together, they significantly reduce the need for JavaScript and make the component scalable.

The Grid v1 calculates the width by reading the value from the React context. With CSS variables in place, we can remove the React context entirely and hand over the work to CSS instead:

{
  // --Grid-columns is defined in the grid container
  width: `calc(100% * ${value} / var(--Grid-columns))`,
}

In v1 of the Grid, grid items have no information about the padding they should have, because the spacing prop is defined on the grid container. So the simplest way to control the padding is to use the CSS child combinator > on the container:

function getOffset(val) {
  const parse = parseFloat(val);
  return `${parse}${String(val).replace(String(parse), '') || 'px'}`;
}
// ...The code is shorten for readability
({
  [`& > .${gridClasses.item}`]: {
    // Grid item's padding is controlled by its container
    paddingTop: getOffset(themeSpacing),
  },
});

In v2, the communication between the grid container and its items happens via CSS instead of JavaScript, so that the logic behind these components is better separated.

  • The grid container takes care of generating variables based on the spacing prop:
    // The code is simplified for readability
    {
      '--Grid-rowSpacing': spacingProp,
      '--Grid-columnSpacing': spacingProp,
    }
    
  • The grid item then makes references to those variables:
    {
      padding: `calc(var(--Grid-rowSpacing) / 2) calc(var(--Grid-columnSpacing) / 2)`,
    }
    

This is a very good use case for applying CSS variables when it comes to components that have a parent-child relationship and also support media query customization.

Remove unnecessary props

In v2, Grid is always an item—similar to the Flexbox item in CSS—so the item prop is no longer needed.

The new Grid automatically handles the sizing of truncated text that's too long for its container, so we've also removed the zeroMinWidth prop since it's no longer needed:

 <Grid container spacing={2}>
-  <Grid item zeroMinWidth><Typography>Long text...</Typography></Grid>
+  <Grid><Typography>Long text...</Typography></Grid>
 </Grid>

Nested grid

With the addition of CSS variables and the removal of the item prop, there are no more limitations when it comes to creating nested grids.

As a bonus, a grid container automatically inherits row and column spacing values from the root grid container, unless they are specified directly on the component.

import Grid from '@mui/material/Unstable_Grid2`;

// root grid container
<Grid container spacing={2}>
  <Grid>...</Grid>
  <Grid container> {/* inherits spacing from the root container */}
    <Grid>...</Grid>
    <Grid>...</Grid>
  </Grid>
  <Grid>...</Grid>
</Grid>

Future plan and migration

Since the Grid has been rewritten from scratch for v2, it is currently considered unstable as we give the community time to try it out and offer feedback. We will make it stable and deprecate v1 in the next major release of Material UI.

Ready to make the jump? Check out the Grid v2 documentation and the Grid v2 migration guide.


That's it for today! Happy coding 👨‍💻👩‍💻!.

I hope this new Grid implementation will make your life easier. Don't forget to share this update with your friends and colleagues.

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