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A react component to focus on an element for accessibility.
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react-selffocus-element A project badge featuring the A11Y logo and the text "Built for Accessibility"

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A React component to focus on an element when it is mounted. This is essential for seeking attention on a particular element. This can also help in getting attention of screen readers like VoiceOver, JAWS, NVDA, and friends.


As soon there is some user event (e.g click) which cause rendering of a section on React app. For eg, a nav link may cause a subsection to be mounted. At few instances and to help a11y, that particular section might require focus to seek user attention.

In case of a11y, for section that are not role=document and do not contain heading section fail to get screen-reader's attention and are ignored until user manually tabs over them. Such case required a user focus, react-selffocus-element helps in solving this for react based apps.

For few scenarios, aria-live or alert does not make sense to seek attention for screen reader because that may not be same control. e.g. Seeking a focus on list or tree item helps them navigate as their respective roles without making them alert.


$ npm install react-selffocus-element --save


yarn add react-selffocus-element


  1. <SelfFocus>

    import SelfFocus from 'react-selffocus-element';
        return (
                This will only be content that will be focused on component mount.

    This is render div(by default) tag with autofocus. This element will also be focus-able by default.

    Rendered DOM

    <div tabindex="0" >This will only be content that will be focused on component mount.</div>
  2. With Custom Tag and TabIndex

    import SelfFocus from 'react-selffocus-element';
        return (
            <SelfFocus tag="p" tabIndex={-1}>
                This will only be content for custom tag and will be focused on component mount.

    This is render p(tag prop) tag with autofocus. This element will be focus-able based on tabIndex prop. It is recommended that value of this prop should be 0 (natural tab order) or -1 (not tabbable).

    Rendered DOM

     <p tabindex="0" >This will only be content for custom tag and will be focused on component mount.</div>


SelfFocus Component

Import mechanism

import SelfFocus from 'react-selffocus-element'


prop type description default value
children (default) -- Inner children for selfFocus Component null
tag htmlTag(String) Component/Node to be rendered for focussing div
className string additional Classname for particular div <empty>
tabIndex string/number tabbable order - 0/-1 0


1. I do not see focused element with outline. How can it be controlled?

One should use additional custom css to achieve outline, which is normally in this form,

    *:focus {
        outline-style: auto !important;
        outline: auto !important;
        outline-color: #2793f8 !important;

Also note that outline behavior for screen reader will also rely on screen reader and browser ( for eg, on electron running on window will be default render yellow border unless overwritten by css)

2. Should I use it for form input tag?

This component can be used for input tags but default autoFocus prop support provided by React should be used in conjunction with input tags. This will help browser functionalities to work as per focus specifications.

3. What about role and aria-\* attributes for that elements

You can specify role and all aria-* attributes on SelfFocus component and would be available on parent element.


    <SelfFocus tag="p" role="alert">

This will render a p tag with role as alert

4. What about other props that my component requires?

You can pass any key-value prop to SelfFocus and it will be rendered on main parent element. This is also how aria-* and role is supported.

5. Does this work on ComponentDidUpdate?

No. There is no use case of focusing again on element after some state/prop change. In addition, there may be componentDidUpdate function triggered when it does not require focusing. Hence, it is currently not supported.


Open Source Love

Refer LICENSE file in this repository.

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