Creating React Components with Hygen

Have you ever used Hygen, automatic code generator? If not already, perhaps our translation will open up a useful new tool for you.

When developing in React, creating components manually is quite difficult if the number of files that make up a component grows (for example, a Storybook file, a file with tests, a CSS module).

Imagine one component has this structure:

Hygen Is a Node.js-based code generator that allows you to automate common coding routines using an interactive command.

In this article, you will learn how to efficiently create React components using Hygen.

The final codebase on GitHub is available at this link


To test Hygen, we’ll set up a React app by following these steps:

  1. Create React App
  2. Configure Hygen
  3. Create template files
  4. Create config file
  5. Add scripts to package.json

1. Create a React application

To speed up the process, we will use create-react-app to create a React app:

npx create-react-app hygen-app --template typescript

Once installed, you can start the dev server by running this command:

yarn start

After which we will see the welcome page:

2. Configure Hygen
Next, let’s install Hygen and configure it.

To install Hygen:

yarn add -D hygen

Next step: we will create template files for creating React components.

By default Hygen selects the folder _templates at any level of the project folder to load template files.

In this article, we will add its own folder for it. To do this, add .hygen.js to the root of the project:

module.exports = {
  templates: `${__dirname}/.hygen`,

This will replace the default path (_templates) to the folder .hygen

And add new / components to folder .hygen:

└── new
    └── component

3. Create template files

Now that we have configured Hygen, we will create the following template files:

  • index.ts
  • React component
  • Test file
  • Storybook File
  • CSS module


First, we’ll create a template for index.tswhich will export all the dependencies of the folder.

Add index.tsx.ejs.t in .hygen / new / component:

to: <%= absPath %>/index.tsx
export * from './<%= component_name %>';

Hygen uses Frontmatter as its metadata template and EJS engine for the body.

In the header, we put the property towhich is used for the output path for files.

You can check all properties in documentation

<% = absPath%> Is a tag EJSwhich outputs the value in the template.

In this case, if we assign src / components / atom / Button variable absPath, the path will be like this: src / components / atom / Button / index.tsx

To pass a variable, we need to create index.js for the customization we’ll look at. Later, create a section in the config file.

React components

Next, we’ll create a template for the React component.

Add component.tsx.ejs.t in .hygen / new / component:

to: <%= absPath %>/<%= component_name %>.tsx
import React from 'react';
import styles from './style.module.css';

type Props = {};

export const <%= component_name %>: React.FC<Props> = (props) => {
  return <div className={styles.container} data-testid="test" />;

Test file

Next, we will create a template for the Test file.

Add test.tsx.ejs.t in .hygen / new / component:

to: <%= absPath %>/__tests__/<%= component_name %>.test.tsx
import React from 'react';
import { render, screen } from '@testing-library/react';
import { <%= component_name %> } from '../';

test('renders component successfully', () => {
  render(<<%= component_name %>  />);
  const element = screen.getByTestId(/test/i);

Storybook File

In this step, we will create a template for the Storybook file.

Add stories.tsx.ejs.t in .hygen / new / component:

to: <%= absPath %>/<%= component_name %>.stories.tsx
import React from 'react';
import { <%= component_name %> } from './';
import { Story, Meta } from '@storybook/react/types-6-0';

type Props = React.ComponentProps<typeof <%= component_name %>>

const csf: Meta = {
  title: '<%= category %>/<%= component_name %>',

const Template: Story<Props> = (args) => <<%= component_name %> {...args} />;

export const c1 = Template.bind({});

export default csf

CSS module

Let’s create a template for the CSS module.

Add style.module.css.ejs.t in .hygen / new / component:

to: <%= absPath %>/style.module.css
.container {}

4. Create config file

Now that we have configured all the template files, we will create a configuration file for Hygen.

Let’s add index.js in .hygen / new / component:

module.exports = {
  prompt: ({ inquirer }) => {
    const questions = [
        type: 'select',
        name: 'category',
        message: 'Which Atomic design level?',
        choices: ['atoms', 'molecules', 'organisms', 'templates', 'pages']
        type: 'input',
        name: 'component_name',
        message: 'What is the component name?'
        type: 'input',
        name: 'dir',
        message: 'Where is the directory(Optional)',
    return inquirer
      .then(answers => {
        const { category, component_name, dir } = answers
        const path = `${category}/${ dir ? `${dir}/` : `` }${component_name}`
        const absPath = `src/components/${path}`
        return { ...answers, path, absPath, category }

This is a configuration file for an interactive prompt that asks you a few questions when it starts up. You can customize whatever you want in this file.

prompt gets response data and returns it. As I wrote above, they will be used in the EJS template file.

In this case, EJS is passed answers, path, absPath and category

More detailed description at Github

5. Add scripts to package.json

Now that we are ready to run Hygen, we will add scripts to package.json:

"scripts": {
  "start": "react-scripts start",
  "build": "react-scripts build",
  "test": "react-scripts test",
  "eject": "react-scripts eject",

  "new:component": "hygen new component" // Add here

Hygen automatically checks the folder structure and displays it. In this case, we must pass new component according to the folder structure:

└── new
    └── component

Great, let’s try it!

Let’s create a component Button:

yarn new:component

An interactive prompt will appear that will help with solving your questions:

We have generated these files in a folder src / components:

├── components
│   └── atoms
│       └── Button
│           ├── Button.stories.tsx
│           ├── Button.tsx
│           ├── __tests__
│           │   └── Button.test.tsx
│           ├── index.tsx
│           └── style.module.css


That’s all! We’ve seen how to automate React development tasks using Hygen. You can of course apply it to other projects as well using Vue.js or Angular.

Hygen is quite flexible, so you can customize hints and templates to suit your needs.

So, here final codebase available. It also contains the Storybook setting.

Hope this article helps you find some inspiration. Good luck!

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