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How to open .json file in ReactJS

Introduction to .json Files

Before we delve into how to open a .json file in ReactJS, let's first understand what a .json file is. JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a data format used for data communication, much like XML. It's a way to store information in an organized, easy-to-access manner.

In a nutshell, it gives us a human-readable collection of data that we can access in a logical manner. Think of it like a giant mailbox, with many slots (data points) each having a unique key. You can look up the information you need by knowing the key!

Understanding the Structure of a .json File

A .json file typically contains two types of structures: an array (ordered list) and an object (collection of key-value pairs).

The analogy here would be that an array is like a list of grocery items, while an object is like the details of a specific grocery item, such as name, price, and expiry date.

Here's an example of what a .json file might look like:

    { "firstName":"John", "lastName":"Doe" },
    { "firstName":"Anna", "lastName":"Smith" },
    { "firstName":"Peter", "lastName":"Jones" }

In the example above, "employees" is an array containing three objects. Each object represents an employee and has properties "firstName" and "lastName".

Opening a .json File in ReactJS

Now that we understand what a .json file is and its structure, let's move on to opening such a file in ReactJS.

ReactJS uses JavaScript, and JavaScript has a built-in global object JSON for working with JSON. It has two main methods: JSON.parse() and JSON.stringify().

JSON.parse() is used to convert text into a JavaScript object. It's like a magical decoder ring that takes the jumbled letters (the .json file) and turns them into something we can understand (a JavaScript object).

Here's how we can use JSON.parse():

let text = '{ "name":"John", "age":"30", "city":"New York"}';
let obj = JSON.parse(text);

In the example above, JSON.parse() is used to convert the text into a JavaScript object, which is then logged to the console.

Importing a .json File in ReactJS

But how do we get our .json file into our ReactJS app to begin with?

The answer is import. React (and JavaScript) has a keyword, import, which allows us to bring in other JavaScript files, .json files, and more into the file we're currently working on.

Here's an example of how to import a .json file:

import data from './data.json'; //(with .json extension)

Now, the entire .json file has been imported and its contents can be referenced using the variable data.

Rendering .json Data in ReactJS

Once we've imported our .json data, we can display it in our ReactJS components. ReactJS uses something called JSX (JavaScript XML) to display data. JSX is simply a syntax extension for JavaScript, and it allows us to write HTML in React.

Here's an example of how we can display our .json data:

import React from 'react';
import data from './data.json';

class App extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (

export default App;

In the example above, data.title and data.description refer to the "title" and "description" keys in our .json file.


And that's it! You've successfully opened and displayed .json data in a ReactJS application. Remember, JSON is just a format for storing and transporting data. If you've made it this far, you've unlocked a key tool in any programmer's toolkit.

Like a chef learning to work with different ingredients, understanding how to work with different types of data is crucial in programming. In the end, learning to open and use .json files in ReactJS is just like learning to cook a new recipe. Happy cooking, or rather, happy coding!