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How to use a function globally in ReactJS

Understanding Functions in ReactJS

First things first, let's understand what a function is in the world of programming. Think of it as a machine in a factory. This machine (function) does a specific job. You feed it some raw materials (parameters), it processes them and spits out a finished product (returns a result). Just like a machine, a function can do its job whenever and wherever it's needed.

In ReactJS, we use functions a lot. They help us keep our code clean, organized, and efficient. Now, what if we want to use a function in multiple parts of our code? Can we do that? Yes, we can, and this is what we call a global function.

Creating a Global Function in ReactJS

To create a global function in ReactJS, we need to define the function in a place that is accessible to all parts of our code. This place can be a separate file or a context. Let's start with the easier approach: a separate file.

Here's an example of a simple function that we might want to use globally. This function just adds two numbers:

function addNumbers(a, b) {
  return a + b;

To make this function global, we need to export it from the file it's defined in:

export function addNumbers(a, b) {
  return a + b;

Now, any part of our code can use this function by importing it:

import { addNumbers } from './path-to-the-file';

Easy, right? But there's a more powerful way to create global functions in ReactJS: using the context API.

Using Context API for Global Functions

The context API in ReactJS allows us to share data across our app without having to pass props down manually at every level. It's like having a box of tools that any worker (component) in our factory (app) can reach into and use.

Here's how we can create a global function using the context API:

First, we create a context:

import React from 'react';

const MyContext = React.createContext();

Next, we define our function and make it available through a Provider:

class MyProvider extends React.Component {
  addNumbers = (a, b) => {
    return a + b;

  render() {
    return (
      <MyContext.Provider value={{ addNumbers: this.addNumbers }}>

Now our addNumbers function is available to all components wrapped inside MyProvider. Here's how we can use it:

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  static contextType = MyContext;

  render() {
    const { addNumbers } = this.context;

    return <div>{addNumbers(1, 2)}</div>;

That's it! We've created a global function using the context API.

Wrapping Up

So, we've learned two ways to create global functions in ReactJS: by exporting them from a separate file and by using the context API. Both ways have their pros and cons. Exporting from a file is simpler, but using the context API allows us to avoid prop drilling and keep our code cleaner.

Let's wrap up with a metaphor. Imagine you're in a big house where every room is a different part of your code. Creating a global function is like installing a telephone in this house. You install it in one place (define and export the function), and then you can use it in any room you want (import and call the function). If you use the context API, it's like having a cordless phone. You can take it with you wherever you go, without any cords (props) getting in the way.

Remember, functions are one of the most powerful tools in programming. They help us write cleaner, more organized code, and make our apps more efficient. So, keep practicing and you'll master them in no time. Happy coding!