Storybook for React Native

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This guide will help you to manually setup React Native Storybook and explain about addons and Storybook server.

Automatic setup

You may have tried to use our quick start guide to setup your project for Storybook. If it failed because it couldn’t detect you’re using react-native, you could try forcing it to use react-native:

npx -p @storybook/cli sb init --type react_native

Manual setup

1. Add @storybook/react-native to your project.

To use React Native Storybook you need to have it as a dependency in your project. To do that, simply run:

npm i --save-dev @storybook/react-native

2. Create the Storybook directory.

Create a new directory called storybook in your project root.

3. Create an entry file for Storybook.

Create an index.js file as given below. Do not forget to replace %APP_NAME% with your app name if you are not using expo.

storybook/index.js

import { AppRegistry } from 'react-native';
import { getStorybookUI, configure } from '@storybook/react-native';

import './rn-addons';

// import stories
configure(() => {
  require('./stories');
}, module);

// Refer to https://github.com/storybooks/storybook/tree/master/app/react-native#start-command-parameters
// To find allowed options for getStorybookUI
const StorybookUIRoot = getStorybookUI({});

// If you are using React Native vanilla write your app name here.
// If you use Expo you can safely remove this line.
AppRegistry.registerComponent('%APP_NAME%', () => StorybookUIRoot);

export default StorybookUIRoot;

4. Create a file for on device addons

Create a file called rn-addons.js that you can use to include on device addons (more about them in addons section). You can see an example below.

storybook/rn-addons.js

import '@storybook/addon-ondevice-knobs/register';
import '@storybook/addon-ondevice-notes/register';
...

5. Display StorybookUI in your app.

Finally you need to expose StorybookUI somewhere in your app. The easiest solution is to replace your app entry with:

export default from './storybook';

If you cannot replace your entry point just make sure that the component exported from ./storybook is displayed somewhere in your app. StorybookUI is simply a RN View component that can be embedded anywhere in your RN application, e.g. on a tab or within an admin screen.


Writing stories

Now you can write some stories inside the storybook/stories/index.js file, like this:

import React from 'react';
import { storiesOf } from '@storybook/react-native';
import { View, Text } from 'react-native';

const style = {
  flex: 1,
  justifyContent: 'center',
  alignItems: 'center',
  backgroundColor: '#F5FCFF'
};

const CenteredView = ({ children }) => (
  <View style={style}>
    {children}
  </View>
);

storiesOf('CenteredView', module)
  .add('default view', () => (
    <CenteredView>
      <Text>Hello Storybook</Text>
    </CenteredView>
  ));

Refer to Writing Stories for more information.


Addons

Storybook supports addons. You can read more about them here

There is one big difference in React Native is that it has two types of addons: Addons that work in the browser and addons that work on the app itself (on device addons).

Browser addons

Browser addons are default addons to storybook. You create a file called addons.js inside storybook directory and the addons will be automatically loaded inside your browser.

storybook/addons.js

import '@storybook/addon-actions/register';
import '@storybook/addon-knobs/register';

On device addons

On device addons are addons that are displayed in your app in addons panel. To use them you have to create a file called rn-addons.js in storybook directory. Because React Native does not dynamically resolve imports, you will also have to manually import this file before getStorybookUI call.

Example:

storybook/rn-addons.js

import '@storybook/addon-ondevice-knobs/register';
import '@storybook/addon-ondevice-notes/register';
...

storybook/index.js

import { getStorybookUI } from '@storybook/react-native';

...
import './rn-addons';
...

const StorybookUI = getStorybookUI();
export default StorybookUI;

This step is done automatically when you install Storybook for the first time.

Compatibility

Web and onDevice addon compatibility can be found here

Performance of on device addons

Because on device addons are inside the app, they are also rerendered on every change. Be aware that this can have performance implications for your app.


Storybook server

The default usage of React Native Storybook till version 4 involved starting Storybook server. Starting from v4 we do not expect user to start the server since in most cases it is not really necessary.

In case you still want to run Storybook server simply add the following script to your package.json.

{
  "scripts": {
    ...
    "storybook": "storybook start"
  }
}

And then call npm run storybook.

Using Storybook server gives some additional functionality to Storybook for React Native.

Websockets connection

By using websockets connection you can create your own tools that integrate with your storybook app and control it from outside of your app.

IDE Plugins

Having server running allows you to control your storybook view from inside web page or your ide.

There is a plugin for JetBrains IDEs and there is one for VS Code.

Web addons

There are Storybook addons that work with React Native but do not have on device implementations.