Use AngularJS 1.x templates in react components

angular1, angularjs, react
npm install react-angular@0.4.0



Use AngularJS 1.x templates in react components

When converting an application from Angular to React, or using React in an Angular application, we usually use ngReact to embed our React components. However, it is then close to impossible to use existing AngularJS directives inside the React components.

Or rather, it was…

ReactAngular allows you to use AngularJS templates, directives, controllers and services inside a React component. It does so by providing a React component, called AngularTemplate, to which you pass the template and controller you want to use.


npm install react-angular

ReactAngular requires React and Angular (of course!), although it isn't materialized in dependencies.

It should work fine with React 0.14+ and Angular 1.2+, but is really only tested with React 15 and Angular 1.5.

Once installed, create the react-angular module and add it to your module's dependencies:

import { reactAngularModule } from 'react-angular';

// If you are using ngReact
angular.module('app', [reactAngularModule(true).name])
  // ...

// If you are NOT using ngReact
angular.module('app', [reactAngularModule(false).name])
  // ...


Rendering JSX Children

import React from 'react';
import AngularTemplate from 'react-angular';

export default function SomeComponent(props) {
  return (<AngularTemplate scope={{
    label: props.label,
    onClick: ($event) => console.log($event),
    <div data-ng-click="onClick($event)">{'{{label}}'}</div>

Contrary to template rendering, AngularTemplate will not wrap your child into a wrapper div.

There can only be one child to AngularTemplate.

Once the template is rendered, AngularTemplate will leave the control to AngularJS for DOM updates. Props updates will not be applied.

The AngularJS application must already be started (Angular module must be defined and ng-app must be present on a parent element).

There are a number of React rendering gotchas you must be aware of when using JSX to render AngularJS templates:

  • Angular's {{}} expression syntax has meaning in JSX. The easiest way to use an expression is to pass a string with the expression in it (like in the example above: {'{{label}}'}).
  • React will treat an HTML tag with a dash in it (like a lot of directives) to be custom components. On custom components attributes transformation does not happen, e.g.:
    • className should be written class again (this is important: className will not work)
    • There is no need to prefix custom attributes with data-
  • Do not try to reference the first child with ref. AngularTemplate will 'steal' the reference. Instead reference AngularTemplate and access the first child through $element (see API below).

Rendering a Template

import React from 'react';
import AngularTemplate from 'react-angular';

import styles from './someStyles.css';
import template from './someTemplate.[pug,jade,html]';
import controller from './someController';

export default function SomeComponent(props) {
  return <AngularTemplate

AngularTemplate will render the AngularJS template in a wrapper div. The wrapper div is fully customizable (see Advanced Usage below).

Once the template is rendered, AngularTemplate will leave the control to AngularJS for DOM updates. Props updates will not be applied.

The AngularJS application must already be started (Angular module must be defined and ng-app must be present on a parent element).

Running in production

In production you should be using $compileProvider.debugInfoEnabled(false); as explained in AngularJS documentation.

This may break AngularTemplate, so you need to test it before shipping!

If you're using ngReact to embed React components in AngularJS, and declared it when adding the react-angular module to your dependencies, you do not need to worry: react-angular takes care of ensuring it has everything it needs.

If you are using ReactDOM.render() in a custom directive, you need to wrap your React root component in a HOC and provide the directive scope to it:

import { provideAngularScopeHOC } from 'react-angular';
import { MyRootComponent } from './MyRootComponent';

const MyRootComponentWithScope = provideAngularScopeHOC(MyRootComponent);

angular.module('my-module', [])
  .directive('myDirective', () => ($scope, $element) => {
      ReactDOM.render(<MyRootComponent prop1="toto" $scope={$scope} />, $element[0]);
      // -- OR --
      ReactDOM.render(React.createElement(MyRootComponent, { prop1: 'toto', $scope }), $element[0]);

If none of those solutions work, you will need to manually add the Angular scope in a parent element of your React code. You can wrap a directive linking function into a call to ensureScopeAvailable() to do so:

import { ensureScopeAvailable } from 'react-angular';

angular.module('my-module', [])
  .directive('myDirective', () => ({
    link: ensureScopeAvailable(function ($scope, $element, $attrs) {
       // Do some stuff with your directive 
  // -- OR use it standalone:
  .directive('exposeScope', () => ensureScopeAvailable())

The AngularTemplate directive will complain in development that you should be careful. When you have made sure you are indeed careful, you can suppress this warning by adding the following snippet in your Angular module:

angular.module('app', [reactAngularModule(false).name])
  .run((reactAngularProductionReady) => reactAngularProductionReady())

Basic Props

className: String

The class to apply to the wrapper div.

This allows you to control how the wrapper (and the directive inside it) is displayed in your page.

This class will be added to the child JSX element if you're using JSX templates, in addition to any class defined on the child itself.

controller: String|Function

The controller to apply to the template. This is a definition of a controller as in any AngularJS template or route.

This may be:

  • A controller name (String): The controller will be found in the controllers declared in the AngularJS application
  • A controller constructor (Function): The controller constructor will be used as-is.
  • A "controllerAs" expression (String): The controller will be instantiated from the AngularJS application and bound to the scope.

Controller will be injected with the scope, the wrapper element, the services defined in the application and all properties defined in the inject prop.

controllerAs: String

Bind the controller to a variable in the scope. This is like the controllerAs parameter in route definitions.

This is the preferred way to bind a controller to a template. An alternative is to use the "controllerAs" syntax in the controller prop.

inject: Object

A key-value pair of data to inject into the controller.

If the template is a function (e.g. a Pug/Jade template), the values defined here will also be passed to the template function.



/* @ngInject */
export default function MyController($document, someClass) {
  this.hasClass = $document.find('body').hasClass(someClass);


import React from 'react';
import AngularTemplate from 'react-angular';

import controler from './controller';

export default function MyComponent(props) {
  return <AngularTemplate
    template="<div ng-class='{ active: doc.hasClass }'></div>"
      someClass: 'document-active',

isolate: Boolean

Create an isolate scope instead of a normal scope.

You may use this to enforce component isolation at the AngularJS level.

scope: Boolean|Object

Should a scope be created for the wrapper element ?

By default a scope will be created. You can prevent this by passing false to this prop.

You should not pass false if you are using a controller.

If you pass an object, any value in the object will be copied to the created scope.


import React from 'react';
import AngularTemplate from 'react-angular';

export default function MyComponent(props) {
  return <AngularTemplate
    template="<div ng-bind='someValue'></div>"
      someValue: props.value || 'unknown',

template: String|Function

The template to use.

You can specify a string (loaded from HTML or directly in the prop), or a function (generated in JS or a Pug/Jade import).

If you specify a function, the object provided in inject will be passed as the first argument.

If both template and templateUrl are specified, template will be used.

You should not use template when using JSX children. If you choose to do it anyway, the template will be included after the children.

templateUrl: String

Use a template from Angular's template cache. This allows you to use a template loader or template scripts as the template source.

If both template and templateUrl are specified, template will be used.

You should not use templateUrl when using JSX children. If you choose to do it anyway, the template will be included after the children.

wrapperTag: String

The wrapper tag to use. By default it is a div.

You can change it to a span or anything else, even an element directive (see Advanced Usage below).

wrapperTag is completely ignored when using JSX children.

wrapperAttrs: Object

Attributes to apply to the wrapper element.

These will be passed as in JSX, e.g. all non-standard attributes have to be prefixed with data-. No transformation will be applied to the attributes, so they have to be passed as in HTML (e.g. pass data-ng-bind, not 'ngBind'). On a custom component wrapper, no transformation is applied (see Rendering JSX Children above).

wrapperAttrs are applied to the root JSX child when using JSX children rendering.

Known Caveats and Limitations

Property flow

Since AngularJS and React have a different approach to updating the DOM, property updates will not be propagated to the managed scope or controller.

You should never count on Angular updating a property passed to AngularTemplate, although AngularTemplate does not do anything to prevent it.

If you want to watch scope changes, you should reference the AngularTemplate instance and add watchers to the scope (see Advanced Usage below).

Using require()

Since the library is written in ES6 and transpiled with Babel, when using require() instead of import to import it, you must explicitly ask for the default export:

var AngularTemplate = require('react-angular').default;

Advanced Usage

Wrapper element

By manipulating the wrapper tag (wrapperTag and wrapperAttrs props), you can declare attribute directives directly on the wrapper element (e.g. data-ng-bind), or even insert an element directive directly as the wrapper tag.


By referencing the AngularTemplate component, you can get access to several component attributes that allow you to manipulate the created AngularJS structure:

  • $scope: This is the scope used to compile the wrapper tag and the template. You can use this to add watchers or event handlers, or to send events.
  • $element: This is the wrapper element as a JQLite element. You can use this to further manipulate or query the DOM. When using directives that mutate the root element, $element may not represent the actual content of the DOM since it could have been replaced, changed, duplicated or removed from the DOM. The API makes no attempt at keeping $element up-to-date with extreme and borderline manipulations.


import React from 'react';
import AngularTemplate from 'react-angular';

export default class MyComponent {
  componentDidMount() {
       (newValue) => console.log(newValue)

  render() {
    return <AngularTemplate
      ref={(reactAngular) => this.reactAngular = reactAngular}
      template="<div ng-click='someValue++'></div>"
        someValue: props.value || 'unknown',


  • Support for easily creating "directive components", e.g. the inverse of ngReact's reactDirective function
  • Better doc (this one is kinda messy, although pretty much complete)
  • Support other module loaders?


Contributions to the documentation and the code are welcome, just make a PR!

Remember to contribute the test along with the feature (or the test that shows up the bug).

To run a continuous build:

npm run build:watch

To run continuous testing:

npm run test:watch

Authors and license

This library is licenced under the MIT licence (see LICENCE file).


  • Fabien Mauquié



  • Breaking change You need to add a module to your app's dependencies
  • Make sure we can get a module in production mode with ngReact, independently of loading order


  • Fix usage without ngReact
  • Fix exposing HOC and directive link decorator


  • Allow running with $compileProvider.debugInfoEnabled(false); with ngReact, a HOC, or a custom directive
  • Document production mode
  • Use prop-types package


  • Change directive name to AngularTemplate (better readability)
  • JSX children rendering


  • Initial version
  • ReactAngular component
  • Template rendering