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Angular - Angular components overview

Angular components overview link

Components are the main building block for Angular applications. Each component consists of:

  • An HTML template that declares what renders on the page
  • A TypeScript class that defines behavior
  • A CSS selector that defines how the component is used in a template
  • Optionally, CSS styles applied to the template

This topic describes how to create and configure an Angular component.

To view or download the example code used in this topic, see the live example / download example .

Prerequisites link

To create a component, verify that you have met the following prerequisites:

  1. Install the Angular CLI.
  2. Create an Angular workspace with initial application. If you don't have a project, create one using ng new <project-name> , where <project-name> is the name of your Angular application.

Creating a component link

The best way to create a component is with the Angular CLI. You can also create a component manually.

Creating a component using the Angular CLI link

To create a component using the Angular CLI:

  1. From a terminal window, navigate to the directory containing your application.
  2. Run the ng generate component <component-name> command, where <component-name> is the name of your new component.

By default, this command creates the following:

  • A directory named after the component
  • A component file, <component-name>.component.ts
  • A template file, <component-name>.component.html
  • A CSS file, <component-name>.component.css
  • A testing specification file, <component-name>.component.spec.ts

Where <component-name> is the name of your component.

You can change how ng generate component creates new components. For more information, see ng generate component in the Angular CLI documentation.

Creating a component manually link

Although the Angular CLI is the best way to create an Angular component, you can also create a component manually. This section describes how to create the core component file within an existing Angular project.

To create a new component manually:

  1. Navigate to your Angular project directory.

  2. Create a new file, <component-name>.component.ts .

  3. At the top of the file, add the following import statement.

          
          import { Component } from '@angular/core';
        
  4. After the import statement, add a @Component decorator.

          
          @Component({
    })
        
  5. Choose a CSS selector for the component.

          
          @Component({
      selector: 'app-component-overview',
    })
        

    For more information on choosing a selector, see Specifying a component's selector.

  6. Define the HTML template that the component uses to display information. In most cases, this template is a separate HTML file.

          
          @Component({
      selector: 'app-component-overview',
      templateUrl: './component-overview.component.html',
    })
        

    For more information on defining a component's template, see Defining a component's template.

  7. Select the styles for the component's template. In most cases, you define the styles for your component's template in a separate file.

          
          @Component({
      selector: 'app-component-overview',
      templateUrl: './component-overview.component.html',
      styleUrls: ['./component-overview.component.css']
    })
        
  8. Add a class statement that includes the code for the component.

          
          export class ComponentOverviewComponent {
    
    }
        

Specifying a component's CSS selector link

Every component requires a CSS selector . A selector instructs Angular to instantiate this component wherever it finds the corresponding tag in template HTML. For example, consider a component hello-world.component.ts that defines its selector as app-hello-world . This selector instructs Angular to instantiate this component any time the tag <app-hello-world> appears in a template.

Specify a component's selector by adding a selector statement to the @Component decorator.

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-component-overview',
})
    

Defining a component's template link

A template is a block of HTML that tells Angular how to render the component in your application. Define a template for your component in one of two ways: by referencing an external file, or directly within the component.

To define a template as an external file, add a templateUrl property to the @Component decorator.

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-component-overview',
  templateUrl: './component-overview.component.html',
})
    

To define a template within the component, add a template property to the @Component decorator that contains the HTML you want to use.

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-component-overview',
  template: '<h1>Hello World!</h1>',
})
    

If you want your template to span multiple lines, use backticks ( ` ). For example:

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-component-overview',
  template: `
    <h1>Hello World!</h1>
    <p>This template definition spans multiple lines.</p>
  `
})
    

An Angular component requires a template defined using template or templateUrl . You cannot have both statements in a component.

Declaring a component's styles link

Declare component styles used for its template in one of two ways: By referencing an external file, or directly within the component.

To declare the styles for a component in a separate file, add a styleUrls property to the @Component decorator.

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-component-overview',
  templateUrl: './component-overview.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./component-overview.component.css']
})
    

To declare the styles within the component, add a styles property to the @Component decorator that contains the styles you want to use.

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-component-overview',
  template: '<h1>Hello World!</h1>',
  styles: ['h1 { font-weight: normal; }']
})
    

The styles property takes an array of strings that contain the CSS rule declarations.

Next steps link

  • For an architectural overview of components, see Introduction to components and templates
  • For additional options to use when creating a component, see Component in the API Reference
  • For more information on styling components, see Component styles
  • For more information on templates, see Template syntax
Last reviewed on Mon Feb 28 2022
Angular - Component styles

Component styles link

Angular applications are styled with standard CSS. That means you can apply everything you know about CSS stylesheets, selectors, rules, and media queries directly to Angular applications.

Additionally, Angular can bundle component styles with components, enabling a more modular design than regular stylesheets.

This page describes how to load and apply these component styles.

Run the live example / download example in Stackblitz and download the code from there.

Using component styles link

For every Angular component you write, you can define not only an HTML template, but also the CSS styles that go with that template, specifying any selectors, rules, and media queries that you need.

One way to do this is to set the styles property in the component metadata. The styles property takes an array of strings that contain CSS code. Usually you give it one string, as in the following example:

src/app/hero-app.component.ts
      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-root',
  template: `
    <h1>Tour of Heroes</h1>
    <app-hero-main [hero]="hero"></app-hero-main>
  `,
  styles: ['h1 { font-weight: normal; }']
})
export class HeroAppComponent {
/* . . . */
}
    

Component styling best practices link

See View Encapsulation for information on how Angular scopes styles to specific components.

You should consider the styles of a component to be private implementation details for that component. When consuming a common component, you should not override the component's styles any more than you should access the private members of a TypeScript class. While Angular's default style encapsulation prevents component styles from affecting other components, global styles affect all components on the page. This includes ::ng-deep , which promotes a component style to a global style.

Authoring a component to support customization link

As component author, you can explicitly design a component to accept customization in one of four different ways.

You can define a supported customization API for your component by defining its styles with CSS Custom Properties, alternatively known as CSS Variables. Anyone using your component can consume this API by defining values for these properties, customizing the final appearance of the component on the rendered page.

While this requires defining a custom property for each customization point, it creates a clear API contract that works in all style encapsulation modes.

2. Declare global CSS with @mixin link

While Angular's emulated style encapsulation prevents styles from escaping a component, it does not prevent global CSS from affecting the entire page. While component consumers should avoid directly overwriting the CSS internals of a component, you can offer a supported customization API via a CSS preprocessor like Sass.

For example, a component may offer one or more supported mixins to customize various aspects of the component's appearance. While this approach uses global styles in its implementation, it allows the component author to keep the mixins up to date with changes to the component's private DOM structure and CSS classes.

3. Customize with CSS ::part link

If your component uses Shadow DOM, you can apply the part attribute to specify elements in your component's template. This allows consumers of the component to author arbitrary styles targeting those specific elements with the ::part pseudo-element.

While this lets you limit the elements within your template that consumers can customize, it does not limit which CSS properties are customizable.

4. Provide a TypeScript API link

You can define a TypeScript API for customizing styles, using template bindings to update CSS classes and styles. This is not recommended because the additional JavaScript cost of this style API incurs far more performance cost than CSS.

Special selectors link

Component styles have a few special selectors from the world of shadow DOM style scoping (described in the CSS Scoping Module Level 1 page on the W3C site). The following sections describe these selectors.

:host link

Every component is associated within an element that matches the component's selector. This element, into which the template is rendered, is called the host element . The :host pseudo-class selector may be used to create styles that target the host element itself, as opposed to targeting elements inside the host.

src/app/host-selector-example.component.ts
      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-main',
  template: `
      <h1>It Works!</h1>
      <div>
        Start editing to see some magic happen :)
      </div>
  `
})
export class HostSelectorExampleComponent {

}
    

Creating the following style will target the component's host element. Any rule applied to this selector will affect the host element and all its descendants (in this case, italicizing all contained text).

src/app/hero-details.component.css
      
      :host {
  font-style: italic;
}
    

The :host selector only targets the host element of a component. Any styles within the :host block of a child component will not affect parent components.

Use the function form to apply host styles conditionally by including another selector inside parentheses after :host .

In this example the host's content also becomes bold when the active CSS class is applied to the host element.

src/app/hero-details.component.css
      
      :host {
  font-style: italic;
}

:host(.active) {
  font-weight: bold;
}
    

The :host selector can also be combined with other selectors. Add selectors behind the :host to select child elements, for example using :host h2 to target all <h2> elements inside a component's view.

You should not add selectors (other than :host-context ) in front of the :host selector to style a component based on the outer context of the component's view. Such selectors are not scoped to a component's view and will select the outer context, but it's not built-in behavior. Use :host-context selector for that purpose instead.

:host-context link

Sometimes it's useful to apply styles to elements within a component's template based on some condition in an element that is an ancestor of the host element. For example, a CSS theme class could be applied to the document <body> element, and you want to change how your component looks based on that.

Use the :host-context() pseudo-class selector, which works just like the function form of :host() . The :host-context() selector looks for a CSS class in any ancestor of the component host element, up to the document root. The :host-context() selector is only useful when combined with another selector.

The following example italicizes all text inside a component, but only if some ancestor element of the host element has the CSS class active .

src/app/hero-details.component.css
      
      :host-context(.active) {
  font-style: italic;
}
    

NOTE :
Only the host element and its descendants will be affected, not the ancestor with the assigned active class.

(deprecated) /deep/ , >>> , and ::ng-deep link

Component styles normally apply only to the HTML in the component's own template.

Applying the ::ng-deep pseudo-class to any CSS rule completely disables view-encapsulation for that rule. Any style with ::ng-deep applied becomes a global style. In order to scope the specified style to the current component and all its descendants, be sure to include the :host selector before ::ng-deep . If the ::ng-deep combinator is used without the :host pseudo-class selector, the style can bleed into other components.

The following example targets all <h3> elements, from the host element down through this component to all of its child elements in the DOM.

src/app/hero-details.component.css
      
      :host ::ng-deep h3 {
  font-style: italic;
}
    

The /deep/ combinator also has the aliases >>> , and ::ng-deep .

Use /deep/ , >>> , and ::ng-deep only with emulated view encapsulation. Emulated is the default and most commonly used view encapsulation. For more information, see the View Encapsulation section.

The shadow-piercing descendant combinator is deprecated and support is being removed from major browsers and tools. As such we plan to drop support in Angular (for all 3 of /deep/ , >>> , and ::ng-deep ). Until then ::ng-deep should be preferred for a broader compatibility with the tools.

Loading component styles link

There are several ways to add styles to a component:

  • By setting styles or styleUrls metadata
  • Inline in the template HTML
  • With CSS imports

The scoping rules outlined earlier apply to each of these loading patterns.

Styles in component metadata link

Add a styles array property to the @Component decorator.

Each string in the array defines some CSS for this component.

src/app/hero-app.component.ts (CSS inline)
      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-root',
  template: `
    <h1>Tour of Heroes</h1>
    <app-hero-main [hero]="hero"></app-hero-main>
  `,
  styles: ['h1 { font-weight: normal; }']
})
export class HeroAppComponent {
/* . . . */
}
    

Reminder: These styles apply only to this component . They are not inherited by any components nested within the template nor by any content projected into the component.

The Angular CLI command ng generate component defines an empty styles array when you create the component with the --inline-style flag.

      
      ng generate component hero-app --inline-style
    

Style files in component metadata link

Load styles from external CSS files by adding a styleUrls property to a component's @Component decorator:

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-root',
  template: `
    <h1>Tour of Heroes</h1>
    <app-hero-main [hero]="hero"></app-hero-main>
  `,
  styleUrls: ['./hero-app.component.css']
})
export class HeroAppComponent {
/* . . . */
}
    

Reminder: the styles in the style file apply only to this component . They are not inherited by any components nested within the template nor by any content projected into the component.

You can specify more than one styles file or even a combination of styles and styleUrls .

When you use the Angular CLI command ng generate component without the --inline-style flag, it creates an empty styles file for you and references that file in the component's generated styleUrls .

      
      ng generate component hero-app
    

Template inline styles link

Embed CSS styles directly into the HTML template by putting them inside <style> tags.

src/app/hero-controls.component.ts
      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-hero-controls',
  template: `
    <style>
      button {
        background-color: white;
        border: 1px solid #777;
      }
    </style>
    <h3>Controls</h3>
    <button type="button" (click)="activate()">Activate</button>
  `
})
    

You can also write <link> tags into the component's HTML template.

src/app/hero-team.component.ts
      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-hero-team',
  template: `
    <!-- We must use a relative URL so that the AOT compiler can find the stylesheet -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="../assets/hero-team.component.css">
    <h3>Team</h3>
    <ul>
      <li *ngFor="let member of hero.team">
        {{member}}
      </li>
    </ul>`
})
    

When building with the CLI, be sure to include the linked style file among the assets to be copied to the server as described in the Assets configuration guide.

Once included, the CLI includes the stylesheet, whether the link tag's href URL is relative to the application root or the component file.

CSS @imports link

Import CSS files into the CSS files using the standard CSS @import rule. For details, see @import on the MDN site.

In this case, the URL is relative to the CSS file into which you're importing.

src/app/hero-details.component.css (excerpt)
      
      /* The AOT compiler needs the `./` to show that this is local */
@import './hero-details-box.css';
    

External and global style files link

When building with the CLI, you must configure the angular.json to include all external assets , including external style files.

Register global style files in the styles section which, by default, is pre-configured with the global styles.css file.

See the Styles configuration guide to learn more.

Non-CSS style files link

If you're building with the CLI, you can write style files in sass, or less, and specify those files in the @Component.styleUrls metadata with the appropriate extensions ( .scss , .less ) as in the following example:

      
      @Component({
  selector: 'app-root',
  templateUrl: './app.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./app.component.scss']
})

    

The CLI build process runs the pertinent CSS preprocessor.

When generating a component file with ng generate component , the CLI emits an empty CSS styles file ( .css ) by default. Configure the CLI to default to your preferred CSS preprocessor as explained in the Workspace configuration guide.

Last reviewed on Mon Feb 28 2022
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