Leverage custom html validation in react forms

There are many ways to use validation in react forms, including custom frameworks with validation. However html 5 brought about some inbuilt validation which are supported in browser.

There are several standard html validators;

  • required (The is the required tag which ensure that an input has data).
  • minLength / maxLength (for strings)
  • min / max (for numeric input)

The browsers allow custom validation using HTMLObjectElement.setCustomValidity() see mozilla for more

When the form is submitted the validation is checked and submit cancelled and the message displayed if any of the fields are invalid.

I put together a simple react app which can be viewed on github. In this example every time the input is changed the change handler runs and looks to see if the text includes the word ‘test’. If it does then e.currentTarget.setCustomValidity(‘’) is called to reset the validation. Otherwise the error message is set e.currentTarget.setCustomValidity(‘Field must contain 'test'’);

The form

        <FormGroup >
            <Form.Label>Test custom input must contain test</Form.Label>
            <Form.Control required name="test" onChange={handleChange} value={validated} />
        <button type="submit">Submit</button>

The handler

const handleChange = (e) => {
    // custom validation logic here
    if (e.currentTarget.value.includes('test')) {
    } else {
      e.currentTarget.setCustomValidity('Field must contain \'test\'');

When the form is submitted without the correct validation an error is shown.