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Using tabs

Imagine you have a component that displays tabs. As an example, let's use the Nav component from the React Suite library. The Nav component only displays the navigation, but what if we need to display different content when the user switches navigation tabs in the same place? In this case, we can use conditional binding of the child component to the parent component.

Conditional binding

First of all, you need to familiarise yourself with the component slots from this article.

Let's create a custom component that will display tabs and different components depending on which tab is currently active.

import styled from '@emotion/styled'
import {array, boolean, define, node, toLabeledValues, useComponentData} from '@react-form-builder/core'
import type {ReactNode, SyntheticEvent} from 'react'
import type {NavProps} from 'rsuite'
import {Nav} from 'rsuite'
import {navProps} from '../commonProperties'

type RsItem = {
label: string
value: string

interface RsTabProps extends NavProps {
items?: RsItem[]
showNavigation?: boolean
pane: ReactNode

const RsTab = ({pane, onSelect, showNavigation, items, ...props}: RsTabProps) => {
const componentData = useComponentData()
if (!items?.length) return null

const onNavSelect = (eventKey: string, event: SyntheticEvent) => {
componentData.userDefinedProps ??= {}
componentData.userDefinedProps.activeKey = eventKey
onSelect?.(eventKey, event)

const activeKey = props.activeKey ?? items?.[0].value

return <>
{showNavigation === true && <SNav onSelect={onNavSelect} {...props}>
{, index) =>
<Nav.Item key={index} eventKey={item.value} active={item.value === activeKey}>

const SNav = styled(Nav)`
.builder & .rs-nav-item {
z-index: 7;

export const rsTab = define(RsTab)
items: array.default(toLabeledValues(['Item1', 'Item2', 'Item3'])),
showNavigation: boolean.hinted('Show or hide navigation').default(true),
pane: node
.withSlotConditionBuilder(props => {
return `return parentProps.activeKey === '${props.activeKey?.value ?? props.activeKey}'`;
.calculable(false).hinted('A child component of the tab'),

Let's take an in-depth look at how this component works.

  • Lines 13-17 define the type of properties of the RsTabProps component. Line 16 shows that the pane property is of type ReactNode.
  • In lines 19-40, the React component RsTab is defined. It is a functional React component that receives properties of type RsTabProps.
  • In line 20, the RsTab component uses the Form Builder useComponentData hook. This hook returns an instance of class ComponentData. The ComponentData class is responsible for storing all the data needed to render the component.
  • The ComponentData contains the userDefinedProps property. You can set component properties in userDefinedProps to override component properties that have been computed by the Form Builder.
  • Lines 23-27 define the onNavSelect handler, which changes the activeKey property, the name of the active tab, when the tab is clicked. The activeKey property is set via userDefinedProps.
  • Lines 48-60 define the metadata of the RsTab component for the Form Builder.
  • The pane property is defined on lines 55-59.
  • On lines 56-58, the withSlotConditionBuilder function is called. This is where the most entertaining part starts. The withSlotConditionBuilder function takes as input a function that should return a text with the source code of another function.

Slot condition

The function that is passed to withSlotConditionBuilder receives the props parameter as input. props are properties of the component, which are available only inside Form Builder Designer!


When you use a component inside Form Builder Designer, the function passed in withSlotConditionBuilder is called, and this function must return the text of a function that will run in the component's display mode, that is, outside of Form Builder Designer.

The string with the text of the conditional binding function will be calculated at the form design stage and written to the form's JSON.

When the form is rendered, Form Builder will compile and execute a function from the saved text. If the function returns true, the child component will be bound to the component slot, otherwise the component will not be rendered.

Let's take a look at the text of the function that will check the binding condition:

withSlotConditionBuilder(props => {
return `return parentProps.activeKey === '${props.activeKey?.value ?? props.activeKey}'`;

This function takes as input the parentProps parameter, which are the properties of the component to which the child component will be bound. That is, these are also properties of our RsTab component, but only used when the component is displayed, not when the component is designed.

Example form

For example, let's open demo and add a Tab component to the form. On the first tab let's add Checkbox, on the second tab add TextArea, on the third tab add Image, and look at the resulting JSON of the form:

"version": "1",
"form": {
"key": "Screen",
"type": "Screen",
"props": {},
"children": [
"key": "RsTab 1",
"type": "RsTab",
"props": {},
"children": [
"key": "RsCheckbox 1",
"type": "RsCheckbox",
"props": {},
"slot": "pane",
"slotCondition": "return parentProps.activeKey === 'Item1'"
"key": "RsTextArea 1",
"type": "RsTextArea",
"props": {},
"slot": "pane",
"slotCondition": "return parentProps.activeKey === 'Item2'"
"key": "RsImage 1",
"type": "RsImage",
"props": {},
"slot": "pane",
"slotCondition": "return parentProps.activeKey === 'Item3'"

When we added the Checkbox component to the form, the active tab in the component properties was "Item1". So Form Builder Designer evaluated the function and got the following string as a result: return parentProps.activeKey === 'Item1'. This string was stored in the slotCondition field, and the slot name was written to the slot field with the value pane. pane is a property of the component to which the conditional binding is performed.

The conditions were also calculated for the TextArea component - the active tab was "Item2". Therefore, the text of the check function is return parentProps.activeKey === 'Item2'.

For the Image component, the active tab at the time of form design was the "Item3" tab. The calculated text of the check function is as follows - return parentProps.activeKey === 'Item3'.


When Form Builder displays a form, it evaluates the functions from the slotCondition and displays the components if the function returned true. Since all three functions above are mutually exclusive, only one component, either Checkbox, TextArea or Image, will be bound to the pane property and displayed.