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Make Insanely Responsive Layouts with MUI Grid

Are you looking to create visually consistent and responsive grid layouts in your React applications? Look no further than the MUI Grid component.

Material UI’s Grid layout system is a powerful tool that allows you to easily design and organize content on different screen sizes. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of the MUI Grid and provide you with practical tips and examples to help you master responsive layouts.

What is MUI Grid?

  • The MUI Grid is a wrapper around the CSS Flexible Box module, also known as Flexbox.

  • It provides a responsive css grid layout that adapts to different screen sizes and orientations, ensuring consistency across layouts.

  • It uses CSS’s Flexible Box module for high flexibility.

  • It is not the same as data grid

  • There are five grid breakpoints: xs, sm, md, lg, and xl.

As a React developer, you can import the Grid component from the Material UI library and use it to create flexible and powerful designs.

Let’s Get Started with MUI Grid

Now that you have a basic understanding of the MUI Grid, let’s dive into how you can get started with it.

We will walk you through the process of importing the Grid component and creating a simple grid layout.

Importing the Grid Component

To use the MUI Grid in your React application, you first need to import the Grid component from the Material UI library.

You can do this by adding the following import statement:

import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

By importing the Grid component, you gain access to all its functionalities and features.

Creating a Basic Grid Layout

Let’s take a look at an example of using the Grid component to create a basic grid layout:

import * as React from 'react';
import { styled } from '@mui/material/styles';
import Box from '@mui/material/Box';
import Paper from '@mui/material/Paper';
import Grid from '@mui/material/Grid';

const Item = styled(Paper)(({ theme }) => ({
  backgroundColor: theme.palette.mode === 'dark' ? '#1A2027' : '#fff',
  ...theme.typography.body2,
  padding: theme.spacing(1),
  textAlign: 'center',
  color: theme.palette.text.secondary,
}));

export default function BasicGrid() {
  return (
    <Box sx={{ flexGrow: 1 }}>
      <Grid container spacing={2}>
        <Grid item xs={6}>
          <Item>xs=6</Item>
        </Grid>
        <Grid item xs={6}>
          <Item>xs=6</Item>
        </Grid>
      </Grid>
    </Box>
  );
}

In this example,

  • We create a grid with two columns using the container and item variants.

  • The spacing prop adds spacing between the columns.

  • The xs={6} prop specifies that each column should take up half of the viewport width on extra-small screens.

By using the MUI Grid component, you can easily create responsive grid layouts in your React applications. It provides a flexible and powerful way to design and organize content, ensuring consistency across different screen sizes.

Understanding Container and Item Variants

The Grid component has two main variants:

  1. Container: The container variant is used to create a flex container

  2. Item: The item variant is used to create flex items within the container. Each item must be wrapped in a container .

Container Variant

  • It serves as the parent element for the grid layout and contains one or more item variants.

  • The container has properties and styles that affect the layout of its child items.

Here’s an example of how you can create a container using the MUI Grid:

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <Grid container>
      {/* Grid items go here */}
    </Grid>
  );
}

In this example, we create a container using the container variant of the Grid component. This sets up the parent element for our grid layout.

Item Variant

  • Each item must be wrapped in a container and can have its own properties and styles.

  • They are laid out using the flex layout model

  • The item variant allows you to control the layout and positioning of individual elements within the grid.

Here’s an example of how you can create an item within a container using the MUI Grid:

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <Grid container>
      <Grid item>
        {/* Content goes here */}
      </Grid>
    </Grid>
  );
}

In this example, we create an item using the item variant of the Grid component. This item will be positioned within the parent container.

By using the container and item variants of the MUI Grid, you can create flexible and powerful grid layouts in your React applications. The container serves as the parent element, while the item represents individual elements within the grid.

Responsive Design with Breakpoints

One of the key features of the MUI Grid component is its support for breakpoints.

  • Breakpoints allow you to define different column widths for different screen sizes

  • It ensures that your grid layout adapts to various devices and orientations.

  • Looking at Material UI’s default breakpoints, we can see these are the horizontal screen sizes we will use as props to the Grid component.

Utilizing Breakpoints in MUI Grid

BreakpointCSS Media QueryDescription
xs@media (max-width: 599px)Extra small devices (phones)
sm@media (min-width: 600px)Small devices (tablets)
md@media (min-width: 960px)Medium devices (desktops)
lg@media (min-width: 1280px)Large devices (large desktops)
xl@media (min-width: 1920px)Extra-large devices (extra-large desktops)

Here’s an example of how you can use breakpoints in the MUI Grid:

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <Grid container>
      <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} lg={3}>
        {/* Content for the first column */}
      </Grid>
      <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} lg={3}>
        {/* Content for the second column */}
      </Grid>
      <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} lg={3}>
        {/* Content for the third column */}
      </Grid>
    </Grid>
  );
}

In this example,

  • we use the xs, sm, md, and lg props to specify different column widths for different screen sizes.

  • On extra-small screens, each column takes up the full viewport width (xs={12}).

  • On small and medium screens, each column takes up half of the width (sm={6} and md={4}).

  • On large screens, each column takes up one-third of the width (lg={3}).

Additional Features and Customization

The MUI Grid component provides additional features and customization options to enhance your grid layouts. Let’s explore some of these features and see how you can customize your grid designs.

1. Spacing

The MUI Grid component allows you to control the spacing between items using the spacing prop. The spacing prop accepts a number that represents the spacing in 8px increments. By default, the spacing between items is set to 2, which corresponds to 16px.

Here’s an example of how you can control the spacing between items in the MUI Grid:

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <Grid container spacing={4}>
      <Grid item xs={6}>
        {/* Content for the first column */}
      </Grid>
      <Grid item xs={4}>
        {/* Content for the second column */}
      </Grid>
       <Grid item xs={2}>
        {/* Content for the third column */}
      </Grid>
    </Grid>
  );
}

In this example,

we set the spacing between items to 4 (32px) using the spacing prop. This creates a larger gap between the columns.

By adjusting the spacing, you can achieve different visual effects and create layouts with varying degrees of separation between items in your grid.

2. Fluid Grids

A fluid grid is designed to expand and contract based on the available space, providing a responsive layout that adjusts proportionally to different screen widths. Material-UI Grid simplifies the implementation of fluid grids by offering a flexible system of containers and items.

Creating a Fluid Grid:

To create a fluid grid, leverage the responsive breakpoints provided by Material-UI Grid.

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
   <Box sx={{ flexGrow: 1 }}>
      <Grid container spacing={4}>
        <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} lg={3}>
          <Item>Item 1</Item>
        </Grid>
        <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} lg={3}>
          <Item>Item 2</Item>
        </Grid>
        <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} lg={3}>
          <Item>Item 3</Item>
        </Grid>
      </Grid>
    </Box>
  );
}

In this example, we set the xs prop to true for each item. This allows the items to automatically resize and fill the available space evenly.

3. AutoLayout

The auto-layout feature gives equal space to all items present. When you set the width of one item, the others will automatically resize to match it.

Tips for Optimizing Fluid Grids and Autolayout:

  1. Combine Fluid Grids and Autolayout:

    • Leverage both fluid grids and autolayout for a comprehensive and responsive design that adapts to various scenarios.

  2. Use Breakpoints Strategically:

    • Choose breakpoints wisely to define the layout at specific screen sizes, ensuring a smooth transition across different devices.

  3. Test on Multiple Devices:

    • Regularly test your fluid grids and autolayout on various devices to guarantee a consistent and user-friendly experience.

  4. Consider Content Variability:

    • Design with varying content in mind, allowing the autolayout to adjust grid items dynamically.

By incorporating fluid grids and autolayout in Material-UI Grid, you can create interfaces that effortlessly respond to the diversity of the digital landscape.

Unlock the potential of Material-UI Grid’s fluidity and autolayout features in your next project, along with utilising the features provided by Purecode to effortlessly convert your ideas to code and witness the transformative impact on your responsive web designs!

Customizing MUI Grid Column Number

The MUI Grid component allows you to customize the number of columns in your grid layout. By default, the grid has 12 columns, but you can change this value by using the columns prop.

Here’s an example of how you can customize the number of columns in the MUI Grid:

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <Grid container columns={8}>
      <Grid item xs={3}>
        {/* Content for the first column */}
      </Grid>
      <Grid item xs={3}>
        {/* Content for the second column */}
      </Grid>
      <Grid item xs={2}>
        {/* Content for the third column */}
      </Grid>
    </Grid>
  );
}

In this example,

  • We set the columns prop to 8, which changes the number of columns in our grid layout to 8.

  • We then adjust the xs prop for each item to specify different column widths.

By customizing the number of columns, you have more flexibility in designing your grid layouts according to your specific requirements.

Nested MUI Grids

The MUI Grid component also allows you to create nested grids by combining containers and items. This is particularly useful when you need to create more complex layouts with hierarchical structures.

Here’s an example of how you can create a nested grid using the MUI Grid:

import React from 'react';
import { Grid } from '@mui/material';

function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <Grid container>
      <Grid item xs={12}>
        {/* Content for the first row */}
        <Grid container>
          <Grid item xs={6}>
            {/* Content for the first column */}
          </Grid>
          <Grid item xs={6}>
            {/* Content for the second column */}
          </Grid>
        </Grid>
      </Grid>
      <Grid item xs={12}>
        {/* Content for the second row */}
      </Grid>
    </Grid>
  );
}

In this example,

  • We create a nested grid by combining containers and items.

  • The outer container represents the parent grid, while the inner container represents a nested grid within the first row.

By creating nested grids, you can build more complex and structured layouts that accommodate diverse content arrangements.

Refer quackit.com to know more about nested grids.

Real-World Examples of Material-UI Grid in Action

Let’s explore practical examples that showcase the versatility of Material-UI Grid in different scenarios.

1. Image Gallery

import React from 'react';
import { Grid, Card, CardMedia } from '@mui/material';

function ImageGallery() {
  return (
    <Grid container spacing={2}>
      {[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].map((item) => (
        <Grid item xs={12} sm={6} md={4} key={item}>
          <Card>
            <CardMedia
              component="img"
              alt={`Image ${item}`}
              height="140"
              image={`https://example.com/image${item}.jpg`}
            />
          </Card>
        </Grid>
      ))}
    </Grid>
  );
}

export default ImageGallery;

2. Responsive Dashboard Layout

Here are few video tutorials you can follow to create responsive dashboards, navigation bar and even whole website using material ui with react

Learn from these amazing resources and build your own projects using mui grids along with leveraging AI tools by Purecode which can make your coding journey even more easier and effective.

Limitations and Solutions

While the MUI Grid component offers a wide range of features and customization options, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and their corresponding solutions.

Let’s discuss some common limitations and how to overcome them.

Negative Margin Issue

  • Reason : It arises when the negative margin goes beyond the <body>, resulting in a horizontal scroll.

  • Fix : To fix this issue, the MUI documentation suggests not using the spacing feature and implementing it in user space. The default spacing value is 0, which can be set explicitly to avoid the negative margin issue.

<Grid container spacing={0}>
  {/* Grid items go here */}
</Grid>

Additionally, when applying a background color, it is recommended to first apply the display: flex style to the parent container. This helps resolve any conflicts and ensures a smooth layout of grid elements.

Conflict with White-Space Property

  • Reason : It arises when using the white-space: nowrap; property on flex items. By default, the min-width property is set to auto, causing positioning conflicts.

  • Fix: To resolve this issue, you can set min-width: 0 or use the zeroMinWidth prop on the grid item.

<Grid item xs zeroMinWidth>
  <Typography noWrap>
    {/* Content goes here */}
  </Typography>
</Grid>

By setting min-width: 0 or using the zeroMinWidth prop, you ensure that the white-space property works correctly without any conflicts in positioning of the grid elements.

It’s important to keep these limitations and their solutions in mind while working with the MUI Grid component. Understanding these limitations will help you avoid potential issues and make the most of the available features.

Introducing MUI Grid Version 2

In order to address known issues introduced in Material UI v5 and simplify the logic, Material UI built the Grid component from scratch as MUI Grid Version 2.

Below I have listed few of the enhancements in MUI Grid version 2

  1. Grid Containers:

    • Material-UI Grid v2 provides enhanced support and features for grid containers, offering more flexibility in designing layouts.

  2. Responsive Design:

    • Version 2 introduces improved responsiveness with new features, ensuring a smoother adaptation to various screen sizes.

  3. Layout Options:

    • Advanced layout options have been added, providing developers with more choices and flexibility in arranging grid elements.

  4. Accessibility:

    • Material-UI Grid v2 comes with improved accessibility features, making it more inclusive and user-friendly.

  5. Performance:

    • The latest version includes optimizations for better performance, especially beneficial for larger grid layouts.

  6. API Additions:

    • The API has been expanded in version 2, allowing developers more customization options to tailor the grid to their specific needs.

  7. Bug Fixes and Stability:

    • Material-UI Grid v2 addresses reported issues, resulting in increased stability and reliability.

  8. Documentation:

    • The documentation for Material-UI Grid has been expanded and improved in version 2, providing clearer guidance for developers.

Refer to the official documentation gridVersion2 for a comprehensive understanding of the changes and how to leverage them in your projects.

Conclusion: Unleash Your Creativity with MUI Grid

With the MUI Grid at your fingertips, you have the essential tools to master responsive layouts in React applications. Now is the time to unleash your creativity and build stunning user interfaces that captivate and engage users.

Ready to Dive In?

Put your newfound knowledge to the test and start creating responsive grids in your projects. Experiment, tweak, and refine your layouts with the confidence that MUI Grid provides. And for an added boost to your development workflow, explore PureCode – the revolutionary tool streamlining front-end code creation.

Try it out and witness a faster, more efficient coding experience.

Happy coding and may your responsive layouts shine with the brilliance of MUI Grid!

Yash Poojari

Yash Poojari