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How to Use MUI Link in React for Amazing Navigation

In the realm of Web development, crafting seamless navigation experiences is pivotal. One of the key players in this pursuit is the Material UI Link component. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of MUI Link, exploring its fundamental features, advanced functionalities, and real-world applications with appropriate code examples.

Importance of Links in Modern Web Design:

Modern web applications rely heavily on efficient navigation. Users expect a fluid experience when interacting with a website, and well-implemented links play a crucial role in meeting these expectations. Before Material UI Link component, developers and designers used HTML <a> to achieve the purpose of navigation. Material UI Link emerges as a powerful tool for React developers, offering a range of features to enhance navigation.

What are Links?

Links, in the context of web development, are interactive elements that allow users to navigate between different pages or sections of a website or redirect the user to relevant external links such as online resources, docs, youtube link etc. They serve as bridges, enabling seamless transitions and a coherent user journey.

Key Differences between HTML <a> tag and MUI Link Component

The <a> tag in HTML and the Link component in Material UI serve a similar purpose—they both provide a way to create hyperlinks for navigation. However, there are some key differences between the two:

Styling and Theming:

The <a> tag is a native HTML element, and its appearance is generally determined by the browser’s default styles or any custom styles applied by the developer.
Material UI’s Link component is part of the Material Design system and comes with pre-defined styles. It is designed to seamlessly integrate with Material UI themes, providing a consistent look and feel across the application.

React Integration:

The <a> tag is a standard HTML element and does not have built-in integration with React features like state or context.
Material UI’s Link component is specifically designed for use within React applications. It can easily integrate with React Router for client-side navigation, and it supports React-specific features like props and context.

Accessibility Features:

Material UI components, including Link, are developed with accessibility in mind. They adhere to accessibility standards, ensuring that the components are navigable and usable for people with disabilities.
While developers can make <a> tags accessible by adding appropriate attributes, Material UI’s Link component comes with accessibility features out of the box.


The <a> tag allows developers to apply custom styles using CSS, but achieving a consistent and themed appearance may require additional effort.
Material UI’s Link component allows for easy customization through props like color and underline. It also seamlessly integrates with Material UI’s theming system, making it straightforward to match the link styles with the overall theme of the application.

React Router Integration:

While you can use the <a> tag for navigation, it doesn’t inherently support client-side routing provided by libraries like React Router.
Material UI’s Link component is designed to work seamlessly with React Router, making it a convenient choice for React applications that require client-side navigation.In summary, while both the <a> tag and Material UI’s Link component serve the basic purpose of creating links, the Material UI Link component offers additional benefits for React applications, such as built-in theming, accessibility features, and easy integration with React Router.

Why use Material UI Link for Creating Links?

Introducing Material UI:

Material UI, a popular React UI framework, provides a rich set of components for building user interfaces with the principles of Material Design. Material UI Link, a part of this framework, brings robust and customizable link functionality to React applications.

Benefits of Using Material UI for UI Design:

Material UI has gained widespread adoption for several reasons. Its component-based architecture, responsive design principles, and extensive documentation make it a go-to choice for developers. When it comes to links, Material UI Link simplifies the process, offering a clean and consistent way to implement navigation.

Advantages of Material UI Link:

  • Responsive Design: Material UI Link ensures that your links adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes and devices.

  • Consistent User Interface: By leveraging Material Design principles, Material UI Link provides a cohesive and familiar interface across your application.

  • Customization Capabilities: Tailor the appearance of your links to align with your application’s branding and design requirements.

  • Integration with React Router: Material UI Link seamlessly integrates with React Router, a widely-used library for handling navigation in React applications.

If you are new to Material UI and want to develop a base regarding Material UI Framework, we would suggest you go through this free Material UI CrashCourse along with Material UI Documentation.

Getting Started with Material UI Link:

Setting Up Material UI in a React Project:

This section will help you setup Material UI Core Link on your project and we will then go through code examples to play around with MUI Link to understand it better.

To begin using Material UI Core Link, you need to set up MUI component in your React project. Follow these steps:

Install Material UI using npm

npm install @material-ui/core @emotion/react @emotion/styled

Import the Link component:

import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';

Create a basic link

<Link href="/home">Home</Link>

Creating Your First Material UI Link:

Let’s walk through the code for creating a basic Material UI Link in a React component.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';
export default function App = () => {
	return (
		<div><Link href="/home">Home</Link>
		<Link href="/about">About</Link>
		<Link href="/contact">Contact</Link>

 In this example, we’ve created a simple React component that includes three Material UI Links navigating to different pages.

Handling Events with Material UI Links:

Event Handling Basics:

Handling events is a crucial aspect of creating dynamic and interactive user interfaces. Material UI Links support event handlers that trigger actions based on user interactions.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';

const EventHandlingLink = () => {
	const handleClick = () => {
	// Perform actions on link click
	console.log('Link clicked!');
	return <Link href="/event" onClick={handleClick}>Click me</Link>;

In this code example, we’ve added an onClick event handler to the Material UI Link, enabling us to add behavior to the Link component when the link is clicked.


Navigating to a New Page:

Material UI Links often serve as navigation elements. Let’s explore how to use React Router in conjunction with Material UI Links to navigate to a new page.

import React from 'react';
import { Link as RouterLink } from 'react-router-dom';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';

const NavigationLink = () => {
	return <Link component={RouterLink} to="/newpage">Go to New Page</Link>;

Here, we’ve utilized React Router’s Link component to achieve seamless navigation to a new page when the Material UI Link is clicked

Best Practices and Tips for Material UI Links:

Prop Types and Documentation:

Ensuring proper documentation and adhering to prop types is a best practice in React development. Let’s explore how we can use MUI Link in a custom component that accepts certain component prop and returns the MUI Link that can be used across different components and how to document Material UI Links effectively.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';
*** CustomLink Component - Represents a custom-styled Material UI Link.
** @component* @param {string} href - The destination URL for the link.
* @param {string} color - The color of the link.
* @param {string} underline - The underline style for the link.
* @returns {JSX.Element} - Rendered component.

	const CustomLink = ({ href, color, underline }) => {
	return <Link href={href} color={color} underline={underline}>Custom Link</Link>;

export default CustomLink;

In this example, we’ve utilized created a CustomLink component that can serve as a reusable component for the link throughout the project and also added comments to document the purpose and expected component prop of the CustomLink component.

Accessibility Considerations:

Ensuring accessibility is crucial for creating inclusive web applications. Material UI Link provides features to enhance accessibility, such as keyboard navigation.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';
const AccessibleLink = () => {
	return <Link href="/accessible" tabIndex={0}>Accessible Link</Link>;

Here, we’ve added the tabIndex prop to make the Material UI Link focusable using the tab key, enhancing accessibility for keyboard users.


Advanced Material UI Link Features:

Custom Transitions:

Material UI Links can be customized to provide engaging transitions between pages. Let’s explore how to create custom transitions.

import React from 'react';
import { Link as RouterLink } from 'react-router-dom';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';
const CustomTransitionLink = () => {
	return (
		<Link component={RouterLink} to="/portfolio" color="secondary" underline="hover">Explore my Portfolio</Link>

By utilizing React Router’s Link component and Material UI Link’s styling options we given link a custom color, underline property for creating a link with a custom transition to the portfolio page.

Using Icons with Links:

Integrating icons with Material UI Links enhances visual appeal. Let’s explore how to incorporate icons into links.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@material-ui/core/Link';
import GitHubIcon from '@mui/icons-material/GitHub';

const GitHubLink = () => {
	return (
		<Link href="https://github.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Explore on GitHub <GitHubIcon /></Link>

Here, we’ve added a GitHub icon to the Material UI Link that will show up an icon instead of a link text, creating a visually appealing and informative link.

Grouping Material UI Links:

Using Lists for Grouped Links:

When dealing with multiple links related to a specific category, grouping them in a list can enhance organization and user experience.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@mui/material-ui/core/Link';
import List from '@mui/material-ui/core/List';
import ListItem from '@mui/material-ui/core/ListItem';

const GroupedLinks = () => {
	return (
		<Link href="/category1">Category 1</Link>
		<Link href="/category2">Category 2</Link>
		<Link href="/category3">Category 3</Link>

Here, we’ve used Material UI’s List and ListItem components to create a grouped set of Material UI Links. We can have multiple <ListItem> under a <List> Tag that that signifies the all the <ListItem> under <List> Tag belong to the same group.

Button Link with an Icon

Designing an icon button with a link offers significant utility. Consider, for instance, creating social links represented by button icons with appropriate symbols. These buttons can seamlessly redirect users to new pages or employ the “mailto” prop, opening the default email application.

Similar to the first approach, all we need is to add the href tag to the IconButton component.This will display an Icon that will behave as a Link and redirect to the specified url.

import * as React from 'react';
import { IconButton } from '@mui/material-ui-';
import GitHubIcon from '@mui/icons-material/GitHub';
import EmailIcon from '@mui/icons-material/Email';

export default function App() {
	return (
		<IconButton href="https://github.com/muhimasri" target="_blank"><GitHubIcon /></IconButton>
		<IconButton href="mailto:fakeuser@fakeemail.com"><EmailIcon /></IconButton>

 Alternatively, we can use a normal button as button link with an icon:

<Button href="/new-page" variant="outlined" startIcon={<LaunchIcon />}>Icon Button</Button>

Advanced Linking Scenarios:

Dynamic Linking with React Router:

React Router enables dynamic linking based on application state. These dynamic Link enables reusing a single Link component to navigate across different link by reading the params from url. Let’s explore how to achieve dynamic linking.

import React from 'react';
import { Link as RouterLink, useParams } from 'react-router-dom';
import Link from '@mui/material-ui/core/Link';

const DynamicLink = () => {
	const { category, id } = useParams();
	return (
		<Link component={RouterLink} to={`/${category}/${id}`}>Dynamic Link</Link>

In this example, we’ve utilized React Router’s useParams hook to dynamically construct the link based on route parameters.

External Links with Material UI:

Material UI Links are not limited to internal navigation; they can also handle external links gracefully. Let us see an example where we are redirecting to an external link on click of Link component.

import React from 'react';
import Link from '@mui/material-ui/core/Link';

const ExternalLink = () => {  
	return (    
		<Link href="https://material-ui.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">

Here, we’ve created a MUI Link that directs users to the official Material UI documentation outside of the application.

Wrapping it Up

In this extensive exploration of Material UI Link in React, we’ve covered fundamental concepts, practical implementations, and advanced scenarios. From creating basic links to handling events, styling, and advanced features, Material UI Link proves to be a versatile and indispensable tool for React developers.

As you venture into the world of React development, mastering Material UI Link unlocks possibilities for creating elegant and user-friendly interfaces. Experiment, innovate, and let Material UI Link be your ally in crafting React applications that resonate with users.

You could also consider going through this free Material UI Link along with Documentation to get a better practical understanding.

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Yash Poojari

Yash Poojari