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How to add NativeWind in React Native Expo

How to add NativeWind in React Native Expo

Integrate the NativeWind utility library for styling React Native apps with Tailwind CSS

Syket Bhattachergee
May 24, 20243 min read

Are you a frontend developer who's fallen in love with the simplicity and power of Tailwind CSS? If so, you're not alone! I, too, was enamored by Tailwind's utility-first approach and the way it streamlined my workflow. However, when I made the transition to React Native, I found myself missing the convenience of Tailwind's classes terribly.

Writing CSS manually felt like a step back in time, and my productivity took a hit. That's when I found NativeWind, a game-changer for React Native developers who crave the same level of flexibility and ease that Tailwind offers.

NativeWind is a utility library that brings the magic of Tailwind CSS to your React Native projects, allowing you to style your components with the same familiar classes you know and love. Say goodbye to the tedious task of writing CSS from scratch and hello to a world of rapid development and consistent styling.

In this article, we'll dive deep into the world of NativeWind and explore how to integrate it into your React Native Expo project. Prepare to be amazed as you witness the seamless fusion of Tailwind's utility-first approach with the power of React Native.

So, I'm assuming you have already created an Expo app. Now, our mission is to make our app capable of writing Tailwind CSS code.

Add these two dependencies to your Expo project:

npm install nativewind
npm install --save-dev tailwindcss@3.3.2

Then, run npx tailwindcss init to create a tailwind.config.js file

// tailwind.config.js

module.exports = {
content: ["./App.{js,jsx,ts,tsx}", "./<custom directory>/**/*.{js,jsx,ts,tsx}"],
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  },
  plugins: [],
}

Modify your babel.config.js

// babel.config.js
module.exports = function (api) {
  api.cache(true);
  return {
    presets: ["babel-preset-expo"],
    plugins: ["nativewind/babel"],
  };
};

Believe it or not, that's it 🎉! Now your React Native app is eligible to use Tailwind CSS classes, just like your frontend app. Isn't that cool?

Modify your App.js like this:

import { StatusBar } from "expo-status-bar";
import React from "react";
import { Text, View } from "react-native";

export default function App() {
  return (
    <View className="flex-1 items-center justify-center bg-gray-600">
      <Text className="text-yellow-200 text-3xl">Hey! Welcome.</Text>
      <StatusBar style="light" />
    </View>
  );
}

Run your app, and you will see the effects of the Tailwind CSS styles in your app as shown below:

That's great! In this article, you learned a little bit about NativeWind, what it is, how it helps us in React Native, and how to integrate it with an Expo app.


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This article is crafted by Syket Bhattachergee, a passionate developer at CreoWis. You can reach out to him on X/Twitter, LinkedIn, and follow his work on the GitHub.

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