Creating Custom Components for MDX

By: O Wolfson

MDX is a powerful hybrid between Markdown and JSX, allowing content creators to seamlessly integrate React components into their markdown documents. This fusion offers a unique opportunity to enhance the interactivity and visual appeal of blog posts or documentation. In this article, we'll explore how to create and use custom React components within MDX, elevating your content to new heights.

Understanding the Basics of MDX

Before diving into custom components, it's crucial to grasp the basics of MDX. MDX combines the simplicity of Markdown with the power of JSX, enabling you to use React components within your markdown content. This means you can insert interactive or styled elements directly into your documents, making them more engaging.

Setting Up Your Environment

To start, you need an environment that supports MDX. This typically involves setting up a project with a bundler like Webpack or Parcel and installing @mdx-js/mdx and react. For simplicity, many developers choose frameworks like Next.js or Gatsby, which have built-in MDX support.

Creating Custom React Components

Now, let's focus on creating custom React components. These components can range from simple styled elements to complex interactive widgets. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Define Your Component: Begin by creating a new React component. This can be as simple as a styled button or as complex as a data visualization chart.

    export const CustomButton = ({
    }: {
      children: any,
      color?: string,
    }) => (
        className="mb-4 px-2 py-1 rounded-md hover:scale-105 active:scale-95 transition-transform"
        style={{ backgroundColor: color || "orange", color: "white" }}
  2. Integrate Component in MDX: Once your component is ready, you can import and use it in your MDX file just like you would in a regular JSX file.

    import CustomButton from "./CustomButton";
    # My Blog Post
    Here's a custom button!
    <CustomButton>Click Me</CustomButton>

Here's a custom button!

  1. Passing Props: Your custom components can accept props, allowing you to customize their behavior or appearance within the MDX file.

    <CustomButton color="green">Green Button</CustomButton>

Enhancing Blog Posts with Custom Components

Custom components can significantly enhance the quality of your blog posts. For instance:

  • Interactive Demos: Embed interactive components like sliders or toggles directly in your tutorials.
  • Custom Layouts: Create components for unique layouts or content sections that go beyond basic markdown.
  • Data Visualization: Integrate charts or graphs to present data in a more engaging way.

Best Practices

When creating custom components for MDX, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Reusability: Design components to be reusable across different posts.
  • Performance: Optimize components for web performance, especially if they are complex.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that your components are accessible to all users.


Custom components in MDX open up a world of possibilities for content creators. By leveraging the power of React within your markdown, you can create more engaging, interactive, and visually appealing blog posts. Dive in and start experimenting with your custom components to see how they can transform your content!