React Semantic-UI customized

React and Semantic-UI are awesome! This article describes step by sted how to use them together and create a custom build.


Semantic-UI is really a great piece of software and recently was released

The official Semantic-UI-React integration


What I need is to use React components provided by integration, but, using a customized look&feel. My theme name is called, for instance, my-theme.

How to build

Install gulp globally

npm install gulp -g

Install Semantic-UI and follow interactive instructions

npm install semantic-ui --no-save

I recommend to use a --no-save flag here, otherwise everytime you will run npm install you will be prompted into the interactive setup. Furthermore, file semantic.json will be generated with a version attribute.

Create a my-theme theme and customize it

cp -R semantic/src/themes/default/ semantic/src/themes/my-theme/

In particular, I started changing some color in semantic/src/themes/my-theme/globals/site.variables.

If you are not going to use the flags component you can remove the images/flags.png from your assets: this will save ~27kb.

rm semantic/src/themes/my-theme/assets/images/flags.png

Just make sure you do not select it during setup.

Semantic interactive setup

Another important trick to get started is to change images and fonts path

-@imagePath : '../../themes/default/assets/images';
-@fontPath  : '../../themes/default/assets/fonts';
+@fontPath  : '../../themes/my-theme/assets/fonts';
+@imagePath : '../../themes/my-theme/assets/images';

Configure build to use my-theme theme, editing file semantic/src/theme.config. You can change default to my-theme, for example using vi with this command

vi semantic/src/theme.config +%s/default/my-theme/g

Create a semantic/.gitignore to preserve semantic/ folder and ignore everything except files we need, added to root gitignore

echo \* > semantic/.gitignore
git add -f semantic/.gitignore

Enter semantic/ folder and build assets and CSS. You don’t need to build JavaScript modules cause those Semantic-UI features are provided by Semantic-UI-React.

cd semantic
gulp build-css
gulp build-assets
cd ..

Add to versioning dist files and other files needed to build.

# dist files
git add semantic/dist/semantic.min.css
git add semantic/dist/themes/my-theme
# build files
git add semantic.json
git add -f semantic/src/theme.config
git add -f semantic/src/themes/my-theme/

Edit your .gitignore.

cat <<GITIGNORE >> .gitignore

# Semantic custom files and dist.

To force setup to run again, you can launch

rm -rf semantic/src/definitions/
npm explore semantic-ui gulp install

Note that the dist folder semantic/dist can be configured in your semantic.json during interactive setup. For example you could use a public folder, since files


must be served statically.

You are done

Now that you have your custom CSS assets built with Semantic-UI you just need to do

npm install semantic-ui-react --save-dev

and start using Semantic-UI-React that is really cool, trust me! As a bonus, you don’t need jQuery to make your React components work with Semantic-UI.