Jacob Paris
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Use svg sprite icons with Sly and svg-icons-cli

For more information about SVG Spritesheets and what these tools are doing under the hood, check out Use SVG Icons in React

In this article, we will use two CLI tools together to create a system for using SVG icons in a React app.

  • svg-icons-cli is a tool that compiles a folder of svg icons into a single svg spritesheet and generates a React component that displays a specific icon by name with full type safe autocomplete for the available icons.
  • Sly CLI is a tool that adds icons, components, and utilities to your project as source code, so you can customize them to fit your needs. We will use Sly to download SVG icons and configure it to run the svg-icons-cli script automatically.


Install Sly and svg-icons-cli as dev dependencies

npm install --save-dev @sly-cli/sly svg-icons-cli

Create an Icon component with SVG Icons CLI

Creating an icon component that works with spritesheets is very simple, and at its core is just a single <use> element that references a path to the spritesheet and the id/name of the icon you want to display.

<use href={`${href}#${name}`}>

You can copy/paste the simple icon component used in the Sly website or use svg-icons-cli to generate a more advanced component with helper styles for different icon sizes and text.

npx svg-icons-cli init -o ./components -t ./components/icons

Generate a spritesheet with svg-icons-cli

Add a build:icons script to your package.json file that calls the svg-icons-cli's build command

"scripts": {
"build:icons": "icons build -i ./svg-icons -o ./app/components/icons"

Add icons to your app with Sly

The first time you try to add an icon with Sly, it will walk you through configuring the tool.

  • Set the output directory to the same directory you used for the svg-icons-cli output (in this example, ./app/components/icons)
  • When it asks for a postinstall script, enter npm run build:icons

Sly will add the icons to the right folder and immediately run the build script to generate both the spritesheet and the types for the icon component.

npx sly add @radix-ui/icons camera card-stack

To browse all the available Radix icons, run npx sly add @radix-ui/icons, or just npx sly add to see which other libraries are available.

Use the Icon component

Import the icon component into your project and use it to display an icon. The name prop should provide autocomplete for all the available icons and error on icons that don't exist.

import { Icon } from "./components/icon"
export function App() {
return (
<Icon name="camera" className="h-6 w-6" />
<Icon name="card-stack" />
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