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Present shortcuts to article headings

You could have come throughout this sample in articles and posts on websites you frequent – article headings (suppose <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, and <h6> in html) shall be be wrapped in hyperlinks that time to themselves. This permits readers to hyperlink to particular headings in your articles, leaping to related bits of content material with out forcing somebody to learn by means of a complete article. Usually talking, it should look one thing like this:

<a href="#some-unique-id">

<h1 id="some-unique-id">My first weblog submit</h1>


The <a> tag right here has an href worth of #some-unique-id – that is the id of the heading tag. That is primarily based on an HTML customary outlined by the W3C. Briefly, you may hyperlink to any factor on an HTML web page which has a novel id attribute outlined, by appending #[id] to the top of the URL, like

That is tough with Markdown and MDX

In most static web site turbines and JAMStack frameworks which let you use Markdown and MDX to generate content material, the objective is straightforward: give authors a very easy strategy to writer content material utilizing Markdown syntax. The unlucky facet impact on this case is that there is not a strategy to specify IDs for the headings in Markdown posts (not less than, not one which I am conscious of).

A pattern markdown submit may appear to be this:


title: Good day, world


# A fish referred to as wanda

On this essay, I'll clarify the distinction between...

This leads to the next output:

<h1>A fish referred to as wanda</h1>

<p>On this essay, I'll clarify the distinction between...</p>

Improbable! That is a pleasant, simple strategy to write, however there’s not a method so as to add an id to the heading tag. Not less than, not out of the field. That is the place MDX’s plugins come in useful.

Routinely linking to headings in your mdx posts with rehype plugins

Be aware: This tutorial assumes you are utilizing MDX with NextJS, althought it could be relevant to different methods. Be happy to ship me any hurdles you encounter with different frameworks, and I will attempt to doc them right here.

Step 1: Generate IDs for all headings robotically with rehype-slug

rehype-slug is a plugin that works with MDX, and can robotically generate IDs on your headings by producing a slug primarily based on the textual content they include.

  1. Set up rehype-slug in your challenge by operating npm set up --save rehype-slug or yarn add rehype-slug

  2. Add rehype-slug to the listing of rehype plugins MDX makes use of. Within the case of subsequent.js websites, it’s probably wherever you name serialize() from next-mdx-remote.

import rehypeSlug from 'rehype-slug';

const choices = {

mdxOptions: {

rehypePlugins: [





const mdxSource = await serialize(submit.content material, choices);

Be aware: My web site makes use of serialize() in a number of locations, so I extracted choices to its personal file. This avoids repeated code, and permits me to handle my plugins for MDX from one place.

At this level, in the event you fireplace up your dev surroundings, and use your browser devtools to examine any of the headings generated from markdown on your web site, they need to all have an id property added. For the instance above, you’d see:

<h1 id="a-fish-called-wanda">A fish referred to as wanda</h1>

We’re midway there – now you can hyperlink to, and the browser will robotically scroll to the heading.

Step 2: use MDXProvider to customise the best way heading tags render

MDXProvider is a wrapper element which lets you customise the best way your MDX renders by offering a listing of parts.

This step will rely closely on the UI frameworks you’ve got chosen on your web site – I exploit Chakra UI for my nextjs web site, however you should utilize no matter you want – tailwindcss, Materials UI, and many others will all have related parallels.

This is a simplified model of the code, which I will present only for <h1> – you’d wish to prolong this for all title tags, i.e. <h1> by means of <h6>:

import Hyperlink from 'subsequent/hyperlink';

const CustomH1 = ({ id, ...relaxation }) => {

if (id) {

return (

<Hyperlink href={`#${id}`}>

<h1 {...relaxation} />




return <h1 {...relaxation} />;


const parts = {

h1: CustomH1,


const Format = ({ kids }) => {

return <MDXProvider parts={parts}>{kids}</MDXProvider>;


Doing it with Chakra UI

Like I discussed above, my web site makes use of Chakra UI to compose web page layouts. I’ve added a little bit of customization to hyperlinks on my web site – together with a hover conduct which provides a pleasant # character earlier than headings once they’re hovered over. If you happen to’re interested by my implementation with Chakra UI, it appears to be like a bit like this:

import NextLink from 'subsequent/hyperlink';

import { Hyperlink, Heading } from '@chakra-ui/react';

const CustomHeading = ({ as, id, ...props }) => {

if (id) {

return (

<Hyperlink href={`#${id}`}>

<NextLink href={`#${id}`}>








_before: {

content material: '"#"',

place: 'relative',

marginLeft: '-1.2ch',

paddingRight: '0.2ch',








return <Heading as={as} {...props} />;


const H1 = (props) => <CustomHeading as="h1" {...props} />;

const H2 = (props) => <CustomHeading as="h2" {...props} />;

const H3 = (props) => <CustomHeading as="h3" {...props} />;

const H4 = (props) => <CustomHeading as="h4" {...props} />;

const H5 = (props) => <CustomHeading as="h5" {...props} />;

const H6 = (props) => <CustomHeading as="h6" {...props} />;

const parts = {

h1: H1,

h2: H2,

h3: H3,

h4: H4,

h5: H5,

h6: H6,


The Outcome

The result’s what you see on this web page, and any of the opposite posts on my web site! Each heading on my markdown pages comprises an ID, and is wrapped in a hyperlink to itself. This makes it simple for readers to faucet on the hyperlink to ship it to their URL bar, or to right-click/long-press and replica a hyperlink to the a part of the article they wish to hyperlink to.

The ultimate markup appears to be like a bit like this:

<a href="#a-fish-called-wanda">

<h1 id="a-fish-called-wanda">A fish referred to as wanda</h1>


I hope you discovered this useful! If you happen to run into any bother, be at liberty to drop me a line on twitter. Past that, I might find it irresistible in the event you shared this submit with somebody who you suppose may gain advantage from it.

Auto-linking headings with different frameworks

Extra studying

If you happen to discovered this useful, you might also be taken with:



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