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Routing 4.0

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There are new requirements for the Tour of Heroes app:

  • Add a Dashboard view.
  • Add the ability to navigate between the Heroes and Dashboard views.
  • When users click a hero name in either view, navigate to a detail view of the selected hero.
  • When users click a deep link in an email, open the detail view for a particular hero.

When you’re done, users will be able to navigate the app like this:

View navigations

To satisfy these requirements, you’ll add Angular’s router to the app.

For more information about the router, read the Routing and Navigation page.

When you’re done with this page, the app should look like this .

Where you left off

Before continuing with the Tour of Heroes, verify that you have the following structure.

  • angular_tour_of_heroes
    • lib
      • app_component.css
      • app_component.dart
      • src
        • hero.dart
        • hero_detail_component.dart
        • hero_service.dart
        • mock_heroes.dart
    • test
      • app_test.dart
    • web
      • index.html
      • main.dart
      • styles.css
    • pubspec.yaml

If the app isn’t running already, launch the app. As you make changes, keep it running by reloading the browser window.

Action plan

Here’s the plan:

  • Turn AppComponent into an application shell that only handles navigation.
  • Relocate the Heroes concerns within the current AppComponent to a separate HeroesComponent.
  • Add routing.
  • Create a new DashboardComponent.
  • Tie the Dashboard into the navigation structure.

Routing is another name for navigation. The router is the mechanism for navigating from view to view.

Splitting the AppComponent

The current app loads AppComponent and immediately displays the list of heroes.

The revised app should present a shell with a choice of views (Dashboard and Heroes) and then default to one of them.

The AppComponent should only handle navigation, so you’ll move the display of Heroes out of AppComponent and into its own HeroesComponent.


AppComponent is already dedicated to Heroes. Instead of moving the code out of AppComponent, rename it to HeroesComponent and create a separate AppComponent shell.

Do the following:

  • Rename and move the app_component.* files to src/heroes_component.css and src/heroes_component.dart.
  • Drop the src/ prefix from import paths.
  • Rename the AppComponent class to HeroesComponent (rename locally, only in this file).
  • Rename the selector my-app to my-heroes.
  • Rename the style file to heroes_component.css.

lib/src/heroes_component.dart (showing renamings only)

@Component( selector: 'my-heroes', styleUrls: const ['heroes_component.css'], ) class HeroesComponent implements OnInit { HeroesComponent( this._heroService, ); }

Create AppComponent

The new AppComponent is the application shell. It will have some navigation links at the top and a display area below.

Perform these steps:

  • Create the file lib/app_component.dart.
  • Define an AppComponent class.
  • Add an @Component annotation above the class with a my-app selector.
  • Move the following from HeroesComponent to AppComponent:
    • title class property.
    • @Component template <h1> element, which contains a binding to title.
  • Add a <my-heroes> element to the app template just below the heading so you still see the heroes.
  • Add HeroesComponent to the directives list of AppComponent so Angular recognizes the <my-heroes> tags.
  • Add HeroService to the providers list of AppComponent because you’ll need it in every other view.
  • Remove HeroService from the HeroesComponent providers list since it was promoted.
  • Add the supporting import statements for AppComponent.

The first draft looks like this:

lib/app_component.dart (v1)

import 'package:angular/angular.dart'; import 'src/hero_service.dart'; import 'src/heroes_component.dart'; @Component( selector: 'my-app', template: ''' <h1>{{title}}</h1> <my-heroes></my-heroes>''', directives: const [HeroesComponent], providers: const [HeroService]) class AppComponent { final title = 'Tour of Heroes'; }

The app still runs and displays heroes.

Add routing

Instead of displaying automatically, heroes should display after users click a button. In other words, users should be able to navigate to the list of heroes.

Use the Angular router (angular_router) to enable navigation. Since the router is in its own package, first add the package to the app’s pubspec:

{toh-4 → toh-5}/pubspec.yaml
angular: ^4.0.0
angular_forms: ^1.0.0
+ angular_router: ^1.0.2

The Angular router is a combination of multiple services (ROUTER_PROVIDERS), directives (ROUTER_DIRECTIVES), and configuration classes. You get them all by importing the router library:

lib/app_component.dart (router imports)

import 'package:angular_router/angular_router.dart';

Make the router available

Not all apps need routing, which is why the Angular router is in a separate, optional library.

Like for any service, you make router services available to the application by adding them to the providers list. Update the directives and providers lists to include the router assets:

lib/app_component.dart (excerpt)

directives: const [ROUTER_DIRECTIVES], providers: const [HeroService, ROUTER_PROVIDERS],

AppComponent no longer shows heroes, that will be the router’s job, so you can remove the HeroesComponent from the directives list. You’ll soon remove <my-heroes> from the template too.

<base href>

Open index.html and ensure there is a <base href="..."> element (or a script that dynamically sets this element) at the top of the <head> section.

web/index.html (base-href)

<head> <script> // WARNING: DO NOT set the <base href> like this in production! // Details: https://webdev.dartlang.org/angular/guide/router (function () { // App being served out of web folder (like WebStorm does)? var match = document.location.pathname.match(/^\/[-\w]+\/web\//); var href = match ? match[0] : '/'; document.write('<base href="' + href + '" />'); }()); </script>
base href is essential

For more information, see the Set the base href section of the Routing and Navigation page.

Configure routes and add the router

The AppComponent doesn’t have a router yet. You’ll use the @RouteConfig annotation to simultaneously:

  • Assign a router to the component
  • Configure that router with routes

Routes tell the router which views to display when a user clicks a link or pastes a URL into the browser address bar.

Define the first route as a route to the heroes component.

lib/app_component.dart (heroes route)

@RouteConfig(const [ const Route(path: '/heroes', name: 'Heroes', component: HeroesComponent) ])

The @RouteConfig takes a list of route definitions.

This route definition has the following parts:

  • Path: The router matches this route’s path to the URL in the browser address bar (/heroes).
  • Name: The official name of the route; it must begin with a capital letter to avoid confusion with the path (Heroes).
  • Component: The component that the router should create when navigating to this route (HeroesComponent).

Read more about defining routes with @RouteConfig in the Routing & Navigation page.

Router outlet

If you paste the path, /heroes, into the browser address bar at the end of the URL, the router should match it to the 'Heroes' route and display the HeroesComponent. However, you have to tell the router where to display the component. To do this, you can add a <router-outlet> element at the end of the template. RouterOutlet is one of the ROUTER_DIRECTIVES. The router displays each component immediately below the <router-outlet> as users navigate through the app.

Users shouldn’t have to paste a route URL into the address bar. Instead, add an anchor tag to the template that, when clicked, triggers navigation to the HeroesComponent.

The revised template looks like this:

lib/app_component.dart (template v2)

template: ''' <h1>{{title}}</h1> <a [routerLink]="['Heroes']">Heroes</a> <router-outlet></router-outlet>''',

Notice the [routerLink] binding in the anchor tag. You bind the RouterLink directive (another of the ROUTER_DIRECTIVES) to a list that tells the router where to navigate when the user clicks the link.

You define a routing instruction with a link parameters list. The list only has one element in our little sample, the quoted name of the route to follow. Looking back at the route configuration, confirm that 'Heroes' is the name of the route to the HeroesComponent.

Learn about the link parameters list in the Routing chapter.

Refresh the browser. The browser displays the app title and heroes link, but not the heroes list.

The browser’s address bar shows /. The route path to HeroesComponent is /heroes, not /. Soon you’ll add a route that matches the path /.

Click the Heroes navigation link. The address bar updates to /heroes and the list of heroes displays.

AppComponent now looks like this:

lib/app_component.dart (v2)

import 'package:angular/angular.dart'; import 'package:angular_router/angular_router.dart'; import 'src/hero_service.dart'; import 'src/heroes_component.dart'; @Component( selector: 'my-app', template: ''' <h1>{{title}}</h1> <a [routerLink]="['Heroes']">Heroes</a> <router-outlet></router-outlet>''', directives: const [ROUTER_DIRECTIVES], providers: const [HeroService, ROUTER_PROVIDERS]) @RouteConfig(const [ const Route(path: '/heroes', name: 'Heroes', component: HeroesComponent) ]) class AppComponent { final title = 'Tour of Heroes'; }

The AppComponent is now attached to a router and displays routed views. For this reason, and to distinguish it from other kinds of components, this component type is called a router component.

Add a dashboard

Routing only makes sense when multiple views exist. To add another view, create a placeholder DashboardComponent, which users can navigate to and from.

lib/src/dashboard_component.dart (v1)

import 'package:angular/angular.dart'; @Component( selector: 'my-dashboard', template: '<h3>My Dashboard</h3>', ) class DashboardComponent {}

You’ll make this component more useful later.

Configure the dashboard route

To teach AppComponent to navigate to the dashboard, import the dashboard component and add the following route definition to the @RouteConfig list of definitions.

lib/app_component.dart (Dashboard route)

const Route( path: '/dashboard', name: 'Dashboard', component: DashboardComponent, useAsDefault: true),

Add a default route

Currently, the browser launches with / in the address bar. When the app starts, it should show the dashboard and display a /dashboard URL in the browser address bar.

To make this happen, declare a default route. Add useAsDefault: true to the dashboard route definition.

Add navigation to the template

Add a dashboard navigation link to the template, just above the Heroes link.

lib/app_component.dart (template-v3)

template: ''' <h1>{{title}}</h1> <nav> <a [routerLink]="['Dashboard']">Dashboard</a> <a [routerLink]="['Heroes']">Heroes</a> </nav> <router-outlet></router-outlet>''',

The <nav> tags don’t do anything yet, but they’ll be useful later when you style the links.

In your browser, go to the application root (/) and reload. The app displays the dashboard and you can navigate between the dashboard and the heroes.

Add heroes to the dashboard

To make the dashboard more interesting, you’ll display the top four heroes at a glance.

Replace the template metadata with a templateUrl property that points to a new template file, and add the directives shown below:

lib/src/dashboard_component.dart (metadata)

@Component( selector: 'my-dashboard', templateUrl: 'dashboard_component.html', directives: const [CORE_DIRECTIVES, ROUTER_DIRECTIVES], )

The value of templateUrl can be an asset in this package or another package. To use an asset in another package, use a full package reference, such as 'package:some_other_package/dashboard_component.html'.

Create that file with this content:


<h3>Top Heroes</h3> <div class="grid grid-pad"> <div *ngFor="let hero of heroes" class="col-1-4"> <div class="module hero"> <h4>{{hero.name}}</h4> </div> </div> </div>

*ngFor is used again to iterate over a list of heroes and display their names. The extra <div> elements will help with styling later.

Sharing the HeroService

To populate the component’s heroes list, you can reuse the HeroService.

Earlier, you removed the HeroService from the providers list of HeroesComponent and added it to the providers list of AppComponent. That move created a singleton HeroService instance, available to all components of the app. Angular injects HeroService and you can use it in the DashboardComponent.

Get heroes

In dashboard_component.dart, add the following import statements.

lib/src/dashboard_component.dart (imports)

import 'dart:async'; import 'package:angular/angular.dart'; import 'package:angular_router/angular_router.dart'; import 'hero.dart'; import 'hero_service.dart';

Now create the DashboardComponent class like this:

lib/src/dashboard_component.dart (class)

class DashboardComponent implements OnInit { List<Hero> heroes; final HeroService _heroService; DashboardComponent(this._heroService); Future<Null> ngOnInit() async { heroes = (await _heroService.getHeroes()).skip(1).take(4).toList(); } }

This kind of logic is also used in the HeroesComponent:

  • Define a heroes list property.
  • Inject the HeroService in the constructor and hold it in a private _heroService field.
  • Call the service to get heroes inside the Angular ngOnInit() lifecycle hook.

In this dashboard you specify four heroes (2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th).

Refresh the browser to see four hero names in the new dashboard.

While the details of a selected hero displays at the bottom of the HeroesComponent, users should be able to navigate to the HeroDetailComponent in the following additional ways:

  • From the dashboard to a selected hero.
  • From the heroes list to a selected hero.
  • From a “deep link” URL pasted into the browser address bar.

Routing to a hero detail

You can add a route to the HeroDetailComponent in AppComponent, where the other routes are configured.

The new route is unusual in that you must tell the HeroDetailComponent which hero to show. You didn’t have to tell the HeroesComponent or the DashboardComponent anything.

Currently, the parent HeroesComponent sets the component’s hero property to a hero object with a binding like this:

<hero-detail [hero]="selectedHero"></hero-detail>

But this binding won’t work in any of the routing scenarios.

Parameterized route

You can add the hero’s id to the URL. When routing to the hero whose id is 11, you could expect to see a URL such as this:


The /detail/ part of the URL is constant. The trailing numeric id changes from hero to hero. You need to represent the variable part of the route with a parameter (or token) that stands for the hero’s id.

Configure a route with a parameter

Use the following route definition.

lib/app_component.dart (hero detail)

const Route( path: '/detail/:id', name: 'HeroDetail', component: HeroDetailComponent),

The colon (:) in the path indicates that :id is a placeholder for a specific hero id when navigating to the HeroDetailComponent.

Be sure to import the hero detail component before creating this route.

You’re finished with the app routes.

You didn’t add a 'Hero Detail' link to the template because users don’t click a navigation link to view a particular hero; they click a hero name, whether the name displays on the dashboard or in the heroes list.

You don’t need to add the hero clicks until the HeroDetailComponent is revised and ready to be navigated to.

Revise the HeroDetailComponent

Here’s what the HeroDetailComponent looks like now:

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (current)

import 'package:angular/angular.dart'; import 'package:angular_forms/angular_forms.dart'; import 'hero.dart'; @Component( selector: 'hero-detail', template: ''' <div *ngIf="hero != null"> <h2>{{hero.name}} details!</h2> <div><label>id: </label>{{hero.id}}</div> <div> <label>name: </label> <input [(ngModel)]="hero.name" placeholder="name"/> </div> </div> ''', directives: const [CORE_DIRECTIVES, formDirectives], ) class HeroDetailComponent { @Input() Hero hero; }

The template won’t change. Hero names will display the same way. The major changes are driven by how you get hero names.

You will no longer receive the hero in a parent component property binding, so you can remove the @Input() annotation from the hero field:

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (hero with @Input removed)

class HeroDetailComponent implements OnInit { Hero hero; }

The new HeroDetailComponent will take the id parameter from the router’s RouteParams service and use the HeroService to fetch the hero with that id.

Add the following imports:

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (added-imports)

import 'dart:async'; import 'package:angular_router/angular_router.dart'; import 'hero_service.dart';

Inject the RouteParams, HeroService, and Location services into the constructor, saving their values in private fields:

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (constructor)

final HeroService _heroService; final RouteParams _routeParams; final Location _location; HeroDetailComponent(this._heroService, this._routeParams, this._location);

Tell the class to implement the OnInit interface.

class HeroDetailComponent implements OnInit {

Inside the ngOnInit() lifecycle hook, extract the id parameter value from the RouteParams service and use the HeroService to fetch the hero with that id.

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (ngOnInit)

Future<Null> ngOnInit() async { var _id = _routeParams.get('id'); var id = int.parse(_id ?? '', onError: (_) => null); if (id != null) hero = await (_heroService.getHero(id)); }

Notice how you can extract the id by calling the RouteParams.get() method.

The hero id is a number. Route parameters are always strings. So the route parameter value is converted to a number with the int.parse() static method.

Add HeroService.getHero()

In the previous code snippet, HeroService doesn’t have a getHero() method. To fix this issue, open HeroService and add a getHero() method that filters the heroes list from getHeroes() by id.

lib/src/hero_service.dart (getHero)

Future<Hero> getHero(int id) async => (await getHeroes()).firstWhere((hero) => hero.id == id);

Find the way back

Users have several ways to navigate to the HeroDetailComponent.

To navigate somewhere else, users can click one of the two links in the AppComponent or click the browser’s back button. Now add a third option, a goBack() method that navigates backward one step in the browser’s history stack using the Location service you injected previously.

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (goBack)

void goBack() => _location.back();

Going back too far could take users out of the app. In a real app, you can prevent this issue with the routerCanDeactivate() hook. Read more on the CanDeactivate page.

You’ll wire this method with an event binding to a Back button that you’ll add to the component template.

<button (click)="goBack()">Back</button>

Migrate the template to its own file called hero_detail_component.html:


<div *ngIf="hero != null"> <h2>{{hero.name}} details!</h2> <div> <label>id: </label>{{hero.id}}</div> <div> <label>name: </label> <input [(ngModel)]="hero.name" placeholder="name" /> </div> <button (click)="goBack()">Back</button> </div>

Update the component metadata with a templateUrl pointing to the template file that you just created.

lib/src/hero_detail_component.dart (metadata)

@Component( selector: 'hero-detail', templateUrl: 'hero_detail_component.html', directives: const [CORE_DIRECTIVES, formDirectives], )

Refresh the browser and see the results.

Select a dashboard hero

When a user selects a hero in the dashboard, the app should navigate to the HeroDetailComponent to view and edit the selected hero.

Although the dashboard heroes are presented as button-like blocks, they should behave like anchor tags. When hovering over a hero block, the target URL should display in the browser status bar and the user should be able to copy the link or open the hero detail view in a new tab.

To achieve this effect, reopen dashboard_component.html and replace the repeated <div *ngFor...> tags with <a> tags. Change the opening <a> tag to the following:

lib/src/dashboard_component.html (repeated <a> tag)

<a *ngFor="let hero of heroes" [routerLink]="['HeroDetail', {id: hero.id.toString()}]" class="col-1-4">

Notice the [routerLink] binding. As described in the Router links section of this page, top-level navigation in the AppComponent template has router links set to fixed names of the destination routes, “/dashboard” and “/heroes”.

This time, you’re binding to an expression containing a link parameters list. The list has two elements: the name of the destination route and a route parameter set to the value of the current hero’s id.

The two list items align with the name and :id token in the parameterized hero detail route definition that you added to AppComponent earlier:

lib/app_component.dart (hero detail)

const Route( path: '/detail/:id', name: 'HeroDetail', component: HeroDetailComponent),

Refresh the browser and select a hero from the dashboard; the app navigates to that hero’s details.

Select a hero in the HeroesComponent

In the HeroesComponent, the current template exhibits a “master/detail” style with the list of heroes at the top and details of the selected hero below.

lib/src/heroes_component.dart (template)

template: ''' <h1>{{title}}</h1> <h2>My Heroes</h2> <ul class="heroes"> <li *ngFor="let hero of heroes" [class.selected]="hero == selectedHero" (click)="onSelect(hero)"> <span class="badge">{{hero.id}}</span> {{hero.name}} </li> </ul> <hero-detail [hero]="selectedHero"></hero-detail> ''',

You’ll no longer show the full HeroDetailComponent here. Instead, you’ll display the hero detail on its own page and route to it as you did in the dashboard. Make these changes:

  • Remove the <hero-detail> element from the last line of the template.
  • Remove HeroDetailComponent from list of directives.
  • Remove the (now) unused hero detail import.
  • Delete the <h1> at the top.

When users select a hero from the list, they won’t go to the detail page. Instead, they’ll see a mini detail on this page and have to click a button to navigate to the full detail page.

Add the mini detail

Add the following HTML fragment at the bottom of the template where the <hero-detail> used to be:

lib/src/heroes_component.html (mini detail)

<div *ngIf="selectedHero != null"> <h2> {{selectedHero.name | uppercase}} is my hero </h2> <button (click)="gotoDetail()">View Details</button> </div>

After clicking a hero, users should see something like this below the hero list:

Mini Hero Detail

The hero’s name is displayed in capital letters because of the uppercase pipe that’s included in the interpolation binding, right after the pipe operator ( | ).

{{selectedHero.name | uppercase}} is my hero

Pipes are a good way to format strings, currency amounts, dates and other display data. Angular ships with several pipes and you can write your own.

Read more about pipes on the Pipes page.

Move the template to its own file

Like you did for the hero detail component, move this component’s template into its own file:


<h2>My Heroes</h2> <ul class="heroes"> <li *ngFor="let hero of heroes" [class.selected]="hero === selectedHero" (click)="onSelect(hero)"> <span class="badge">{{hero.id}}</span> {{hero.name}} </li> </ul> <div *ngIf="selectedHero != null"> <h2> {{selectedHero.name | uppercase}} is my hero </h2> <button (click)="gotoDetail()">View Details</button> </div>

Now, back in the component metadata for heroes_component.dart, delete template and replace it with templateUrl. The revised @Component looks like this:

lib/src/heroes_component.dart (revised metadata)

@Component( selector: 'my-heroes', templateUrl: 'heroes_component.html', styleUrls: const ['heroes_component.css'], directives: const [CORE_DIRECTIVES], pipes: const [COMMON_PIPES], )

Update the HeroesComponent class

The HeroesComponent navigates to the HeroesDetailComponent in response to a button click. The button’s click event is bound to a gotoDetail() method that navigates imperatively by telling the router where to go.

This approach requires the following changes to the component class:

  1. Import the Router from the Angular router library.
  2. Inject the Router in the constructor, along with the HeroService.
  3. Implement gotoDetail() by calling the router navigate() method.

lib/src/heroes_component.dart (gotoDetail)

Future<Null> gotoDetail() => _router.navigate([ 'HeroDetail', {'id': selectedHero.id.toString()} ]);

Note that you’re passing a two-element link parameters list — a name and the route parameter — to the router navigate() method, just as you did in the [routerLink] binding back in the DashboardComponent. Here’s the revised HeroesComponent class:

lib/src/heroes_component.dart (class)

class HeroesComponent implements OnInit { final Router _router; final HeroService _heroService; List<Hero> heroes; Hero selectedHero; HeroesComponent( this._heroService, this._router ); Future<Null> getHeroes() async { heroes = await _heroService.getHeroes(); } void ngOnInit() { getHeroes(); } void onSelect(Hero hero) { selectedHero = hero; } Future<Null> gotoDetail() => _router.navigate([ 'HeroDetail', {'id': selectedHero.id.toString()} ]); }

Refresh the browser and start clicking. Users can navigate around the app, from the dashboard to hero details and back, from heroes list to the mini detail to the hero details and back to the heroes again.

You’ve met all of the navigational requirements that propelled this page.

Style the app

The app is functional but it needs styling. The dashboard heroes should display in a row of rectangles. You’ve received around 60 lines of CSS for this purpose, including some simple media queries for responsive design.

As you now know, adding the CSS to the component styles metadata would obscure the component logic. Instead, you’ll add the CSS to separate .css files.

Dashboard styles

Create a dashboard_component.css file in the lib/src folder and reference that file in the component metadata’s styleUrls list property like this:

@Component( selector: 'my-dashboard', templateUrl: 'dashboard_component.html', styleUrls: const ['dashboard_component.css'], directives: const [CORE_DIRECTIVES, ROUTER_DIRECTIVES], ) [class*='col-'] { float: left; text-decoration: none; padding-right: 20px; padding-bottom: 20px; } [class*='col-']:last-of-type { padding-right: 0; } *, *:after, *:before { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } h3 { text-align: center; margin-bottom: 0; } h4 { position: relative; } .grid { margin: 0; } .col-1-4 { width: 25%; } .module { padding: 20px; text-align: center; color: #eee; max-height: 120px; min-width: 120px; background-color: #607D8B; border-radius: 2px; } .module:hover { background-color: #EEE; cursor: pointer; color: #607d8b; } .grid-pad { padding: 10px 0; } .grid-pad > [class*='col-']:last-of-type { padding-right: 20px; } @media (max-width: 600px) { .module { font-size: 10px; max-height: 75px; } } @media (max-width: 1024px) { .grid { margin: 0; } .module { min-width: 60px; } }

Hero detail styles

Create a hero_detail_component.css file in the lib/src folder and reference that file in the component metadata’s styleUrls list:

@Component( selector: 'hero-detail', templateUrl: 'hero_detail_component.html', styleUrls: const ['hero_detail_component.css'], directives: const [CORE_DIRECTIVES, formDirectives], ) label { display: inline-block; width: 3em; margin: .5em 0; color: #607D8B; font-weight: bold; } input { height: 2em; font-size: 1em; padding-left: .4em; } button { margin-top: 20px; font-family: Arial; background-color: #eee; border: none; padding: 5px 10px; border-radius: 4px; cursor: pointer; cursor: hand; } button:hover { background-color: #cfd8dc; } button:disabled { background-color: #eee; color: #ccc; cursor: auto; }

Create an app_component.css file in the lib folder and reference that file in the component metadata’s styleUrls list:

styleUrls: const ['app_component.css'], h1 { font-size: 1.2em; color: #999; margin-bottom: 0; } h2 { font-size: 2em; margin-top: 0; padding-top: 0; } nav a { padding: 5px 10px; text-decoration: none; margin-top: 10px; display: inline-block; background-color: #eee; border-radius: 4px; } nav a:visited, a:link { color: #607D8B; } nav a:hover { color: #039be5; background-color: #CFD8DC; } nav a.router-link-active { color: #039be5; }

The provided CSS makes the navigation links in the AppComponent look more like selectable buttons. You’ll surround those links in <nav> tags.

The router-link-active class

The Angular router adds the router-link-active class to the HTML navigation element whose route matches the active route. All you have to do is define the style for it.

Global application styles

When you add styles to a component, you keep everything a component needs—HTML, the CSS, the code—together in one convenient place. It’s easy to package it all up and reuse the component somewhere else.

You can also create styles at the application level outside of any component.

The designers provided some basic styles to apply to elements across the entire app. These correspond to the full set of master styles that you installed earlier during setup. Here’s an excerpt:

web/styles.css (excerpt)

@import url(https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto); @import url(https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Material+Icons); /* Master Styles */ h1 { color: #369; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 250%; } h2, h3 { color: #444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: lighter; } body { margin: 2em; } body, input[text], button { color: #888; font-family: Cambria, Georgia; } /* . . . */ /* everywhere else */ * { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; }

Create the file web/styles.css. Ensure that the file contains the master styles provided here. Also edit web/index.html to refer to this stylesheet.

web/index.html (link ref)

<link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">

Look at the app now. The dashboard, heroes, and navigation links are styled.

View navigations

Application structure and code

Review the sample source code in the for this page. Verify that you have the following structure:

  • angular_tour_of_heroes
    • lib
      • app_component.css
      • app_component.dart
      • src
        • dashboard_component.css
        • dashboard_component.dart
        • dashboard_component.html
        • hero.dart
        • hero_detail_component.css
        • hero_detail_component.dart
        • hero_detail_component.html
        • hero_service.dart
        • heroes_component.css
        • heroes_component.dart
        • heroes_component.html
        • mock_heroes.dart
    • test
      • app_test.dart
    • web
      • index.html
      • main.dart
      • styles.css
    • pubspec.yaml

The road you’ve travelled

Here’s what you achieved in this page:

  • You added the Angular router to navigate among different components.
  • You learned how to create router links to represent navigation menu items.
  • You used router link parameters to navigate to the details of the user-selected hero.
  • You shared the HeroService among multiple components.
  • You moved HTML and CSS out of the component file and into their own files.
  • You added the uppercase pipe to format data.

Your app should look like this .

The road ahead

You have much of the foundation you need to build an app. You’re still missing a key piece: remote data access.

In the next page, you’ll replace the mock data with data retrieved from a server using http.