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Navigate Between Routes in Angular with routerLink

First Published: June 22nd, 2020


Once routing is set up, we can add a new route by adding a new component and adding a path to our routes array in app.module.ts. But how do we navigate between the two routes? In this lesson of Angular Basics, I'll show you how to use routerLink to switch between the routes without causing the page to refresh.

Here's the video lesson:

Add a New Component with the Angular CLI

To create a new route, we'll first need to create a new Angular component using the CLI. We can do this by running the command:

1ng g c account

The command ng g c is an abbreviation for ng generate component.

Add a New Route

Once the CLI finished creating the component, we can go over to app.module.ts and add a new route to the Routes array:

1// app.module.ts
2const routes: Routes = [
3 { path: 'home', component: HomeComponent },
4 { path: 'account', component: AccountComponent },
5 { path: '', redirectTo: '/home', pathMatch: 'full' },
6]

When you run ng serve and check out localhost:4200 in the browser, you should now be able to navigate to both / and /account and see their respective components. That's okay, but it'd be better if we could link between the routes in a navigation bar.

Add Links to Each Route

Let's head over to app.component.html and add a simple nav component. If you're using Visual Studio Code, you can use Emmett right out of the box to generate this HTML by typing nav>ul>li*2>a. This will generate the following:

1<!-- app.component.html -->
2<nav>
3 <ul>
4 <li><a href=""></a></li>
5 <li><a href=""></a></li>
6 </ul>
7</nav>

Go ahead and update this with our two routes:

1<!-- app.component.html -->
2<nav>
3 <ul>
4 <li><a href="/">Home</a></li>
5 <li><a href="/account">Account</a></li>
6 </ul>
7</nav>

If you go back over the browser and click these links, what do you notice? The page is actually refreshing every time we click a link. We don't want that! Even though it doesn't seem like a big deal for this example, we're losing any sort of app state when we refresh the page. If we were keeping track of any data, such as from input fields, they'd reset every time the link was clicked.

We can avoid this by using the routerLink directive that Angular provides. Replace href with routerLink like so:

1<!-- app.component.html -->
2<nav>
3 <ul>
4 <li><a routerLink="/">Home</a></li>
5 <li><a routerLink="/account">Account</a></li>
6 </ul>
7</nav>

Now when we click between the routes, the page no longer refreshes. Awesome!

Here's the finished example:

To learn more about routing in Angular, check out the official docs on Angular routing. To learn more Angular basics, you can check out the rest of my egghead Angular Basics playlist for free and sign up for my newsletter below to get my latest coding and career tips sent straight to your inbox.


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Sam Julien © 2020