The Power of RouterLinkActive in Angular: A Comprehensive Guide

Angular is one of the best front-end development frameworks for web applications. It comes with a vast range of features, functionalities, and components that make web development smoother and more efficient. One of the most powerful components in Angular is the RouterLinkActive. If you haven’t explored this component yet, then you could be missing out on a vital tool for creating amazing web experiences.

RouterLinkActive is an Angular directive that acts as a helper to navigate and activate a route simultaneously. In other words, it’s a tool that helps you highlight the currently active route in your application. In this guide, we’ll explore what RouterLinkActive is, how it works, and why it’s essential in every Angular application.

What is RouterLinkActive?

Angular applications consist of multiple routes. You can think of a route as a page in your application. When you create a route, Angular loads a component for that route. By default, Angular applies a CSS class to the active route, making it easy for users to identify which page they are currently viewing, and making it possible for developers to customize the design of the active route differently from other inactive routes.

RouterLinkActive is an Angular directive that helps to apply a CSS class to the active route. Instead of writing custom code to track which route is active, you can use RouterLinkActive to do this automatically.

How does RouterLinkActive Work?

When a user clicks on a link in an Angular application, the router navigates to the specified route and loads the respective component. RouterLinkActive listens to these events and applies a CSS class to the specified router links when the corresponding route becomes active.

In other words, RouterLinkActive examines the current route and adds a CSS class to the selected link or element to indicate the active route. When a user navigates to a different route, RouterLinkActive removes the CSS class from the previously active link and applies it to the newly active one.


In the example above, RouterLinkActive is used to track and apply the active class to the specified router links, “Home,” “About,” and “Contact.”

Why is RouterLinkActive Essential in Every Angular Application?

There are a few reasons why you should use RouterLinkActive in every Angular application:

– User experience: RouterLinkActive improves the user experience by making it easier for users to identify the active route. It enhances visual cues and gives users feedback on where they are in their navigation and how far they are from their destination.

– Code optimization: RouterLinkActive simplifies the process of applying styles to active router links. It reduces the amount of custom code required to track the active route, making development faster and more efficient.

– Accessibility: RouterLinkActive can help users with disabilities use your application. For example, users who navigate using a keyboard rely on clear visual feedback to confirm their location on the page.


How do I use RouterLinkActive?

To use RouterLinkActive, you need to import the RouterModule and add the router link attribute to the anchor tag or other HTML element you want to apply the active class to. For example:

import { RouterModule } from ‘@angular/router’;

imports: [
{ path: ‘home’, component: HomeComponent },
{ path: ‘about’, component: AboutComponent },
{ path: ‘contact’, component: ContactComponent }
exports: [RouterModule]
export class AppRoutingModule { }



The routerLinkActive attribute applied to the list items adds the CSS class “active” to the currently active route.

How do I customize the CSS class applied by RouterLinkActive?

By default, RouterLinkActive adds the “active” CSS class to the active links. However, you can customize the CSS class by specifying a different class name in the RouterLinkActive directive’s attribute. For example:



In the example above, specifying “active-link” applies that CSS class instead of the default “active” class.

How do I apply styles to the RouterLinkActive CSS class?

You can style the RouterLinkActive CSS class by adding a CSS file to the component containing the router links. For example:

/* app.component.css */
.active-link {
font-weight: bold;
color: red;

In the example above, applying the “active-link” class adds bold text and a red color to the active link.

Can I use RouterLinkActive with dynamic routing?

Yes, RouterLinkActive works with dynamic routing just like static routing. You can dynamically add or change routes and apply RouterLinkActive to the links or elements to highlight the active ones.


RouterLinkActive is a powerful Angular directive that simplifies the process of applying styles to active router links. It enhances user experience, code optimization, and accessibility. In this guide, we’ve explored what RouterLinkActive is, how it works, and why it’s essential in every Angular application. Now that you understand the basics of RouterLinkActive, you can take advantage of its power and create more dynamic and immersive user experiences.

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