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Customize Text Messages

Customizing Text Messages

Introduction#

Every application provides a unique look and feel to their own messaging interface including and not limited to fonts, colors, and shapes.

This guide details how to customize message text in the MessageListView / MessageWidget in the Stream Chat Flutter UI SDK.

note

This guide is specifically for the MessageListView but if you intend to display a MessageWidget separately, follow the same process without the .copyWith and use the default constructor instead.

Basics of customizing a MessageWidget#

First, add a MessageListView in the appropriate place where you intend to display messages from a channel.

MessageListView(    ...)

Now, we use the messageBuilder parameter to build a custom message. The builder function also provides the default implementation of the MessageWidget so that we can change certain aspects of the widget without redoing all of the default parameters.

note

In earlier versions of the SDK, some MessageWidget parameters were exposed directly through the MessageListView, however, this quickly becomes hard to maintain as more parameters and customizations are added to the MessageWidget. Newer version utilise a cleaner interface to change the parameters by supplying a default message implementation as aforementioned.

MessageListView(    ...    messageBuilder: (context, messageDetails, messageList, defaultWidget) {        return defaultWidget;    },)

We use .copyWith() to customize the widget:

MessageListView(    ...    messageBuilder: (context, messageDetails, messageList, defaultWidget) {        return defaultWidget.copyWith(            ...        );    },)

Customizing text#

If you intend to simply change the theme for the text, you need not recreate the whole widget. The MessageWidget has a messageTheme parameter that allows you to pass the theme for most aspects of the message.

MessageListView(    ...    messageBuilder: (context, messageDetails, messageList, defaultWidget) {        return defaultWidget.copyWith(            messageTheme: MessageTheme(                ...                messageText: TextStyle(),            ),        );    },)

If you want to replace the entire text widget in the MessageWidget, you can use the textBuilder parameter which provides a builder for creating a widget to substitute the default text.parameter

MessageListView(    ...    messageBuilder: (context, messageDetails, messageList, defaultWidget) {        return defaultWidget.copyWith(            textBuilder: (context, message) {                return Text(message.text);            },        );    },)

Adding Hashtags#

To add elements like hashtags, we can override the textBuilder in the MessageWidget:

MessageListView(    ...    messageBuilder: (context, messageDetails, messageList, defaultWidget) {        return defaultWidget.copyWith(            textBuilder: (context, message) {                final text = _replaceHashtags(message.text).replaceAll('\n', '\\\n');                final messageTheme = StreamChatTheme.of(context).ownMessageTheme;
                return MarkdownBody(                    data: text,                    onTapLink: (                        String link,                        String href,                        String title,                        ) {                      // Do something with tapped hashtag                    },                    styleSheet: MarkdownStyleSheet.fromTheme(                      Theme.of(context).copyWith(                        textTheme: Theme.of(context).textTheme.apply(                          bodyColor: messageTheme.messageText.color,                          decoration: messageTheme.messageText.decoration,                          decorationColor: messageTheme.messageText.decorationColor,                          decorationStyle: messageTheme.messageText.decorationStyle,                          fontFamily: messageTheme.messageText.fontFamily,                        ),                      ),                    ).copyWith(                      a: messageTheme.messageLinks,                      p: messageTheme.messageText,                    ),                );            },        );    },)
String _replaceHashtags(String text) {  RegExp exp = new RegExp(r"\B#\w\w+");  exp.allMatches(text).forEach((match){    text = text.replaceAll(        '${match.group(0)}', '[${match.group(0)}](${match.group(0).replaceAll(' ', '')})');  });  return text;}

We can replace the hashtags using RegEx and add links for the MarkdownBody which is done here in the _replaceHashtags() function. Inside the textBuilder, we use the flutter_markdown package to build our hashtags as links.

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