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Configure Storybook

Storybook is configured via a folder called .storybook, which contains various configuration files.

Note that you can change the folder that Storybook uses by setting the -c flag to your start-storybook and build-storybook scripts.

Configure your Storybook project

The main configuration file is main.js. This file controls the Storybook server's behavior, so you must restart Storybook’s process when you change it. It contains the following:

The main.js configuration file is a preset and, as such, has a powerful interface, but the key fields within it are:

💡 Tip: Customize your default story by referencing it first in the `stories` array.

See all the available fields below if you need further customization.

Feature flags

Additionally, you can also provide additional feature flags to your Storybook configuration. Below is an abridged list of available features that are currently available.

Configuration elementDescription
storyStoreV7Configures Storybook to load stories on demand, rather than during boot up.
features: { storyStoreV7: true }
buildStoriesJsonGenerates a stories.json file to help story loading with the on demand mode.
features: { buildStoriesJson: true }
emotionAliasProvides backwards compatibility for Emotion. See the migration documentation for context.
features: { emotionAlias: false }
babelModeV7Enables the new Babel configuration mode for Storybook.
features: { babelModeV7: true }
postcssDisables the implicit PostCSS warning. See the migration documentation for context.
features: { postcss: false }
modernInlineRenderEnables Storybook's modern inline rendering mode.
features: { modernInlineRender: false }
previewMdx2Enables experimental support for MDX 2.
features: { previewMdx2: true }

Configure story loading

By default, Storybook will load stories from your project based on a glob (pattern matching string) in .storybook/main.js that matches all files in your project with extension .stories.*. The intention is you colocate a story file with the component it documents.


If you want to use a different naming convention, you can alter the glob using the syntax supported by picomatch.

For example, if you wanted to pull both .md and .js files from the my-project/src/components directory, you could write:

With a configuration object

Additionally, you can customize your Storybook configuration to load your stories based on a configuration object. For example, if you wanted to load your stories from a packages directory, you could adjust your stories configuration field into the following:

When Storybook starts, it will look for any file containing the stories extension inside the packages/stories directory and generate the titles for your stories.

With a directory

You can also simplify your Storybook configuration and load the stories based on a directory. For example, if you want to load all the stories inside a packages/MyStories, you can adjust the configuration as such:

With a custom implementation

You can also adjust your Storybook configuration and implement your custom logic for loading your stories. For example, suppose you were working on a project that includes a particular pattern that the conventional ways of loading stories could not solve, in that case, you could adjust your configuration as follows:

On-demand story loading

As your Storybook grows in size, it gets challenging to load all of your stories in a performant way, slowing down the loading times and yielding a large bundle. Starting with Storybook 6.4, you can optimize your story loading by enabling the storyStoreV7 feature flag in your configuration as follows:

Once you've restarted your Storybook, you'll see an almost immediate performance gain in your loading times and also a decrease in the generated bundle.

Known limitations

This feature is experimental, and it has some limitations on what you can and cannot do in your stories files. If you plan to use it, you'll need to take into consideration the following limitations:

  • CSF formats from version 1 to version 3 are supported. The storiesOf construct is not.
  • CustomstorySort functions are allowed based on a restricted API.

Configure your project with TypeScript

If you need, you can also configure your Storybook using TypeScript. To get started, add a .babelrc file inside your project and include the following Babel presets:

Rename your .storybook/main.js to .storybook/main.ts and restart your Storybook.

Using Storybook API

You can also use Storybook's API to configure your project with TypeScript. Under the hood, it mirrors the exact configuration you get by default. Below is an abridged Storybook configuration with TypeScript and additional information about each configuration element.

Configuration elementDescription
storiesThe array of globs that indicates the location of your story files, relative to main.ts
staticDirsSets a list of directories of static files to be loaded by Storybook
addonsSets the list of addons loaded by Storybook
typescriptConfigures how Storybook handles TypeScript files
typescript: { check: false, checkOptions: {} }
frameworkConfigures Storybook based on a set of framework-specific settings
coreConfigures Storybook's internal features.
core: { builder: 'webpack5' }
featuresEnables Storybook's additional features.
See table below for a list of available features features: { storyStoreV7: true }
refsConfigures Storybook composition
refs:{ example: { title: 'ExampleStorybook', url:'' } }
logLevelConfigures Storybook's logs in the browser terminal. Useful for debugging
logLevel: 'debug'
webpackFinalCustomize Storybook's Webpack setup
webpackFinal: async (config:any) => { return config; }
envDefines custom Storybook environment variables.
env: (config) => ({...config, EXAMPLE_VAR: 'Example var' }),

Configure story rendering

To control the way stories are rendered and add global decorators and parameters, create a .storybook/preview.js file. This is loaded in the Canvas tab, the “preview” iframe that renders your components in isolation. Use preview.js for global code (such as CSS imports or JavaScript mocks) that applies to all stories.

The preview.js file can be an ES module and export the following keys:

If you’re looking to change how to order your stories, read about sorting stories.

Configure Storybook’s UI

To control the behavior of Storybook’s UI (the “manager”), you can create a .storybook/manager.js file.

This file does not have a specific API but is the place to set UI options and to configure Storybook’s theme.

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