Adding Callouts to a MDX-Powered Gatsby Blog

A big part about blogging for me is making my content accessible for folks. A way for me to do that is highlighting important information. I decided to try to write up a component that helps put text in a more noticeable way. This has sometimes been referred to as a callout:

To render this looks like:

  This is the base variant to callout something on my site

The code that powers it:

/* @jsx jsx */
import React from 'react';
import { jsx } from '@emotion/core';
export default function Callout({ variant = 'info', children }) {
  const variantStyles = {
    info: {
      borderLeft: '5px solid rgb(119, 32, 115)',
      backgroundColor: 'hsla(303, 74%, 92%, 0.4)',
    danger: {
      borderLeft: '5px solid #f44336',
      backgroundColor: 'rgb(253, 236, 234)'
  return (
        padding: '1rem 2rem',
        margin: '1.5rem auto',

The component is meant to be light in what it needs to do. We pass through text and change the styling based on the props received. The Callout can be shown in different variants to communicate different things, such as severity:

<Callout variant="danger">
  DANGER! DANGER! Pay attention to this!

This component is super nice for me and I am sure I can make it even better in the future. Now in my authoring process, I wanted to be able to have this available for me in any of my MDX files.

Add a component to all MDX files

To tie everything together, I needed to take this component and pass it into my MDXProvider. This will make sure that I have access to the component without having to directly import it every time I need it.

// src/pages/layout.js
import Callout from '../components/Callout'

const components = {
  // ... All my other components

export default function Layout(props) {
  return (
    {/* ... */}

And that’s it! Shoutout to some folks who have this similar thing on their site, like Tania Rascia and Josh Comeau. Also shoutout to Joe Previte for his blog post on creating a custom component because that helped pave the thought clearly in my mind!