Master TypeScript development in Visual Studio Code

Master TypeScript development in Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is an integrated development environment (IDE) favored by many programmers who appreciate its wide range of features and its open source heritage. Visual Studio Code makes coding easier, faster, and less frustrating. That’s especially true when it comes to TypeScript, one of the several languages supported by the IDE.

Features like code completion, parameter hints, and syntax highlighting go a long way toward making TypeScript developers more productive in Visual Studio Code. It also comes with a built-in Node.js debugger and the ability to convert the code to executable JavaScript from the editor. However, most of these features need to be configured for optimal use.

How to configure Visual Studio Code for TypeScript development

This step-by-step tutorial shows how to set up Visual Studio Code for TypeScript development. We initialize a Node.js project in TypeScript, write some code, and then compile, run, and debug the TypeScript — all in Visual Studio Code.


Before getting started, make sure you have:

You need Node.js and npm (the Node package manager) to build your TypeScript project. You can verify that Node.js is installed on your machine with the following terminal command:

node -v

That should return the version of Node.js on your machine like this:


Now let’s get started with TypeScript in Visual Studio Code!

Install the TypeScript compiler

Visual Studio Code supports TypeScript development but doesn’t include the TypeScript compiler. Since the TypeScript compiler tsc transforms — or transpiles — TypeScript code to JavaScript, it’s a requirement for testing your TypeScript code. In other words, tsc takes TypeScript code as input and produces JavaScript code as output, and then you can execute the JavaScript code with Node.js or in a Web browser.

Launch the command below in your terminal to install the TypeScript compiler globally on your computer:

npm install -g typescript

Verify the installed version of tsc:

tsc --version

If this command doesn’t return an error, tsc is available. You now have everything you need to build a TypeScript project!