Using TypeScript with Visual Studio Code on OSX

2 minute read

Some of my other articles about Visual Studio Code :


Visual Studio Code is powerful editor that Microsoft released at Build 2015. There have been several questions regarding how to setup TypeScript with Visual Studio Code on OSX. I decided that I’d stop for a second and make a quick post showing you exactly how to do it.

Install TypeScript first

From your terminal, enter the following :

	npm install -g typescript

You should see the following in your terminal window after running the command :

$ npm install -g typescript
/usr/local/bin/tsc -> /usr/local/lib/node_modules/typescript/bin/tsc
/usr/local/bin/tsserver -> /usr/local/lib/node_modules/typescript/bin/tsserver
typescript@1.5.0-beta /usr/local/lib/node_modules/typescript

Notice that it installed typescript 1.5.0-beta. This is required for Visual Studio Code.

Switch Back to Visual Studio Code

Create a New Project and create a new file called tsconfig.json.

	"compilerOptions": {
		"target": "ES5",
		"module": "amd",
		"sourceMap": true

Note: By default the target is ES3. I changed mine to ES5, which Visual Studio Code supports, but it also supports ES6 (experimental).

Build the Project

If you press CMD-Shift-B, then it will ask you to configure the Task Runner. You will now have a file called tasks.json. Make sure it looks like the following:

	"version": "0.1.0",
	// The command is tsc.
	"command": "tsc",

	// Show the output window only if unrecognized errors occur. 
	"showOutput": "silent",
	// Under windows use tsc.exe. This ensures we don't need a shell.
	"windows": {
		"command": "tsc.exe"
	// args is the HelloWorld program to compile.
	"args": [],
	"isShellCommand": true,
	// use the standard tsc problem matcher to find compile problems
	// in the output.
	"problemMatcher": "$tsc"

Note: Don’t worry about the windows section as the OSX installation of Visual Studio Code will ignore it. The only thing we changed here was the args field, which allows it to compile all files in the current directory and subdirectory and added isShellCommand to true. Notice that under the command parameter, it has tsc. If you didn’t install TypeScript first, then it would have failed here.

Create a main.ts file and add some TypeScript code

You can use the following sample code if you wish :

class Greeter {
    greeting: string;
    constructor(message: string) {
        this.greeting = message;
    greet() {
        return "Hello, " + this.greeting;

var greeter = new Greeter(" Twitter");

Press CMD-Shift-B and you should see a main.js has been created.

If you have any problems getting this to work, then check out my Github repo for this sample project.

Here is a screenshot of what Visual Studio Code looks like once complete :



Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, then leave them below.



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