Visual Studio Code, AngularJs, & Intellisense

My primary goal is to get VSCode intellisense to work with AngularJs.

I’m working on a new application and I’m developing it with AngularJS (Angular 1). I’m also using VSCode (Visual Studio Code) as the IDE. My understanding is that VSCode should provide intellisense for JavaScript code, which it does. In the following image, you can see that VSCode provides intellisense for the variable “d”. VSCode is smart enough to see that this is a string and displays a list of string functions to select from.

image

Since I’m developing with AngularJS, I would like to have intellisense here also.  In the index.html page, I have reference to my AngularJs library, but in my JavaScript file intellisense is not working as expected.

image

To get intellisense working for AngularJS in VSCode.  The following steps need to occur

  1. Install node.js typings package globally
  2. Run typings and install AngularJS types
  3. Create a jsconfig.json file

Assumptions of reader

  • Have knowledge of node.js and npm

Tools and version

  • node.js 6.2.1
  • npm 3.9.5
  • Visual Studio Code 1.2
  • Windows

1. The Situation

I’m creating an AngularJS application.  I have two files index.html and module.js.  The index.html file references angular.js library and module.js. The module.js file is where the JavaScript and Angular 1.5 component will live.

image

image

By default, VSCode provides intellisense for JavaScript.  In the following image you will notice that the variable “d” is a string and that VSCode provides intellisense  based on the context of “d” being a string.

image

In module.js, when I enter “angular.” I expect that intellisense to display a list of AngularJS methods and properties, but as you can see in the image below, this does not occur.  My goal in this blog post is to have intellisense display AngularJS methods and properties.

image

2. Install typings package

The typings package needs to be installed.  Since this package will be used for this solution and others.  I want to install it globally.  First lets’ see what packages are installed currently on the computer.

To figure out what packages are installed globally, run the following command.

npm list -g –depth=0

This command will return all packages at a root depth and not include any children or dependencies of the base packages.

image

As we can see the typings package has not been install. Let’s install it globally.

npm install -g typings

SNAGHTML75b4fe

Now that we installed typings it should now be available to use.  Notice the version of typing is 1.3.0.

image

3. Install AngularJS types

When I initially attempted to install angular typings, I received the following error (see image). This worked just a few days ago. But I install typings 1.3.0. and my typing install didn’t use the same format as pre typings 1.0 used.  You can read more about that here Updating Typings From 0.x to 1.0?

image

To install angular typings, I had to enter the following command:

typings install dt~angular –save –global

image

When the angular typing is installed the typings.json file and a folder called typings should be created.  See image below for more information .

image

4. Create a jsconfig.json file

Now create an empty jsconfig.json file.

image

If we were using TypeScript and transpiling code, then this file would contain configuration. But since we are only need intellisense to work, this file can remain empty

5. Validate if Intellisense is working for Angular

Go back to the module.js file. Enter “angular.”.  The intellisense should now display AngularJS methods and properties.

image

Resources

2 thoughts on “Visual Studio Code, AngularJs, & Intellisense”

  1. First off, thanks for the writeup.

    Some thoughts/questions:
    – Wondering if the –save flag is required if you’re only interested in getting Visual Studio Code to pick up the type file for Intellisense. Most samples I’ve seen omit the –save flag.
    – Would running “npm list-depth=0”, sans -g global flag be an appropriate method for identifying all modules for which type definitions could be installed, to make Intellisense work for everything in a project?
    – –global is used by typings and npm. Confusing for beginners as they seem to mean different things. My understanding for npm is that –global flag makes the module available for command-line use and doesn’t mean install for shared use. (Share use would make total sense to me.) Do you have a guess for what –global means in typings? I’ve found a bunch of random concepts online, but the best description I’ve found is that –global means type type definition is being installed for environmental purposes, maybe suggesting it’s being used as project library or ide metadata? Doesn’t work without –global for me, so this question is purely academic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *