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How to add Typescript to an existing Webpack project

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We have already read how to add React to an existing Webpack project and, similarly, we will now learn how to add Typescript to a Webpack project (React is supported!).

In this article we will see:

Required dependencies to work with Webpack and Typescript

In 2021, this is straightforward. First, we need to install the necessary dependencies. Of course we need typescript, along with ts-loader which will allow Webpack to transpile the .ts and .tsx files.

To do so, we run the following command:

npm install --save-dev ts-loader typescript

Lastly, don’t forget to install react and react-dom types if you are in a ReactJS project:

npm install --save-dev @types/react @types/react-dom

Typescript initialization

In order to work with typescript, we need to create a tsconfig.json file. In our case, we can create the file manually as the configuration we need is very simple.

Let’s create the tsconfig.json file like so:

{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "sourceMap": true,
    "jsx": "react",
    "target": "ES6"
  }
}

Webpack config with Typescript

To allow Webpack to load Typescript files, let’s add the ts-loader and add support for the .ts and .tsx extensions.

In the webpack.config.js file, we add:

const path = require('path')
const webpack = require('webpack')

module.exports = {
  entry: './src/index.js',
  output: {
    filename: 'bundle.js',
    path: path.resolve(__dirname, 'dist'),
    publicPath: '/dist/',
  },
  module: {
    rules: [
      {
        test: /\.(js|jsx)$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        use: ['babel-loader'],
      },
      { test: /\.tsx?$/, loader: 'ts-loader' },
    ],
  },
  resolve: {
    extensions: ['*', '.js', '.jsx', '.ts', '.tsx'],
  },
  plugins: [new webpack.HotModuleReplacementPlugin()],
  devServer: {
    contentBase: path.resolve(__dirname, './dist'),
    hot: true,
  },
}

At this point, we can test by creating an App.tsx component:

import React from 'react'

interface AppProps {
  title: string
  href: string
}

const App: React.FC<AppProps> = ({ title, href }) => (
  <div
    style={{
      display: 'flex',
      alignItems: 'center',
      justifyContent: 'center',
      height: '100vh',
    }}
  >
    <h1>
      Hello World from <a href={href}>{title}</a>
    </h1>
  </div>
)

export default App

And in our index.js file:

import React from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
import App from './App'

ReactDOM.render(
  <App title="Polynique" href="https://www.polynique.com" />,
  document.getElementById('app')
)

// @ts-ignore
module.hot.accept()

Allow JS file in Typescript project

If we are adding typescript inside a project where we already have several .js files, right now we are not able to work with both extensions. This is because typescript does not support js extension by default.

To fix this issue, we just need to add in the tsconfig.json file:

{
   "compilerOptions": {
     "sourceMap": true,
     "jsx": "react",
     "target": "ES6",
     "allowJs": true,
     "esModuleInterop": true,
   }
 }
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