How to Build a Typescript Project from Scratch

Are you tired of the limitations of Javascript, but not sure where to start with Typescript? Fear not! In this article, we're going to go over everything you need to know to build a Typescript project from scratch.

What is Typescript?

Typescript is a superset of Javascript that adds optional static typing and strict syntax checking to your code. This can help catch errors at compile time, rather than at runtime, which can save you time and headache as your codebase grows.

Setting Up Your Environment

Before we start building our Typescript project, we need to make sure our environment is set up correctly.

First, make sure you have Node.js and npm installed on your machine. You can check by running node -v and npm -v in your terminal. If you don't have them installed, you can download them here.

Next, we want to install the typescript package globally:

npm install -g typescript

Now, we're ready to start building our Typescript project!

Creating Our Project

Let's create a new directory for our project, and navigate into it:

mkdir my-typescript-project
cd my-typescript-project

Now, let's initialize a new Node.js project with npm init. This will create a package.json file in our project directory that will allow us to install dependencies and run scripts.

npm init

Follow the prompts to create your package.json file.

Next, we want to create a new Typescript file to get started. Let's create a file called index.ts in our project directory:

touch index.ts

Writing Our First Typescript Code

Open up index.ts in your favorite text editor, and let's write some code!

function sayHello(name: string) {
  console.log(`Hello, ${name}!`);


In this simple example, we've defined a function called sayHello that takes a name argument of type string. We then call the function with the argument 'Typescript'.

Compiling Our Typescript Code

Now that we have some Typescript code written, we need to compile it to Javascript so that it can be run in the browser or on the server.

To do this, we'll use the tsc command, which is installed with the typescript package. Run the following command in your terminal:

tsc index.ts

This will compile index.ts to index.js, which is the equivalent Javascript code.

Running Our Code

Now that we have our Javascript code, we can run it with Node.js.

In your terminal, run:

node index.js

This should output:

Hello, Typescript!

Adding Additional Dependencies

As our project grows, we may want to add additional dependencies that we can use in our Typescript code.

To install a new dependency, run:

npm install <package-name> --save

For example:

npm install lodash --save

This will install the lodash package and add it to our package.json file as a dependency.

We can then import lodash into our Typescript code:

import _ from 'lodash';

const numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const doubled =, n => n * 2);


This will double each number in the numbers array using the lodash library, and output [2, 4, 6, 8, 10].

Configuring Our Typescript Compiler

By default, the Typescript compiler (tsc) will use a basic configuration. However, we can specify our own configuration options in a tsconfig.json file to customize how our Typescript code is compiled.

Create a new file called tsconfig.json in your project directory:

touch tsconfig.json

Add the following contents to your tsconfig.json file:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "outDir": "dist",
    "target": "es6",
    "module": "commonjs",
    "strict": true
  "include": [

Let's go over what each of these options mean:

Compiling Our Code with Our Custom Configuration

Now that we have a tsconfig.json file with our custom configuration, we can use it to compile our Typescript code.

Instead of running tsc index.ts, we can simply run tsc in our terminal. This will compile all of the files specified in our include field, and place the compiled Javascript code in the dist directory.


If you want to automatically recompile your code when changes are made, you can run tsc -w, which will watch your files for changes and recompile them automatically.

Building Our Code with npm Scripts

Now that we have our Typescript code compiling with our custom configuration, we can use npm scripts to automate our build process.

Open up your package.json file, and add the following scripts:

"scripts": {
  "build": "tsc",
  "start": "node dist/index.js",
  "dev": "tsc -w"

Now, we can run npm run build to compile our code, npm start to run our compiled code, and npm run dev to automatically recompile our code when changes are made.


Congratulations! You've now built a Typescript project from scratch, and have learned how to:

With this knowledge, you'll be able to start building more complex Typescript projects with ease. Happy coding!

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