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Typescript for Solid

In this section we'll be taking a look into Typescript and how it is used to build Solid.js. This part might seem a little bit alien to Javascript developers unfamiliar with Typescript, so we will try our best to break it down as much as possible.

Solid is designed to be easy to use with TypeScript: its use of standard JSX makes code largely understood by TypeScript, and it provides sophisticated built-in types for its API. This guide covers some useful tips for working with TypeScript and typing your Solid code.

Configuring Typescript

The Solid starter templates offer good starting points for tsconfig.json.

Inorder to configure a pre-existing Solid.js javascript project to make use of typescript follow this guide.

Most importantly, to use TypeScript with the Solid JSX compiler, you need to configure TypeScript to leave JSX constructs alone via "jsx": "preserve", and tell TypeScript where the JSX types come from via "jsxImportSource": "solid-js". So, a minimal tsconfig.json would look like this:

json
{
"compilerOptions": {
"jsx": "preserve",
"jsxImportSource": "solid-js"
}
}
json
{
"compilerOptions": {
"jsx": "preserve",
"jsxImportSource": "solid-js"
}
}

If your code base uses a mix of JSX types (e.g., some files are React while other files are Solid), you can set the default jsxImportSource in tsconfig.json for the majority of your code, and then override the jsxImportSource option in specific .tsx files using the following pragma:

ts
/** @jsxImportSource solid-js */
ts
/** @jsxImportSource solid-js */

or

ts
/** @jsxImportSource react */
ts
/** @jsxImportSource react */

In order to make use of the latter, you'll need to make sure that you have react and it's co-dependencies properly installed in your project, and that your project is properly setup to make use of react's JSX files.

API Types

Solid is written in TypeScript, so everything is typed out of the box.

The API documentation details the types for all API calls, as well as several helpful type definitions to make it easier to refer to Solid notions when you need to specify explicit types. Here, we explore the resulting types when using a few core primitives.

Signals

createSignal<T> is parameterized by the type T of the object stored in the signal. For example:

ts
const [count, setCount] = createSignal<number>();
ts
const [count, setCount] = createSignal<number>();

The above createSignal has the return type Signal<number>, corresponding to the type we passed to it. This is a tuple of the getter and setter, which each have a generic type:

ts
import type { Signal, Accessor, Setter } from "solid-js";
type Signal<T> = [get: Accessor<T>, set: Setter<T>];
ts
import type { Signal, Accessor, Setter } from "solid-js";
type Signal<T> = [get: Accessor<T>, set: Setter<T>];

TypeScript 3.8 added a new syntax for type-only imports and exports. import type only imports declarations that will be used for type annotations and declarations. They will be fully erased after compilation, and will not be included in the emitted JavaScript. You can read more about them here

In this case, the signal getter count has type Accessor<number | undefined>. Accessor<T> is a type definition provided by Solid, in this case equivalent to () => number | undefined. The | undefined gets added in this example because we did not provide a default value to createSignal, so the signal value indeed starts out as undefined.

The signal setter setCount has type Setter<number>, which is a more complicated type definition corresponding roughly to (value?: number | ((prev?: number) => number)) => number, representing the two possibilities for the passed argument: you can call setCount with either a number or a function taking the previous value (if there was one) and returning a number. Note that again, both the number and the number parameter for the function are optional, since the signal initial value was undefined.

In reality the Setter type is more complicated than this since we need to differentiate between passing a setter function and passing a function as a value that we want the signal to be set to. If you're getting a TypeScript error "Argument ... is not assignable to parameter" when calling setCount(value), then try wrapping the setter argument as in setCount(() => value) to make sure that value isn't called.

Defaults

We can avoid having to explicitly provide the type of the signal when calling createSignal, and avoid the | undefined part of the type, by providing a default value to createSignal:

ts
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0);
const [name, setName] = createSignal("");
ts
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0);
const [name, setName] = createSignal("");

In this case, TypeScript infers that the signal types are number and string respectively. Thus, for example, count obtains type Accessor<number> and name obtains type Accessor<string> (without | undefined).

Context

Similar to signals,

createContext<T> is parameterized by the type T of the context value. We can provide this type explicitly:

ts
type Data = { count: number; name: string };
const dataContext = createContext<Data>();
ts
type Data = { count: number; name: string };
const dataContext = createContext<Data>();

In this case, dataContext has type Context<Data | undefined>, causing useContext(dataContext) to have matching return type Data | undefined. The reason for | undefined is that the context might not be provided in the ancestors of the current component, in which case useContext returns undefined.

If we instead provide a default value to createContext, we avoid the | undefined part of the type, and often avoid having to explicitly specify the type of the createContext as well:

ts
const dataContext = createContext({ count: 0, name: "" });
ts
const dataContext = createContext({ count: 0, name: "" });

In this case, TypeScript infers that dataContext has type Context<{count: number, name: string}>, which is equivalent to Context<Data> (without | undefined).

Another common pattern is to define a factory function that produces the value for a context. Then we can grab the return type of that function using TypeScript's ReturnType type helper, and use that to type the context:

ts
export const makeCountNameContext = (initialCount = 0, initialName = "") => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(initialCount);
const [name, setName] = createSignal(initialName);
return [
{ count, name },
{ setCount, setName },
] as const;
// `as const` forces tuple type inference
};
type CountNameContextType = ReturnType<typeof makeCountNameContext>;
export const CountNameContext = createContext<CountNameContextType>();
export const useCountNameContext = () => useContext(CountNameContext);
ts
export const makeCountNameContext = (initialCount = 0, initialName = "") => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(initialCount);
const [name, setName] = createSignal(initialName);
return [
{ count, name },
{ setCount, setName },
] as const;
// `as const` forces tuple type inference
};
type CountNameContextType = ReturnType<typeof makeCountNameContext>;
export const CountNameContext = createContext<CountNameContextType>();
export const useCountNameContext = () => useContext(CountNameContext);

In this example, CountNameContextType corresponds to the return value of makeCountNameContext:

ts
[
{readonly count: Accessor<number>, readonly name: Accessor<string>},
{readonly setCount: Setter<number>, readonly setName: Setter<string>}
]
ts
[
{readonly count: Accessor<number>, readonly name: Accessor<string>},
{readonly setCount: Setter<number>, readonly setName: Setter<string>}
]

and useCountNameContext has type () => CountNameContextType | undefined.

If you want to avoid the undefined possibility, you could assert that the context is always provided when used:

ts
export const useCountNameContext = () => useContext(CountNameContext)!;
ts
export const useCountNameContext = () => useContext(CountNameContext)!;

This is a dangerous assumption; it would be safer to actually provide a default argument to createContext so that the context is always defined.

Component Types

ts
import type { JSX, Component } from "solid-js";
type Component<P = {}> = (props: P) => JSX.Element;
ts
import type { JSX, Component } from "solid-js";
type Component<P = {}> = (props: P) => JSX.Element;

To type a basic component function, use the Component<P> type, where P is the type of the props argument and should be an object type. This will enforce that correctly typed props get passed in as attributes, and that the return value is something that can be rendered by Solid: a JSX.Element can be a DOM node, an array of JSX.Elements, a function returning a JSX.Element, a boolean, undefined/null, etc. Here are some examples:

tsx
const Counter: Component = () => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0);
return <button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>{count()}</button>;
};
<Counter />; // good
<Counter initial={5} />; // type error: no initial prop
<Counter>hi</Counter>; // type error: no children prop
const InitCounter: Component<{ initial: number }> = (props) => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(props.initial);
return <button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>{count()}</button>;
};
<InitCounter initial={5} />; // good
tsx
const Counter: Component = () => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0);
return <button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>{count()}</button>;
};
<Counter />; // good
<Counter initial={5} />; // type error: no initial prop
<Counter>hi</Counter>; // type error: no children prop
const InitCounter: Component<{ initial: number }> = (props) => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(props.initial);
return <button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>{count()}</button>;
};
<InitCounter initial={5} />; // good

If you want your component to take JSX children, you can either explicitly add a type for children to P, or you can use the ParentComponent type which automatically adds children?: JSX.Element. Alternatively, if you'd like to declare your component with function instead of const, you can use the ParentProps helper to type props. Some examples:

tsx
import { JSX, ParentComponent, ParentProps } from "solid-js";
type ParentProps<P = {}> = P & { children?: JSX.Element };
type ParentComponent<P = {}> = Component<ParentProps<P>>;
// Equivalent typings:
//const CustomCounter: Component<{children?: JSX.Element}> = ...
//function CustomCounter(props: ParentProps): JSX.Element { ...
const CustomCounter: ParentComponent = (props) => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0);
return (
<button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>
{count()}
{props.children}
</button>
);
};
// Equivalent typings:
//const CustomInitCounter: Component<{initial: number, children?: JSX.Element}> = ...
//function CustomInitCounter(props: ParentProps<{initial: number}>): JSX.Element { ...
const CustomInitCounter: ParentComponent<{ initial: number }> = (props) => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(props.initial);
return (
<button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>
{count()}
{props.children}
</button>
);
};
tsx
import { JSX, ParentComponent, ParentProps } from "solid-js";
type ParentProps<P = {}> = P & { children?: JSX.Element };
type ParentComponent<P = {}> = Component<ParentProps<P>>;
// Equivalent typings:
//const CustomCounter: Component<{children?: JSX.Element}> = ...
//function CustomCounter(props: ParentProps): JSX.Element { ...
const CustomCounter: ParentComponent = (props) => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(0);
return (
<button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>
{count()}
{props.children}
</button>
);
};
// Equivalent typings:
//const CustomInitCounter: Component<{initial: number, children?: JSX.Element}> = ...
//function CustomInitCounter(props: ParentProps<{initial: number}>): JSX.Element { ...
const CustomInitCounter: ParentComponent<{ initial: number }> = (props) => {
const [count, setCount] = createSignal(props.initial);
return (
<button onClick={() => setCount((c) => c + 1)}>
{count()}
{props.children}
</button>
);
};

In the latter example, the props parameter automatically gets typed as props: ParentProps<{initial: number}> which is equivalent to props: {initial: number, children?: JSX.Element}. (Note that, before Solid 1.4, Component was equivalent to ParentComponent.)

Solid provides two other Component subtypes for dealing with children:

ts
import {
JSX,
FlowComponent,
FlowProps,
VoidComponent,
VoidProps,
} from "solid-js";
type FlowProps<P = {}, C = JSX.Element> = P & { children: C };
type FlowComponent<P = {}, C = JSX.Element> = Component<FlowProps<P, C>>;
type VoidProps<P = {}> = P & { children?: never };
type VoidComponent<P = {}> = Component<VoidProps<P>>;
ts
import {
JSX,
FlowComponent,
FlowProps,
VoidComponent,
VoidProps,
} from "solid-js";
type FlowProps<P = {}, C = JSX.Element> = P & { children: C };
type FlowComponent<P = {}, C = JSX.Element> = Component<FlowProps<P, C>>;
type VoidProps<P = {}> = P & { children?: never };
type VoidComponent<P = {}> = Component<VoidProps<P>>;

VoidComponent is for components that definitely do not support children. VoidComponent<P> is equivalent to Component<P> when P doesn't provide a type for children.

FlowComponent is intended for "control flow" components like Solid's <Show> and <For>. Such components generally require children to make sense, and sometimes have specific types for children, such as requiring it to be a single function. For example:

tsx
const CallMeMaybe: FlowComponent<{ when: boolean }, () => void> = (props) => {
createEffect(() => {
if (props.when) props.children();
});
return <>{props.when ? "Calling" : "Not Calling"}</>;
};
<CallMeMaybe when={true} />; // type error: missing children
<CallMeMaybe when={true}>hi</CallMeMaybe>; // type error: children
<CallMeMaybe when={true}>{() => console.log("Here's my number")}</CallMeMaybe>; // good
tsx
const CallMeMaybe: FlowComponent<{ when: boolean }, () => void> = (props) => {
createEffect(() => {
if (props.when) props.children();
});
return <>{props.when ? "Calling" : "Not Calling"}</>;
};
<CallMeMaybe when={true} />; // type error: missing children
<CallMeMaybe when={true}>hi</CallMeMaybe>; // type error: children
<CallMeMaybe when={true}>{() => console.log("Here's my number")}</CallMeMaybe>; // good

Event Handlers

The namespace JSX offers a suite of useful types for working with HTML DOM in particular. See the definition of JSX in dom-expressions for all the types provided.

One useful helper type provided by the JSX namespace is JSX.EventHandler<T, E>, which represents a single-argument event handler for a DOM element type T and event type E. You can use this to type any event handlers you define outside JSX. For example:

tsx
import type { JSX } from "solid-js";
const onInput: JSX.EventHandler<HTMLInputElement, InputEvent> = (event) => {
console.log("input changed to", event.currentTarget.value);
};
<input onInput={onInput} />;
tsx
import type { JSX } from "solid-js";
const onInput: JSX.EventHandler<HTMLInputElement, InputEvent> = (event) => {
console.log("input changed to", event.currentTarget.value);
};
<input onInput={onInput} />;

Handlers defined inline within on___ JSX attributes (with built-in event types) are automatically typed as the appropriate JSX.EventHandler:

tsx
<input
onInput={(event) => {
console.log("input changed to", event.currentTarget.value);
}}
/>
tsx
<input
onInput={(event) => {
console.log("input changed to", event.currentTarget.value);
}}
/>

Note that JSX.EventHandler<T> constrains the event's currentTarget attribute to be of type T (in the example, event.currentTarget is typed as HTMLInputEvent, so has attribute value). However, the event's target attribute could be any DOMElement. This is because currentTarget is the element that the event handler was attached to, so has a known type, whereas target is whatever the user interacted with that caused the event to bubble to or get captured by the event handler, which can be any DOM element.

The ref Attribute

When we use the ref attribute with a variable, we tell Solid to assign the DOM element to the variable once the element is rendered. Without TypeScript, this looks like:

jsx
let divRef;
console.log(divRef); // undefined
onMount(() => {
console.log(divRef); // <div> element
});
return <div ref={divRef} />;
jsx
let divRef;
console.log(divRef); // undefined
onMount(() => {
console.log(divRef); // <div> element
});
return <div ref={divRef} />;

This presents a challenge for typing that variable: should we type divRef as an HTMLDivElement, even though it's only set as such after rendering? (Here we assume TypeScript's strictNullChecks mode is turned on; otherwise, TypeScript ignores potentially undefined variables.)

The safest pattern in TypeScript is to acknowledge that divRef is undefined for a period of time, and check when using it:

tsx
let divRef: HTMLDivElement | undefined;
divRef.focus(); // correctly reported as an error at compile time
onMount(() => {
if (!divRef) return;
divRef.focus(); // correctly allowed
});
return <div ref={divRef}>...</div>;
tsx
let divRef: HTMLDivElement | undefined;
divRef.focus(); // correctly reported as an error at compile time
onMount(() => {
if (!divRef) return;
divRef.focus(); // correctly allowed
});
return <div ref={divRef}>...</div>;

Alternatively, because we know onMount gets called only after the <div> element gets rendered, we could use a non-null assertion (!) when accessing divRef within onMount:

tsx
onMount(() => {
divRef!.focus();
});
tsx
onMount(() => {
divRef!.focus();
});

Another fairly safe pattern is to omit undefined from divRef's type, and use a definite assignment assertion (!) in the ref attribute:

tsx
let divRef: HTMLDivElement;
divRef.focus(); // correctly reported as an error at compile time
onMount(() => {
divRef.focus(); // correctly allowed
});
return <div ref={divRef!}>...</div>;
tsx
let divRef: HTMLDivElement;
divRef.focus(); // correctly reported as an error at compile time
onMount(() => {
divRef.focus(); // correctly allowed
});
return <div ref={divRef!}>...</div>;

We need to use ref={divRef!} because TypeScript assumes that the ref attribute is being set to the divRef variable, and thus divRef should already be assigned. In Solid, it's the other way around: divRef gets assigned to by the ref attribute. The definite assignment assertion divRef! effectively convinces TypeScript that this is what's happening: TypeScript will understand that divRef has been assigned after this line.

With this pattern, TypeScript will correctly flag any accidental uses of refs inside the body of the function (before the JSX block where they get defined). However, TypeScript currently does not flag use of potentially undefined variables within nested functions. In the context of Solid, you need to take care not to use refs inside createMemo, createRenderEffect, and createComputed (before the JSX block that defines the refs), because those functions are called immediately, so the refs won't be defined yet (yet TypeScript won't flag this as an error). By contrast, the previous pattern would catch these errors.

Another common, but less safe, pattern is to put the definite assignment assertion at the point of variable declaration.

tsx
let divRef!: HTMLDivElement;
divRef.focus(); // allowed despite causing an error
onMount(() => {
divRef.focus(); // correctly allowed
});
return <div ref={divRef}>...</div>;
tsx
let divRef!: HTMLDivElement;
divRef.focus(); // allowed despite causing an error
onMount(() => {
divRef.focus(); // correctly allowed
});
return <div ref={divRef}>...</div>;

This approach effectively turns off assignment checking for that variable, which is an easy workaround, but requires additional care. In particular, unlike the previous pattern, it incorrectly allows premature use of the variable, even outside nested functions.

Control Flow Narrowing

A common pattern is to use <Show> to display data only when that data is defined:

tsx
const [name, setName] = createSignal<string>();
return <Show when={name()}>Hello {name().replace(/\s+/g, "\xa0")}!</Show>;
tsx
const [name, setName] = createSignal<string>();
return <Show when={name()}>Hello {name().replace(/\s+/g, "\xa0")}!</Show>;

In this case, TypeScript can't determine that the two calls to name() will return the same value, and that the second call will happen only if the first call returned a truthy value. Thus it will complain that name() might be undefined when trying to call .replace().

Here are two workarounds for this issue:

  1. You can manually assert that name() will be non-null in the second call using TypeScript's non-null assertion operator !:

    tsx
    return <Show when={name()}>Hello {name()!.replace(/\s+/g, "\xa0")}!</Show>;
    tsx
    return <Show when={name()}>Hello {name()!.replace(/\s+/g, "\xa0")}!</Show>;
  2. You can use the callback form of <Show>, which passes in the value of the when prop when it is truthy:

    tsx
    return (
    <Show when={name()}>{(n) => <>Hello {n.replace(/\s+/g, "\xa0")}!</>}</Show>
    );
    tsx
    return (
    <Show when={name()}>{(n) => <>Hello {n.replace(/\s+/g, "\xa0")}!</>}</Show>
    );

    In this case, the typing of the Show component is clever enough to tell TypeScript that n is truthy, so it can't be undefined (or null or false).

    Note, however, that this form of <Show> forces the entirety of the children to render from scratch every time name() changes, instead of doing this just when name() changes from a falsey to a truthy value. This means that the children don't have the full benefits of fine-grained reactivity (re-using unchanged parts and updating just what changed).

Special JSX Attributes and Directives

on:___/oncapture:___

If you use custom event handlers via Solid's on:___/oncapture:___ attributes, you should define corresponding types for the resulting Event objects by overriding the CustomEvents and CustomCaptureEvents interfaces within module "solid-js"'s JSX namespace, like so:

tsx
class NameEvent extends CustomEvent {
type: "Name";
detail: { name: string };
constructor(name: string) {
super("Name", { detail: { name } });
}
}
declare module "solid-js" {
namespace JSX {
interface CustomEvents {
// on:Name
Name: NameEvent;
}
interface CustomCaptureEvents {
// oncapture:Name
Name: NameEvent;
}
}
}
<div on:Name={(event) => console.log("name is", event.detail.name)} />;
tsx
class NameEvent extends CustomEvent {
type: "Name";
detail: { name: string };
constructor(name: string) {
super("Name", { detail: { name } });
}
}
declare module "solid-js" {
namespace JSX {
interface CustomEvents {
// on:Name
Name: NameEvent;
}
interface CustomCaptureEvents {
// oncapture:Name
Name: NameEvent;
}
}
}
<div on:Name={(event) => console.log("name is", event.detail.name)} />;

prop:___/attr:___

If you use forced properties via Solid's prop:___ attributes, or custom attributes via Solid's attr:___ attributes, you can define their types in the ExplicitProperties and ExplicitAttributes interfaces, respectively:

tsx
declare module "solid-js" {
namespace JSX {
interface ExplicitProperties { // prop:___
count: number;
name: string;
}
interface ExplicitAttributes { // attr:___
count: number;
name: string;
}
}
}
<Input prop:name={name()} prop:count={count()}/>
<my-web-component attr:name={name()} attr:count={count()}/>
tsx
declare module "solid-js" {
namespace JSX {
interface ExplicitProperties { // prop:___
count: number;
name: string;
}
interface ExplicitAttributes { // attr:___
count: number;
name: string;
}
}
}
<Input prop:name={name()} prop:count={count()}/>
<my-web-component attr:name={name()} attr:count={count()}/>

use:___

If you define custom directives for Solid's use:___ attributes, you can type them in the Directives interface, like so:

tsx
function model(element: HTMLInputElement, value: Accessor<Signal<string>>) {
const [field, setField] = value();
createRenderEffect(() => (element.value = field()));
element.addEventListener("input", (e) => {
const value = (e.target as HTMLInputElement).value;
setField(value);
});
}
declare module "solid-js" {
namespace JSX {
interface Directives {
// use:model
model: Signal<string>;
}
}
}
let [name, setName] = createSignal("");
<input type="text" use:model={[name, setName]} />;
tsx
function model(element: HTMLInputElement, value: Accessor<Signal<string>>) {
const [field, setField] = value();
createRenderEffect(() => (element.value = field()));
element.addEventListener("input", (e) => {
const value = (e.target as HTMLInputElement).value;
setField(value);
});
}
declare module "solid-js" {
namespace JSX {
interface Directives {
// use:model
model: Signal<string>;
}
}
}
let [name, setName] = createSignal("");
<input type="text" use:model={[name, setName]} />;

If you're importing a directive d from another file/module, and d is used only as a directive use:d, then TypeScript (or more precisely, babel-preset-typescript) will by default remove the import of d (for fear that d is a type, as TypeScript doesn't understand use:d as a reference to d). There are two ways around this issue:

  1. Use babel-preset-typescript's onlyRemoveTypeImports: true configuration option, which prevents it from removing any imports except for import type .... If you're using vite-plugin-solid, you can specify this option via solidPlugin({ typescript: { onlyRemoveTypeImports: true } }) in vite.config.ts.

    Note that this option can be problematic if you don't vigilantly use export type and import type throughout your codebase.

  2. Add a fake access like false && d; to every module importing directive d. This will stop TypeScript from removing the import of d, and assuming you're tree-shaking via e.g. Terser, this code will be omitted from your final code bundle.

    The simpler fake access d; will also prevent the import from being removed, but will typically not be tree-shaken away, so will end up in your final code bundle.