Setting up TypeScript in VS Code

This blog post serves as an abridged summary of the below getting started guides for TypeScript and VS Code and is presented in the shortest possible form:

Enabling TypeScript

First create a file called tsconfig.json to the project with the following contents:

    "compilerOptions": {
        "target": "es5",
        "module": "commonjs",
        "sourceMap": true

Next, create a sample HelloWorld.ts file with the following contents:

class Startup {
    public static main(): number {
        console.log('Hello World');
        return 0;


Press Ctrl+Shift+P type in Configure Task Runner select TypeScript - tsconfig.json. I tend to modify the args command and add an additional -w switch to run tsc in watch mode as can be seen below:

    "version": "0.1.0",
    "command": "tsc",
    "isShellCommand": true,
    "args": ["-p", ".", "-w"],
    "showOutput": "silent",
    "problemMatcher": "$tsc"

Test out a build using Ctrl+Shift+B - this will generate HelloWorld.js and as can be seen below.

Hiding Generated Files

If you are working primarily with .ts files in VS Code there is no need to see the genarated .map and .js files (well at least I don't like looking at them). If you wish to hide these files and clean up your work-space all you need to do is follow the below steps:

In the root of your application create a .vscode/settings.json file (if you don't already have one), and add the following to it:

    "files.exclude": {
        "node_modules/": true,
        "app/**/*.js": true,
        "app/**/*.map": true

NOTE: I am presuming that your source files now live in a folder called app/*/, feel free to modify this to meet your project needs.

Folder structure in VS Code before adding in .vscode/settings.json.

Folder structure in VS Code after adding in .vscode/settings.json (source folder shown on the right).

I much prefer this way of working with .ts files as it feels a lot less cluttered.

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