Introduction #

TypeScript provides several utility types to facilitate common type transformations. These utilities are available globally.

Table of contents #

Partial<T> #

Constructs a type with all properties of T set to optional. This utility will return a type that represents all subsets of a given type.

Example #
interface Todo {
    title: string;
    description: string;
}

function updateTodo(todo: Todo, fieldsToUpdate: Partial<Todo>) {
    return { ...todo, ...fieldsToUpdate };
}

const todo1 = {
    title: 'organize desk',
    description: 'clear clutter',
};

const todo2 = updateTodo(todo1, {
    description: 'throw out trash',
});

Readonly<T> #

Constructs a type with all properties of T set to readonly, meaning the properties of the constructed type cannot be reassigned.

Example #
interface Todo {
    title: string;
}

const todo: Readonly<Todo> = {
    title: 'Delete inactive users',
};

todo.title = 'Hello'; // Error: cannot reassign a readonly property

This utility is useful for representing assignment expressions that will fail at runtime (i.e. when attempting to reassign properties of a frozen object).

Object.freeze #
function freeze<T>(obj: T): Readonly<T>;

Record<K,T> #

Constructs a type with a set of properties K of type T. This utility can be used to map the properties of a type to another type.

Example #
interface PageInfo {
    title: string;
}

type Page = 'home' | 'about' | 'contact';

const x: Record<Page, PageInfo> = {
    about: { title: 'about' },
    contact: { title: 'contact' },
    home: { title: 'home' },
};

Pick<T,K> #

Constructs a type by picking the set of properties K from T.

Example #
interface Todo {
    title: string;
    description: string;
    completed: boolean;
}

type TodoPreview = Pick<Todo, 'title' | 'completed'>;

const todo: TodoPreview = {
    title: 'Clean room',
    completed: false,
};

Exclude<T,U> #

Constructs a type by excluding from T all properties that are assignable to U.

Example #
type T0 = Exclude<"a" | "b" | "c", "a">;  // "b" | "c"
type T1 = Exclude<"a" | "b" | "c", "a" | "b">;  // "c"
type T2 = Exclude<string | number | (() => void), Function>;  // string | number

Extract<T,U> #

Constructs a type by extracting from T all properties that are assignable to U.

Example #
type T0 = Extract<"a" | "b" | "c", "a" | "f">;  // "a"
type T1 = Extract<string | number | (() => void), Function>;  // () => void

NonNullable<T> #

Constructs a type by excluding null and undefined from T.

Example #
type T0 = NonNullable<string | number | undefined>;  // string | number
type T1 = NonNullable<string[] | null | undefined>;  // string[]

ReturnType<T> #

Constructs a type consisting of the return type of function T.

Example #
type T0 = ReturnType<() => string>;  // string
type T1 = ReturnType<(s: string) => void>;  // void
type T2 = ReturnType<(<T>() => T)>;  // {}
type T3 = ReturnType<(<T extends U, U extends number[]>() => T)>;  // number[]
type T4 = ReturnType<typeof f1>;  // { a: number, b: string }
type T5 = ReturnType<any>;  // any
type T6 = ReturnType<never>;  // any
type T7 = ReturnType<string>;  // Error
type T8 = ReturnType<Function>;  // Error

InstanceType<T> #

Constructs a type consisting of the instance type of a constructor function type T.

Example #
class C {
    x = 0;
    y = 0;
}

type T0 = InstanceType<typeof C>;  // C
type T1 = InstanceType<any>;  // any
type T2 = InstanceType<never>;  // any
type T3 = InstanceType<string>;  // Error
type T4 = InstanceType<Function>;  // Error

Required<T> #

Constructs a type consisting of all properties of T set to required.

Example #
interface Props {
    a?: number;
    b?: string;
};

const obj: Props = { a: 5 }; // OK

const obj2: Required<Props> = { a: 5 }; // Error: property 'b' missing

ThisType<T> #

This utility does not return a transformed type. Instead, it serves a marker for a contextual this type. Note that the --noImplicitThis flag must be enabled to use this utility.

Example #
// Compile with --noImplicitThis

type ObjectDescriptor<D, M> = {
    data?: D;
    methods?: M & ThisType<D & M>;  // Type of 'this' in methods is D & M
}

function makeObject<D, M>(desc: ObjectDescriptor<D, M>): D & M {
    let data: object = desc.data || {};
    let methods: object = desc.methods || {};
    return { ...data, ...methods } as D & M;
}

let obj = makeObject({
    data: { x: 0, y: 0 },
    methods: {
        moveBy(dx: number, dy: number) {
            this.x += dx;  // Strongly typed this
            this.y += dy;  // Strongly typed this
        }
    }
});

obj.x = 10;
obj.y = 20;
obj.moveBy(5, 5);

In the example above, the methods object in the argument to makeObject has a contextual type that includes ThisType<D & M> and therefore the type of this in methods within the methods object is { x: number, y: number } & { moveBy(dx: number, dy: number): number }. Notice how the type of the methods property simultaneously is an inference target and a source for the this type in methods.

The ThisType<T> marker interface is simply an empty interface declared in lib.d.ts. Beyond being recognized in the contextual type of an object literal, the interface acts like any empty interface.