IntelliJ IDEA 2019.1 Help


Flow is a static type checker that brings type annotations to JavaScript. IntelliJ IDEA recognizes Flow structures and provides syntax highlighting for them on all operating systems.

Installing Flow

  • In the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12), type one of the following commands:

    • npm install --global flow-bin to install Flow globally.

    • npm install --save-dev flow-bin to install Flow as a development dependency.

Configuring Flow in IntelliJ IDEA

To have IntelliJ IDEA recognize Flow structures, provide correct syntax highlighting, report errors properly, and avoid false-positive error highlighting, change the JavaScript language level to Flow, add a .flowconfig configuration file to your project, and supply every file to be checked with a // @flow comment on top.

To change the language level to Flow

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages and Frameworks | JavaScript. The JavaScript page opens.

  2. From the JavaScript Language Version list, choose Flow.

  3. In the Flow package or executable field, specify the path to the node_modules\flow-bin node_modules/flow-bin package or the Flow binary executable file. To use node_modules\.bin\flownode_modules/ .bin/flow make sure the path to Node.js is added to the PATH environment variable.

  4. In the Use Flow server for: area, specify the basis for coding assistance by selecting or clearing the following checkboxes:

    • Type checking: When this checkbox is selected, syntax and error highlighting is provided based on the data received from the Flow server. When the checkbox is cleared, only the basic internal IntelliJ IDEA highlighting is available.

    • Navigation, code completion, and type hinting: When this checkbox is selected, suggestion lists for reference resolution and code completiong contain both suggestions retrieved from integration with Flow and suggestions calculated by IntelliJ IDEA. When the checkbox is cleared, references are resolved through IntelliJ IDEA calculation only.

    The checkboxes are available only when the path to the Flow executable file is specified.
  5. Keep the Save all modified files automatically checkbox selected to ensure that Flow is applied continuously because Flow checks the current files only after all the other modified files are saved.

To generate a .flowconfig configuration file in your project

  • In the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12), type:

    flow init

To enable Flow in a file

  • Add a // @flow comment at the top of it: just type flow, press Tab, and IntelliJ IDEA will expand it into // @flow.

Last modified: 20 June 2019

See Also

Language and Framework-Specific Guidelines: