PhpStorm 2018.2 Help

New Watcher Dialog

File | Settings | Tools | File Watchers - New Watcher for Windows and Linux
PhpStorm | Preferences | Tools | File Watchers - New Watcher for macOS
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The dialog opens when you click the Add new.png or Edit icons actions edit svg button on the File Watchers page. Use the dialog box to create a project File Watcher based on a predefined PhpStorm File Watcher template or to edit an existing project File Watcher.

Each template contains the settings that are optimal for the selected tool. So in most cases, all you need is specify the path to the tool's executable.

Name

In the Name text box, type the name of the File Watcher. By default, PhpStorm suggests the name of the selected predefined template.

Files to watch

File typeUse this drop-down list to specify the expected type of input files. The File Watcher will consider only files of this type as subject for analyzing and processing. File types are recognised based on associations between file types and file extensions.
ScopeUse this drop-down list to define the range of files the File Watcher can be applied to. Changes in these files will invoke the File Watcher either immediately or upon save or frame deactivation, depending on the status of the Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher checkbox.

Choose one of the predefined scopes from the drop-down list or click browseButton and configure a custom scope in the Scopes dialog that opens.

Track only root files A root file is a file that is not included (e.g. via import) in any other file within the specified scope.
  • When this checkbox is selected, the File Watcher runs only against the root files.
  • When the checkbox is cleared, the File Watcher runs against the file from which it is invoked and against all the files in which this file is included recursively within the specified scope.
Note that the Scope setting overrides the Track only root files checkbox setting: if a dependency is outside the specified scope, the File Watcher is not applied to it.

Example
Suppose you have two files root.scss and another.scss where root.scss imports another.scss. With the Track only root files checkbox selected, editing another.scss invokes the File Watcher only on root.scss. Otherwise, if the checkbox is cleared, the File Watcher processes both of these files.

Tool to run on changes

In this area, configure interaction with the tool: specify the executable file to use, the arguments to pass to it, and customize the default template settings for input and output.

ProgramIn this text box, specify the path to the tool's executable file (.exe, .cmd, .bat, or other depending on the specific tool.) The path can be absolute or relative.
ArgumentsIn this text box, define the arguments to pass to the tool and thus influence its behaviour. Arguments are usually specified using macros, for example, $FileName$ or $FileNameWithoutExtension$, that will be replaced with actual file names.
Suppose, an action affects several files watched by the same File Watcher. As a result, the File Watcher wakes up on each changed file. However, running several tasks is redundant because the File Watcher processes all the watched files during the first run. To tell PhpStorm that running File Watcher just once in enough, even if several files have been changed, make sure there is no file-specific macro, such as $FileNameWithoutExtension$, in the Arguments field.
Output paths to refreshIn this text box, tell PhpStorm where it should search for the tool's output: the resulting source code, source maps, dependencies, or the file itself. The location of the output is tool-specific. Please note, that changing the value in the Output paths to refresh text box does not make the tool store its output in another place. If you still need to do that, specify the desired custom output location in the Arguments text box: type the output paths with colons as separators and use macros.

Working Directory and Environment Variables

Working directoryIn this text box, specify the directory to which the tool will be applied. Because the tool is always invoked in the context of a file, the default working directory is the directory of the current file. The default working directory is specified in all predefined templates through a $FileDir$ macros. To specify a custom working directory, type the path to it in the text box, or click browseButton and choose the directory in the Select Path dialog box, or click Insert Macro and select the desired macro from the list in the Macros dialog box.
Environment variables In this text box, specify the environment variables that the tool requires but that are not specified at the operating system level.

Advanced Options

Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher
  • When this checkbox is selected, PhpStorm immediately saves a file as soon as you edit it so the File Watcher wakes up immediately.
  • When the checkbox is cleared, the File Watcher starts upon save (File | Save All) or when you move the focus from PhpStorm (on frame deactivation).
Trigger the watcher on external changes
  • When this checkbox is selected, the File Watcher wakes up on any changes to a file from its scope, including changes made outside PhpStorm or the changes after you checkout a branch in you version control system.
  • When the checkbox is cleared, the File Watcher starts only when a file from its scope is updated from PhpStorm and ignores other changes, for example, changes received from your version control system.
Trigger watcher regardless of syntax errors
  • When the checkbox is selected, the File Watcher start regardless of the syntactical correctness of a file. The File Watcher will start upon update, save, or frame deactivation, depending on the status of the Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher checkbox.
  • When this checkbox is cleared, the File Watcher ignores all triggers in files that are syntactically invalid and starts only in error-free files.
Create output file from stdout
  • In most cases, this checkbox should be cleared because most tools write their output to the relevant files directly.
  • When this checkbox is selected, PhpStorm reads the native tool's output (standard output stream (stdout)) and generates the resulting file from it. The name of the generated file is taken from the Output paths to refresh field. If the field contains several names, the first one in the list is used.
Show console From this drop-down list, choose when you want the File Watcher to open the console.
  • Always: with this option, the console always opens after the tool execution is completed.
  • On error: with this option, the console opens after the tool execution only when the Exit code is different from 0.
  • Never: choose this option to suppress opening the console at all.
Output Filters In this text box, specify the output filters associated with the tool. Based on these filters, absolute file paths and line numbers in the tool's output are converted into hyperlinks. Clicking those links opens the corresponding files in the editor.
For example, to get useful error messages displayed, type $FILE_PATH$:$LINE$ $MESSAGE$
Last modified: 28 June 2018

See Also