WebStorm 2022.3 Help

Flow

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

Before you start

Make sure you have Node.js on your computer.

Installing and configuring 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.

Learn more from the Flow official website.

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

Change the project language level to Flow

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages & 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 package or the Flow binary executable file. To use node_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 WebStorm 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 WebStorm. When the checkbox is cleared, references are resolved through WebStorm 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.

Enable Flow

  1. To add a .flowconfig, open the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12) and type:

    flow init

    To add .flowconfig to a specific folder, type:

    cd <path to the folder to check>

    flow init

  2. To enable Flow in a file, add a // @flow comment at the top of the file: just type flow, press Tab, and WebStorm will expand it into // @flow.

    If you still don't have a .flowconfig yet, WebStorm shows a tooltip prompting you to add a configuration file to the current folder.

    Tooltip: Add .flowconfig to the current folder

    To choose between the current folder and the project root, click More actions or press Alt+Enter.

    Tooltip: More actions

Monitoring errors

WebStorm lets you view errors detected by Flow in the Problems tool window. To open the tool window, select View | Tool Windows | Problems from the main menu or click the widget in the right corner of the editor.

Inspection widget

The tool window consists of two panes.

  • The Errors pane shows a list of all the discrepancies detected in the file which is opened in the active editor tab. At the top the full path to the file is displayed.

    Errors pane

    To get more in formation about an error, select Show Error Details from the context menu of its description.

    Errors pane: details shown
  • The Project Errors pane shows a list of all the discrepancies detected in all the files in the current project. The error messages are grouped by files in which they were detected.

    Project Errors pane

Learn more from Running inspections and Get results and fix problems.

Last modified: 05 December 2022