Top 12 Productivity Tips for WebStorm and Angular – Part 2

In this 2-part series, Google Developer Experts Jurgen Van de Moere and Todd Motto share their 12 favorite productivity tips for developing Angular applications using WebStorm.

You can check out part one here. In this second part, Todd shares his personal top 7 WebStorm features that allow him to increase his productivity on a daily basis:

  • Use Import Path Calculation
  • Live Templates
  • Run Tests within the IDE
  • Travel through Time
  • Use TypeScript Parameter Hints
  • Navigate using Breadcrumbs
  • And using WebStorm to look up Angular Documentation

Each tip will power up your productivity while developing Angular applications in WebStorm. Let’s explore these tips.

Before we get started!

When making changes to settings, remember that WebStorm allows you to change Settings/Preferences at an IDE scope and at a project scope separately.

Tip 6: Import Path Calculation

By default, WebStorm will resolve your import paths relative to the file. This setting will satisfy most projects and avoid unnecessary path editing. It’s also the method used for projects generated with the Angular CLI.

What’s fantastic about WebStorm is that you don’t have to type these import statements yourself! When you need to use a construct that would usually be imported, just type it where you need it. WebStorm will either suggest the construct to import through the AutoComplete context menu, or highlight the construct and give you the option to import it by pressing Option + Enter.

WebStorm will create a new import statement at the top of the document for you, or add the construct to an existing import group that is using the same source library.

WebStorm gives you other specialized options to handle your imports. For projects that require it, you can instruct WebStorm to calculate import paths relative to the tsconfig.json file location. If you decide to roll up your exports using a barrel index.ts file to import your components (read more about the Barrel technique) then you can use Use directory import (Node-style module resolution). This will use the Node.js module resolution strategy, instead of TypeScript’s classic module resolution strategy.

When importing submodules that don’t require the entire module to be imported, add that module to the Do not import exactly from list. WebStorm will skip the specified path during the automatic import. For example, instead of having:

import {Observable} from 'rxjs'

Adding rxjs to the list yields:

import {Observable} from 'rxjs/Observable'

WebStorms skips the rxjs module and imports the Observable submodule automatically for you!

Import Path Calculation

Extra tip: Format input to use space inside curly brackets in Preferences | Editor | Code style | TypeScript – Spaces – Within – ES6 import/export braces.

Import Path Calculation

Tip 7: Use Live Templates

When you find yourself writing certain patterns of code repeatedly, create a Live Template to quickly scaffold the block of code. WebStorm already comes with some predefined Live Templates that you may modify to fit your development style.

To create a Live Template, navigate to:

  • [macOS] WebStorm | Preferences | Editor | Live Templates
  • [Windows / Linux] File | Settings | Editor | Live Templates

You’ll see that WebStorm has already bundled the predefined Templates into categories. I created a category to bundle my ngrx Live Templates by clicking on the + sign and choosing “Template Group.” I then created a new Live template within it by clicking on the + sign again, but choosing Live Template this time.

Let me walk you briefly through the elements that make a Live Template a productivity success:

  • Abbreviation: The shortcut you’ll type into the Editor to invoke your template.
  • Description: Tells you what the template does when invoked.
  • Template text: This is the code fragment to be scaffolded upon invocation. Take advantage of the powerful Live Template Variables that allow you to replace them with your desired text upon scaffolding.
  • Context: Choose in which language or pieces of code WebStorm should be sensitive to the Template.
  • Options: Define which key will allow you to expand the template and reformat it, according to the style settings defined on WebStorm | Preferences | Editor | Code Style.

You are ready to try out your template. Open a file that honors the context you defined and type your shortcut, press the defined expansion key and watch your template appear for you! If you defined any variables, the cursor will be placed where the first variable should be entered. If there are other variables defined, you can use tab to navigate to them – no need to click.

Use Live Templates

Tip 8: Running Tests

WebStorm is an excellent testing tool. You can run a variety of JavaScript tests right from the IDE, as long as you have the Node.js runtime environment installed on your computer and the NodeJS plugin enabled. Here are some productivity tips when running tests.

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Source: Sitepoint