The tsconfig.json file was introduced in Typescript 1.5 and further enhanced in Typescript 1.6. It is a convenient way to put all your typescript related settings in one file so all scripts, editors and IDEs can recognize and adjust your project settings accordingly.

Microsoft has claimed that Visual Studio 2015 has 'full support' for TypeScript's tsconfig.json file.

This is bullshit.

1. Adventures opening tsconfig.json###

a) Inside Visual Studio project

If you create a 'project' in Visual Studio and add the tsconfig.json file to it, Visual Studio will completely ignore it. It will instead use its project settings only to build and configure your Typescript project.

So where is that aforementioned tsconfig.json support then? Well, since there is absolutely no documentation, lets try the next most logical thing.

b) Directly opening tscconfig.json

Lets open the tscconfig.json file individually. Hopefully VS will read the file and automatically set itself up according to it.

No luck. It just opened it like a regular .json file.

c) Randomly opening a .ts file

So i just randomly tried opening a .ts file directly in Visual Studio. And magically somehow, Visual Studio looked my tsconfig.json file a directory lower. This time it does recognize all the files mentioned in the tsconfig file.

So all is good then?


2. Compiler settings not picked up###

Edit a file and save it. It won't compile. You have to manually tell Visual Studio all the compiler settings, which you already mentioned in your tsconfig.json file by the way...

3. Solution Explorer is disabled###

The Solution Explorer basically disables itself. Right-clicking any item in the Solution Explorer no longer even brings a right-click menu.

Heck, you can't even add a file to this project!

4. Weird, 'flat' tree view###

Why do i see a flat tree of all my folders? How do i switch it to a 'hierarchical' tree view?

No idea, cause right-click is disabled.

4. What about all the other files?###

What about all the other files in my directory? I have a css folder, gulpfile.js and a bunch of other files. I can't really work without them, but Visual Studio wont even acknowledge them.

5. No JSX/TSX html highlighting###

The big feature in TypeScript 1.6 is 'JSX' support. But Visual Studio won't even highlight the html elements inside your .tsx files.

> Related bug

6. No documentation###

There is no documentation about the plugin. No place that lists how VS will recognize a tsconfig file or any of the Typescript related features.

Perhaps that is because the plugin is so completely broken.


Microsoft's claim of having 'full support' for tsconfig.json in Visual Studio 2015 is a complete farse. This reeks of a 'check the box' style, absolute minimal implementation.

What is surprising is that someone at Microsoft is paid to write these plugins. This is compared to the excellent Atom-typescript plugin written by a single person in their free time.

I hope Microsoft:

  • Stops spreading misinformation about the 'full support' of tsconfig in VS2015.
  • Gets rid of the moron developing the current plugin.
  • Hires @basarat, the indie author of the excellent Atom-typescript plugin.