Document your Typescript React components with TSDoc and export into Storybook-friendly JSON 🤖



react-tsdoc is an WIP tool to extract information from React Typescript component files with TSDoc for documentation generation purposes that elaborates on the TSDoc standard; in fact, it's based on the @microsoft/tsdoc parser.

Instead of doing traditional interface documentation, react-tsdoc opts in for a custom TSDoc tag named @prop which allows you to document a component like the following:

 * Slick button
 * @prop label - Sets the button text
const Button = ({
}: {
  label: string
}) => (


interface ButtonProps {
  label: string

 * Slick button
 * @prop label - Sets the button text
const Button = ({
}: ButtonProps) => (

Similar to react-docgen, react-tsdoc is a low level tool to extract information about React components. I am currently working on a Babel plugin that works with this project to integrate with Storybook.


To install react-tsdoc just run:

npm install react-tsdoc

Example parser command:

react-tsdoc ./src/components --output ./docs/output.json

Why @prop?

I've seen a lot of codebases that define interfaces at the JSDoc "block" level, instead of "inline" comments above each interface key. On a personal stylistic note, I prefer the former, and additionally, as TSDoc does not allow interface definitions at the top-level, I didn't have much of a choice but to write my own parser.

Basically @prop Foo - Bar at the top of a React component would be the same as writing:

 * Bar

At the interface level. It's not a large change and as TSDocs allows extending the types via tsdoc.json file, it should still be pretty happy.

Of course, you'll still want to use normal "inline" interface descriptions for your more (not React component) interfaces.

Adding to tsdoc.json

Adding support for the @prop tag to your TSDoc config is easy! Create a tsdoc.json if you don't already have one and add this to it:

  "$schema": "",
  "tagDefinitions": [
      "tagName": "@prop",
      "syntaxKind": "block"

Another Docgen?

Though react-docgen, typedoc, and react-docgen-typescript are all wonderful tools, defining props can be a challenge, especially if you are destructuring props.

As Shilman of Storybook noted in this Gist, Storybook plans to adopt react-docgen for SB7, however react-docgen is based on an outdated Doc parser (doctrine) and does not support the TSDoc standard.

I have found that interface documentation can be rather cumbersome and being able to see what each respective prop is used for at a glance is extremely handy.

Ultimately, this is just an excuse for me to play around with ASTs, but I hope others find some use in this project.


Here's an example component with the associated parser output...


 * Button
 * @prop disabled - Sets if field is disabled
 * @prop label - Sets the button text
const Button = ({
	disabled = false,
}: {
	disabled?: boolean
	label: string
}) => {
	return (
		<button disabled={disabled}>


  "description": "Button",
  "props": {
    "disabled": {
      "description": "Sets if field is disabled",
      "required": false,
      "tsType": {
        "name": "boolean"
      "defaultValue": {
        "value": "false",
        "computed": false
    "label": {
      "description": "Sets the button text",
      "required": true,
      "tsType": {
        "name": "string"

Supported Types

  • Simple (foo: string, bar: boolean)
  • Literals (foo: 'bar')
  • Tuples (foo: [string, number])
  • Unions (foo: string | boolean)
  • Typed arrays (foo: string[])
  • Object signatures ({ foo: string})
  • Index signatures ([foo: string]: string)
  • Function signatures (foo: (x: string) => void)
  • Intersect (foo: string & number)
  • Nullable modifier (foo: ?number)
  • Typed classes (foo: Class<bar>)

Extended support coming soon.


I've heavily commented a lot of the functions as this has been an AST learning experience for me, and I hope others find it easy to understand and contribute.

To build, just run:

npm install && npm run build

This will build the ./lib folder and then you can execute the CLI from the /bin directory, like this:

bin/react-tsdoc.js ./src/components ./output.json && cat ./output.json

To run the tests:

npm run test
  • Write Tests

    Write Tests

    It's imperative to write some tests for the various functions in the parser.

    ~Thinking about using Jest, but debating between a centralized tests folder or directory-specific __tests__ folders.~

    Settled on the __tests__ folder convention.

    Files to write tests for:

    • [x] utils/paramsHelper.ts
    • [x] utils/reactComponentHelper.ts
    • [x] utils/tsDocHelper.ts
    • [x] utils/tsTypesHelper.ts
    • [x] parser.js
    opened by noahbuscher 1
  • Improve React Component Helper

    Improve React Component Helper

    Right now the tool basically just checks if a variable is the default export, has a capital first letter, and is a variable declaration or function declaration. It might be smart to see if the component returns JSX or a React function.

    opened by noahbuscher 0
  • Write Webpack Loader

    Write Webpack Loader

    It'll be important to write a Webpack loader to affix the __docgenInfo to the components with the doc object so this works as expected with Storybook, considering that Storybook does not allow shoe-horning in a custom docgen.

    Perhaps worth making a more generalized loader and providing a config for react-tsdoc? Seems like a common(ish) want.

    Read more here.

    opened by noahbuscher 0
  • Add Support for Types

    Add Support for Types

    Imperative to add support for rolling up types into the docs.

    Take a look at this table for how to format various types as you come across them.


    • [x] Simple types
    • [x] Literals
    • [ ] Typed classes
    • [x] Object signatures
    • [x] Function signatures
    • [x] Callable-object / function-object signatures
    • [x] Tuple
    • [x] Union
    • [ ] Intersect
    • [ ] Nullable modifier
    opened by noahbuscher 0
Noah Buscher
Better done than perfect.
Noah Buscher
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