How to use Prettier with ESLint

 by Robin Wieruch
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This tutorial is part 3 of 3 in this series.

The default setup for my JavaScript projects: Prettier + ESLint. Whereas Prettier is used to autoformat my code to enforce an opinionated code format, ESLint makes sure to keep my code style in a good shape. In this brief setup guide, I want to show you how to combine Prettier with ESLint without wasting any tear. If you haven't set up Prettier yet, follow the previous tutorial to get it running in VSCode. It shouldn't be much different for other IDEs/editors, because only the extension for Prettier in the IDE/editor changes. The Prettier configuration file itself and the "format on save"-feature should be pretty similar in most environments.

Benefits of using Prettier and ESLint

As mentioned earlier, whereas Prettier takes care of your code formatting, ESLint takes care of your code style. The former does everything automatically for you. If you have set up Prettier, you can configure it to format your file on saving it. That way, you never need to worry about your code formatting anymore. Since Prettier is highly opinionated, you can do only minor configurations.

The latter, ESLint, isn't intended to perform code style fixes automatically though. Instead, ESLint warns you about code smells. For instance, it can happen that you imported something from another file, but don't make use of the imported something in your current file. ESLint will warn you about an unused import. In contrast to Prettier, ESLint is highly configurable, because it doesn't come with pre-configured rules. Once you have installed ESLint, you can configure it yourself or use one of several pre-configured ESLint configurations (e.g. Airbnb Style Guide) for an opinionated code style without thinking about a good code style yourself.

How to combine ESLint and Prettier

We will start by installing the Prettier and ESLint extension/plugin for your editor/IDE. For instance, in VSCode you can find Prettier and ESLint extensions on the VS Code Marketplace. It might be quite similar for your IDE/editor of choice.

Then install two more packages which are in charge of combining Prettier and ESLint:

npm install --save-dev eslint-config-prettier eslint-plugin-prettier

While the former turns off all ESLint rules that could conflict with Prettier, the latter integrates the Prettier rules into ESLint rules.

Last but not least, set the Prettier rules in your ESLint configuration. Therefore, create an .eslintrc file in the root directory of your project and give it the following configuration:

"extends": ["prettier"],
"plugins": ["prettier"],
"rules": {
"prettier/prettier": ["error"]

That's it. You are ready to use Prettier and ESLint in your project without worrying about any conflicts. ESLint knows about all your Prettier rules by integrating all the rules that are enforced by it and removing all the rules that could conflict with it. Now there shouldn't be anything in your way for an improved code style and structure. If you need to exclude folders/files from your ESLint rules, you can add these in an .eslintignore file.

Bonus: Prettier and ESLint Configuration

As mentioned before, Prettier and ESLint can be configured to a certain degree (not much configuration options for Prettier, but rather more options for ESLint). For instance, the previous tutorial for setting up Prettier in VSCode has shown you how to set up Prettier for formatting on saving a file and uses the following configuration in a .prettierrc file in your project's root directory:

"singleQuote": false,
"printWidth": 120,

Prettier makes sure that only single quotes are used and that the line length is set to the given number of characters. In contrast, ESLint needs lots of configuration from your side, because it isn't as opinionated as Prettier. Therefore, instead of adding all the ESLint rules ourselves, we can use the most popular code style guide for JavaScript published by Airbnb. You can install it with all its dependencies:

npx install-peerdeps --dev eslint-config-airbnb

Afterward, integrate it in your .eslintrc file:

"extends": ["airbnb", "prettier"],
"plugins": ["prettier"],
"rules": {
"prettier/prettier": ["error"]

That's it. Both configuration files for Prettier and ESLint can be adjusted to your needs. If you need to add rules, you can do it with both files. If you need to disable a rule coming from Airbnb's style guide, you can do it in the ESLint configuration.

Keep reading about 

A brief step by step tutorial on how to install and use Prettier in VS Code (Visual Studio Code) . Prettier is an opinionated code formatter which ensures one unified code format. It can be used in…

A brief step by step tutorial on how to install and use ESLint in VS Code (Visual Studio Code) . ESLint supports you and teams to follow a common code style in your project. It can be used in VS…

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