Organize TypeScript Imports with Prettier

  • #plugin
  • #prettier
  • #typescript

As your TypeScript projects grow, it’s easy to lose track of your imports. Especially if you’re working in a team, it’s important to have a consistent way of importing modules. Prettier itself cannot help you keep them organized out of the box.

I tried several Prettier plugins I found on the web, but none of them really worked for me. But finally I found a solution that works for me and I want to share it with you.

A polished cartoon-style illustration showcasing a computer screen with a JavaScript code editor organizing imports into a neat list. Subtle arrows indicate sorting, set against a minimal workspace with a wooden desk, a muted coffee cup, and a green plant. The color palette is organic and subdued, focusing on the tranquility of coding.
A polished cartoon-style illustration showcasing a computer screen in a minimal workspace with a wooden desk, a muted coffee cup, and a green plant with a JavaScript code editor organizing imports into a neat list.

The Problem

As TypeScript projects become larger and teams grow, managing imports can quickly become a daunting task. It’s essential to maintain a clean and organized structure to facilitate easier code maintenance and readability. While Prettier is a fantastic tool for code formatting, it doesn’t inherently solve the challenge of organizing imports.

So as time goes by, your imports might end up looking like this:

import { useRef, useState } from 'react'
import { format, parseISO } from 'date-fns'
import MyComponent from './MyComponent'
import { XYZ } from 'library'
import { ABC as AliasABC } from 'another-library'
import HelperUtil from '../utils/HelperUtil'
import { useEffect } from 'react'
import { Button, TextInput } from 'my-ui-library'
import type { User, UserSettings } from '@/types'
import { fetchUser, updateUser } from '@/services/userService'
import { Toast } from '@/components/Toast'
import { useUserContext } from '@/contexts/UserContext'
import { Icon, Loader } from 'components'
import { debounce } from 'lodash-es'
import SomeLocalComponent from '../SomeLocalComponent'
import AnotherUtil from '../../utils/AnotherUtil'
import { Dialog } from '@/components/Dialog'
import { logError, logInfo } from '@/utils/logger'

The Solution

After exploring various prettier plugins without success, I discovered a solution that effectively addresses this issue: the @trivago/prettier-plugin-sort-imports package. This plugin is a game-changer, offering a way to automatically sort import declarations in a consistent manner. By integrating this plugin into your development workflow, you can ensure that your imports are always neatly organized, following a specific order that you define.

How to Configure Order and Separation

First, install the plugin using your favorite package manager.

Then, configure your .prettierrc file to specify the order in which you want your imports to be sorted. This customization is a powerful feature of the plugin, allowing you to tailor the import sorting to your project’s specific needs.

"plugins": ["@trivago/prettier-plugin-sort-imports"],
"sortImports": true,
"importOrder": ["^@core/(.*)$", "^@server/(.*)$", "^[./]"],
"importOrderSeparation": true

In the example above the imports are going to be sorted in the following order:

  1. All imports starting with @core
  2. All imports starting with @server
  3. All other imports

I especially like the importOrderSeparation flag which separates the import groups with an empty line. This makes the imports even more readable.

Then the imports will be sorted like this:

import { ModuleA, ModuleB } from '@core/utils'
import { ServiceA, ServiceB } from '@server/services'
import ComponentA from './MyComponentA'
import ComponentB from '../MyComponentB'
import { helperFunction, anotherHelperFunction } from './utils'
import type { TypeA, TypeB } from './types'

For more detailed instructions and configuration options, refer to the plugin’s README.

Usage with Astro

While I was integrating the plugin into a quite huge Vue.js TypeScript SPA project without any issues, I also wanted to use it in my personal Astro projects. Unfortunately, I had to find out that it’s not quite working so for. There is an open issue for that. Let’s hope this finds its way into the plugin soon.


Keeping imports organized is crucial for maintaining clean code, especially in large TypeScript projects. The @trivago/prettier-plugin-sort-imports provides a robust solution for automating this process, ensuring consistency across your codebase. Embrace this plugin to enhance your coding standards and streamline your development process.