Part I: ESLint + Prettier

ESLint + Prettier

Usually this setup raises two questions:

Do you really need prettier and ESLint?

Yes, you probably need both. They seems to solve the same problem (but they don’t) and certainly there is some overlap, but the goals are different. As the Prettier docs puts it: use Prettier to enforce a consistent formatting, use ESLint to catch bugs.

But why run prettier “inside” ESLint?

You certainly don’t have to. Prettier has its own binary that supports running it on a subset of files and fixing them, and most editors have decent support for Prettier.

However, running both sometimes confuses the IDE, specially if you configure it to auto-fix the file on save. If they are misconfigured, ESLint autofix may do a change that makes Prettier unhappy and it will revert it on save, getting a weird conflict that usually ends up with a permanent squiggly red line in your editor that you can’t easily get rid off.

Another reason is to take advantage of all ESLint features, like having composable config files per directory, overriding some set of rules for files matching a glob or generate statistics about number of errors in your files. By running Prettier inside ESLint you automatically tap into all those features for free.


To have Prettier running as a part of ESLint, you need to install a few dependencies:

npm install --save-dev prettier eslint-plugin-prettier eslint-config-prettier
  • prettier: the actual Prettier package
  • eslint-plugin-prettier: is a ESLint plugin that allows running Prettier as a lint rule. It exposes a rule named prettier/prettier.
  • eslint-config-prettier: is a preset that disables ESLint rules that conflict with Prettier checks.

Then, in your .eslintrc config file you need to add:

{
	"extends": ["plugin:prettier/recommended"]
}

This does three things for you:

  • Enables eslint-plugin-prettier
  • Sets the rule prettier/prettier to "error"
  • Extends eslint-config-prettier

And that’s pretty much it, now you should see Prettier errors as ESLint errors:

Prettier complaining about double-quotes, via ESLint

The rule prettier/prettier is auto-fixable, so if you run ESLint with eslint --fix . (or configure your IDE to automatically apply eslint fixes), it should fix all errors reported by Prettier.

Configuring Prettier rules

The new prettier/prettier rule will read the defaults from .prettierrc (like prettier). But if you want, you can configure it directly in .eslintrc, including setting overrides for some parts of your code.

To do so, you can configure it like any other ESLint rule:

{
    "rules": {
        "prettier/prettier": ["error", {
            "singleQuote": true
        }]
    }
}

See more options in the plugin docs

Avoiding conflicts with ESLint

Prettier and ESLint have some overlap. For example, both can be configured to check for a particular quote style. When using Prettier+ESLint, it is recommended to disable ESLint rules that overlap and let Prettier do its job. The plugin eslint-config-prettier does exactly that, and if you followed the installation steps described above it should be active.

However, that is not the only case. For example, if you use eslint-plugin-react it enables some rules that also conflict with Prettier. Similarly, the best option is disable eslint-plugin-react rules that conflict with Prettier:

{
    "extends": [
        "plugin:prettier/recommended",
        "prettier/react",
    ]
}

In general, if you use eslint-plugin-foo, you should also extend from prettier/foo (if available) to disable the conflicting rules. This is the list of supported plugins.


That’s all, I hope you find this setup useful đŸ™‚

One thought on “Part I: ESLint + Prettier

  1. Hey, Sergio! This post helped me a lot! It’s always pretty confusing to me trying to get all these tools working together, I also use NeoVim on top of that, but this put me on the right track.

    Since it’s been a few months since this post I wanted to add that in your `.eslintrc.json` it’s no longer necessary to add `”prettier/react”`, from version 8.0 onwards (https://github.com/prettier/eslint-config-prettier/blob/main/CHANGELOG.md#version-800-2021-02-21) of `eslint-prettier-config` you just need to extend `prettier`.

    Like

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