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Typescript’s Omit: Pick’s Mirror

October 18, 2019

I’ve written in the past about the benefits of Pick in writing better interfaces with Typescript.

Today, I found out about Pick’s mirror: Omit.1 Quick refresher: Pick is useful for maintaining the type checking when we only want a select number of properties from an existing interface (as opposed to Partial). Omit behaves similarly, but in the inverse: we use it where we want to keep all, but a select number of properties from an interface.

I think of both Pick and Omit similarly to extends in so far as they’re building upon some base. You can think of them similarly to recipes:

  1. Extends uses all of the ingredients in the original recipe and then adds some more.
  2. Pick takes all of the original ingredients and plucks a few out for use in a smaller dish.
  3. Omit takes all of the original ingredients, but sets aside some of the more specific ingredients because someone in the party is “allergic” to cilantro.

Using Omit

To show how Omit works, let’s use the same example we’ve used in the past, IMyTable

interface IMyTable {
  id: string
  foreign_id: string
  name: string

  is_enabled: boolean
  is_custom: boolean
  display_order?: number

  name_en: string
  name_sp?: string
  name_fr?: string

  description_en?: string
  description_sp?: string
  description_fr?: string
}

Let’s say that we want to omit the foreign_id. The type is:

type NewTableProps = Omit<IMyTable, 'foreign_id'>

This is saying that we will have access to all of IMyTable except "foriegn_id”.

Similarly, if we wanted to exclude multiple properties, we use the |:

type NewTableProps = Omit<IMyTable, 'foreign_id' | 'is_custom'>

Conclusion

Just like Pick is useful when you want to keep the benefits of type checking and increase the specificity of the interface when all you need is a few attributes, Omit serves a similar role when you want to exclude a few.

I found this particularly useful when dealing with intrinsic HTML elements. For example, Omit<JSX.IntrinsicElements['button'], 'css'>.

Footnotes

  • 1 Interestingly, whereas Pick is noted in the Typescript documentation on Advanced Types, I could not find a reference to Omit. I did, however, find this post on Omit And Projection Types by Tomas Brambora useful for understanding how to use Omit.

Stephen Weiss

Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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