JavaScript code intelligence for atom with tern.js and autocomplete-plus
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Latest commit 1137632 May 3, 2017


JavaScript code intelligence for atom with Tern. Adds support for ES5, ES6, ES7, Node.js, jQuery, Angular and more. Extendable via plugins. Uses suggestion provider by autocomplete-plus.


Configure your project

  • Open any JavaScript file from within your project
  • Navigate to Packages -> Atom Ternjs -> Configure project
  • The config view appears.
  • Hit "Save & Restart Server" to create/update the .tern-project file


If configure project does not work

Example .tern-project file (customize to your own needs):

  "ecmaVersion": 6,
  "libs": [
  "loadEagerly": [
  "dontLoad": [
  "plugins": {
    "es_modules": {},
    "node": {},
    "doc_comment": {
      "fullDocs": true,
      "strong": true

In order to use third party plugins read the Third party plugins section!

In order to use third party plugins from within your project's node_modules read the Third party plugins local section! This is also an alternative if Third party plugins aren't working.


  • 5: use ECMAScript5
  • 6: use ECMAScript6 (default)
  • 7: use ECMAScript7


  • browser: completion for vanilla js (optional)
  • jquery: completion for jQuery (optional)
  • underscore: completion for underscore (optional)
  • chai: completion for chai (optional)


  • loadEagerly: provide the path to your projects js. For relative paths do not use ./ as a prefix. This sometimes leads to an unexpected behaviour.
  • loadEagerly is expensive. Do not add paths like node_modules.
  • dontLoad: can be used to prevent Tern from loading certain files. It also takes an array of file names or glob patterns.



List of keybindings. To use your own keybindings goto atom-ternjs package settings and disable keybindings.

Third party plugins

In order to use third party plugins (e.g. tern-node-express):

$ cd ~/.atom/packages/atom-ternjs
$ npm install tern-node-express

Add the plugin to your .tern-project file:

  "ecmaVersion": 6,
  "libs": [
  "loadEagerly": [
  "plugins": {
    "node-express": {}

Third party plugins are still an issue and sometimes do not work as expected, especially if the plugin requires a tern version that does not match the tern version that is used by atom-ternjs.

Restart the server: Packages -> Atom Ternjs -> Restart server

Third party plugins local

Example for node-express. Open node_modules/tern-node-express/tern-express.js


(function(mod) {
  if (typeof exports == "object" && typeof module == "object") // CommonJS
    return mod(require("tern/lib/infer"), require("tern/lib/tern"));
  if (typeof define == "function" && define.amd) // AMD
    return define([ "tern/lib/infer", "tern/lib/tern" ], mod);
  mod(tern, tern);


(function(mod) {
  return mod(process.__infer, process.__tern);

Restart Atom.

.tern-project created/modified

  • After the file was created or has been modified, restart the server via Packages -> Atom Ternjs -> Restart server


  • Completion (autocompletion triggers automatically), or via the keybindings:
    • ctrl+space
    • ctrl+alt+space (force autocompletion in any context)



  • Find references (set your cursor position to one of variable, function or instance -> open context-menu and trigger "Find references" or use the keybindings:
    • ctrl+shift+r (macOS, Windows)
    • ctrl+alt+shift+e (Linux)

Click any item in the generated reference-list and navigate directly to file and position


  • Documentation

    • Show documentation for the thing under the cursor via alt+o (macOS, Windows, Linux) atom-ternjs
    • Also displayed if a suggestion with a valid documentation is selected in the autocomplete-plus select-list
  • Find definition (set your cursor position to one of variable, function or instance -> open context-menu and trigger "Find definition") or use the keybindings:

    • cmd+click (macOS, Windows, Linux), requires Since cmd+click is also used for multi-line editing in macOS you should change the default hyperclick settings.
    • ctrl+alt+shift+d (macOS, Windows, Linux)
  • Navigate back or forward

    • ctrl+shift+cmd+left (macOS, Windows, Linux)
    • ctrl+shift+cmd+right (macOS, Windows, Linux)
  • Rename variable (set your cursor position to a variable -> open context-menu and trigger "Rename") or use the keybindings:

    • ctrl+alt+c (macOS, Windows)
    • ctrl+alt+shift+c (Linux)