What if you have created an awesome diagram with PlantUML, and you would like to include that diagram in your documentation?

In this small tutorial we can include a generated PlantUML diagram in typedoc (a way of documenting typescript packages). Note: Graphiz needs to be installed to run this diagram generation.

First install the typedoc plugin:

npm install typedoc --saveDev

Now, create a typedoc.json in the root of your project. This file describes how typedoc should generate the documentation.

    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "excludeExternals": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "hideGenerator": true,
    "ignoreCompilerErrors": true,
    "includeDeclarations": false,
    "mode": "file",
    "module": "commonjs",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "out": "./build/docs",
    "preserveConstEnums": true,
    "stripInternal": true,
    "suppressExcessPropertyErrors": true,
    "suppressImplicitAnyIndexErrors": true,
    "target": "ES5"

Next install node-plantuml https://ift.tt/1EOlnfx globally. We should install this globally so we can also use the CLI as a NPM script later.

$ npm install -g node-plantuml

Go ahead and put the following snippet in your package.json

"scripts": {
     "docs": "typedoc --options typedoc.json ./src/ && puml generate my-diagram.puml -o build/docs/my-diagram.png"

Finally we are able to create typescript documentation with our generated PNG diagram. If we would include the image in our README as follows:

<a href="./my-diagram.png" target="\_blank">![Diagram](./my-diagram.png)</a>

and run the following command from the command-line:

$ npm run docs

Our documentation at ./build/docs our index page shows the README with our generated diagram.