Elijah Wyatt

On Web Development, Startups & Film Photography

Compiling Tagged GraphQL Query Literals in TypeScript with Rollup

August 13, 2019

I am currently converting our company’s soon-to-be open-source NPM library from JavaScript to TypeScript; and earlier today, I got stuck on a roadblock.

I’m using Rollup and rollup-plugin-typescript2 to compile and bundle the library. Unfortunately, it does not have support for GraphQL queries tagged by graphql-tag:

import gql from 'graphql-tag';

// this produces "gql is not defined" error
const SOME_QUERY = gql`
  ...some graphql query

Worse, since Rollup is a relatively new bundling tool (compared to something like Webpack), there’s not much information out there on how to configure it to compile GraphQL tagged literals.

Through hours of digging through Google and library documentation, I found this package called ts-transform-graphql-tag. There’s another problem though, while the package’s README, discusses how to integrate it with Webpack and Fusebox, it doesn’t mention anything about Rollup.

Miraculously, I found a way to make it work. Here’s how to do it:

First, install the package:

npm install ts-transform-graphql-tag --save-dev

Then in rollup.config.js, add the following:

// imports...
import typescript from 'rollup-plugin-typescript2';
import { getTransformer } from 'ts-transform-graphql-tag';

const graphQLTransformer = () => ({
  before: [getTransformer()],

export default [
    input: 'src/index.ts',
    // rollup options...
    plugins: [
      // rollup plugins...
        // typescript plugin options...
        transformers: [graphQLTransformer],

That’s it! Do take note that at the time of writing (rollup-plugin-typescript v0.22.1), TypeScript transformers are still in experimental stage. It also requires TypeScript version 2.4.1 and up.

Elijah Wyatt

Written and maintained by Elijah Wyatt.

JavaScript Developer, Live Coder, Community Manager, Startup Founder, Film Photographer