Code Quality Rank: L5
Monthly Downloads: 0
Programming language: JavaScript
License: MIT License
Tags: Command Line Utilities     CLI     Tty     Command     Prompt     Stdin     Menu    
Latest version: v7.3.3

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A collection of common interactive command line user interfaces.

Table of Contents

  1. Documentation
    1. Installation
    2. Examples
    3. Methods
    4. Objects
    5. Questions
    6. Answers
    7. Separator
    8. Prompt Types
  2. User Interfaces and Layouts
    1. Reactive Interface
  3. Support
  4. Known issues
  5. News
  6. Contributing
  7. License
  8. Plugins

Goal and Philosophy

Inquirer.js strives to be an easily embeddable and beautiful command line interface for Node.js (and perhaps the "CLI Xanadu").

Inquirer.js should ease the process of

  • providing error feedback
  • asking questions
  • parsing input
  • validating answers
  • managing hierarchical prompts

Note: Inquirer.js provides the user interface and the inquiry session flow. If you're searching for a full blown command line program utility, then check out commander, vorpal or args.



npm install --save inquirer
import inquirer from 'inquirer';

    /* Pass your questions in here */
  .then((answers) => {
    // Use user feedback for... whatever!!
  .catch((error) => {
    if (error.isTtyError) {
      // Prompt couldn't be rendered in the current environment
    } else {
      // Something else went wrong

Inquirer v9 and higher are native esm modules, this mean you cannot use the commonjs syntax require('inquirer') anymore. If you want to learn more about using native esm in Node, I'd recommend reading the following guide. Alternatively, you can rely on an older version until you're ready to upgrade your environment:

npm install --save inquirer@^8.0.0

This will then allow import inquirer with the commonjs require:

const inquirer = require('inquirer');

Examples (Run it and see it)

Check out the packages/inquirer/examples/ folder for code and interface examples.

node packages/inquirer/examples/pizza.js
node packages/inquirer/examples/checkbox.js
# etc...


inquirer.prompt(questions, answers) -> promise

Launch the prompt interface (inquiry session)

  • questions (Array) containing Question Object (using the reactive interface, you can also pass a Rx.Observable instance)
  • answers (object) contains values of already answered questions. Inquirer will avoid asking answers already provided here. Defaults {}.
  • returns a Promise
inquirer.registerPrompt(name, prompt)

Register prompt plugins under name.

  • name (string) name of the this new prompt. (used for question type)
  • prompt (object) the prompt object itself (the plugin)
inquirer.createPromptModule() -> prompt function

Create a self contained inquirer module. If you don't want to affect other libraries that also rely on inquirer when you overwrite or add new prompt types.

const prompt = inquirer.createPromptModule();

prompt(questions).then(/* ... */);



A question object is a hash containing question related values:

  • type: (String) Type of the prompt. Defaults: input - Possible values: input, number, confirm, list, rawlist, expand, checkbox, password, editor
  • name: (String) The name to use when storing the answer in the answers hash. If the name contains periods, it will define a path in the answers hash.
  • message: (String|Function) The question to print. If defined as a function, the first parameter will be the current inquirer session answers. Defaults to the value of name (followed by a colon).
  • default: (String|Number|Boolean|Array|Function) Default value(s) to use if nothing is entered, or a function that returns the default value(s). If defined as a function, the first parameter will be the current inquirer session answers.
  • choices: (Array|Function) Choices array or a function returning a choices array. If defined as a function, the first parameter will be the current inquirer session answers. Array values can be simple numbers, strings, or objects containing a name (to display in list), a value (to save in the answers hash), and a short (to display after selection) properties. The choices array can also contain a Separator.
  • validate: (Function) Receive the user input and answers hash. Should return true if the value is valid, and an error message (String) otherwise. If false is returned, a default error message is provided.
  • filter: (Function) Receive the user input and answers hash. Returns the filtered value to be used inside the program. The value returned will be added to the Answers hash.
  • transformer: (Function) Receive the user input, answers hash and option flags, and return a transformed value to display to the user. The transformation only impacts what is shown while editing. It does not modify the answers hash.
  • when: (Function, Boolean) Receive the current user answers hash and should return true or false depending on whether or not this question should be asked. The value can also be a simple boolean.
  • pageSize: (Number) Change the number of lines that will be rendered when using list, rawList, expand or checkbox.
  • prefix: (String) Change the default prefix message.
  • suffix: (String) Change the default suffix message.
  • askAnswered: (Boolean) Force to prompt the question if the answer already exists.
  • loop: (Boolean) Enable list looping. Defaults: true
  • waitUserInput: (Boolean) Flag to enable/disable wait for user input before opening system editor - Defaults: true

default, choices(if defined as functions), validate, filter and when functions can be called asynchronously. Either return a promise or use this.async() to get a callback you'll call with the final value.

  /* Preferred way: with promise */
  filter() {
    return new Promise(/* etc... */);

  /* Legacy way: with this.async */
  validate: function (input) {
    // Declare function as asynchronous, and save the done callback
    const done = this.async();

    // Do async stuff
    setTimeout(function() {
      if (typeof input !== 'number') {
        // Pass the return value in the done callback
        done('You need to provide a number');
      // Pass the return value in the done callback
      done(null, true);
    }, 3000);


A key/value hash containing the client answers in each prompt.

  • Key The name property of the question object
  • Value (Depends on the prompt)
    • confirm: (Boolean)
    • input : User input (filtered if filter is defined) (String)
    • number: User input (filtered if filter is defined) (Number)
    • rawlist, list : Selected choice value (or name if no value specified) (String)


A separator can be added to any choices array:

// In the question object
choices: [ "Choice A", new inquirer.Separator(), "choice B" ]

// Which'll be displayed this way
[?] What do you want to do?
 > Order a pizza
   Make a reservation
   Ask opening hours
   Talk to the receptionist

The constructor takes a facultative String value that'll be use as the separator. If omitted, the separator will be --------.

Separator instances have a property type equal to separator. This should allow tools façading Inquirer interface from detecting separator types in lists.

Prompt types

Note:: allowed options written inside square brackets ([]) are optional. Others are required.

List - {type: 'list'}

Take type, name, message, choices[, default, filter, loop] properties. (Note: default must be set to the index or value of one of the entries in choices)

List prompt

Raw List - {type: 'rawlist'}

Take type, name, message, choices[, default, filter, loop] properties. (Note: default must be set to the index of one of the entries in choices)

Raw list prompt

Expand - {type: 'expand'}

Take type, name, message, choices[, default] properties. Note: default must be the index of the desired default selection of the array. If default key not provided, then help will be used as default choice

Note that the choices object will take an extra parameter called key for the expand prompt. This parameter must be a single (lowercased) character. The h option is added by the prompt and shouldn't be defined by the user.

See examples/expand.js for a running example.

Expand prompt closed Expand prompt expanded

Checkbox - {type: 'checkbox'}

Take type, name, message, choices[, filter, validate, default, loop] properties. default is expected to be an Array of the checked choices value.

Choices marked as {checked: true} will be checked by default.

Choices whose property disabled is truthy will be unselectable. If disabled is a string, then the string will be outputted next to the disabled choice, otherwise it'll default to "Disabled". The disabled property can also be a synchronous function receiving the current answers as argument and returning a boolean or a string.

Checkbox prompt

Confirm - {type: 'confirm'}

Take type, name, message, [default] properties. default is expected to be a boolean if used.

Confirm prompt

Input - {type: 'input'}

Take type, name, message[, default, filter, validate, transformer] properties.

Input prompt

Input - {type: 'number'}

Take type, name, message[, default, filter, validate, transformer] properties.

Password - {type: 'password'}

Take type, name, message, mask,[, default, filter, validate] properties.

Password prompt

Note that mask is required to hide the actual user input.

Editor - {type: 'editor'}

Take type, name, message[, default, filter, validate, postfix, waitUserInput] properties

Launches an instance of the users preferred editor on a temporary file. Once the user exits their editor, the contents of the temporary file are read in as the result. The editor to use is determined by reading the $VISUAL or $EDITOR environment variables. If neither of those are present, notepad (on Windows) or vim (Linux or Mac) is used.

The postfix property is useful if you want to provide an extension.

Use in Non-Interactive Environments

prompt() requires that it is run in an interactive environment. (I.e. One where process.stdin.isTTY is true). If prompt() is invoked outside of such an environment, then prompt() will return a rejected promise with an error. For convenience, the error will have a isTtyError property to programmatically indicate the cause.

User Interfaces and layouts

Along with the prompts, Inquirer offers some basic text UI.

Bottom Bar - inquirer.ui.BottomBar

This UI present a fixed text at the bottom of a free text zone. This is useful to keep a message to the bottom of the screen while outputting command outputs on the higher section.

const ui = new inquirer.ui.BottomBar();

// pipe a Stream to the log zone

// Or simply write output
ui.log.write('something just happened.');
ui.log.write('Almost over, standby!');

// During processing, update the bottom bar content to display a loader
// or output a progress bar, etc
ui.updateBottomBar('new bottom bar content');

Reactive interface

Internally, Inquirer uses the JS reactive extension to handle events and async flows.

This mean you can take advantage of this feature to provide more advanced flows. For example, you can dynamically add questions to be asked:

const prompts = new Rx.Subject();

// At some point in the future, push new questions
  /* question... */
  /* question... */

// When you're done

And using the return value process property, you can access more fine grained callbacks:

inquirer.prompt(prompts).ui.process.subscribe(onEachAnswer, onError, onComplete);

Support (OS Terminals)

You should expect mostly good support for the CLI below. This does not mean we won't look at issues found on other command line - feel free to report any!

  • Mac OS:
    • Terminal.app
    • iTerm
  • Windows (Known issues):
  • Linux (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Arch Linux, etc):
    • gnome-terminal (Terminal GNOME)
    • konsole

Known issues

Running Inquirer together with network streams in Windows platform inside some terminals can result in process hang. Workaround: run inside another terminal. Please refer to the https://github.com/nodejs/node/issues/21771

Calling a node script that uses Inquirer from grunt-exec can cause the program to crash. To fix this, add to your grunt-exec config stdio: 'inherit'. Please refer to https://github.com/jharding/grunt-exec/issues/85

News on the march (Release notes)

Please refer to the GitHub releases section for the changelog


Unit test Unit test are written in Mocha. Please add a unit test for every new feature or bug fix. npm test to run the test suite.

Documentation Add documentation for every API change. Feel free to send typo fixes and better docs!

We're looking to offer good support for multiple prompts and environments. If you want to help, we'd like to keep a list of testers for each terminal/OS so we can contact you and get feedback before release. Let us know if you want to be added to the list (just tweet to @vaxilart) or just add your name to the wiki


Copyright (c) 2022 Simon Boudrias (twitter: @vaxilart) Licensed under the MIT license.



autocomplete Presents a list of options as the user types, compatible with other packages such as fuzzy (for search) autocomplete prompt

checkbox-plus Checkbox list with autocomplete and other additions checkbox-plus

inquirer-date-prompt Customizable date/time selector with localization support Date Prompt

datetime Customizable date/time selector using both number pad and arrow keys Datetime Prompt

inquirer-select-line Prompt for selecting index in array where add new element inquirer-select-line gif

command Simple prompt with command history and dynamic autocomplete

inquirer-fuzzy-path Prompt for fuzzy file/directory selection. inquirer-fuzzy-path

inquirer-emoji Prompt for inputting emojis. inquirer-emoji

inquirer-chalk-pipe Prompt for input chalk-pipe style strings inquirer-chalk-pipe

inquirer-search-checkbox Searchable Inquirer checkbox

inquirer-search-list Searchable Inquirer list inquirer-search-list

inquirer-prompt-suggest Inquirer prompt for your less creative users. inquirer-prompt-suggest

inquirer-s3 An S3 object selector for Inquirer. inquirer-s3

inquirer-autosubmit-prompt Auto submit based on your current input, saving one extra enter

inquirer-file-tree-selection-prompt Inquirer prompt for to select a file or directory in file tree inquirer-file-tree-selection-prompt

inquirer-tree-prompt Inquirer prompt to select from a tree inquirer-tree-prompt

inquirer-table-prompt A table-like prompt for Inquirer. inquirer-table-prompt

inquirer-interrupted-prompt Turning any existing inquirer and its plugin prompts into prompts that can be interrupted with a custom key. inquirer-interrupted-prompt

inquirer-press-to-continue A "press any key to continue" prompt for Inquirer.js inquirer-press-to-continue

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Inquirer.js README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.