Babel Plugin to enable relative root-import

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502.0.15 years ago5 years agoMinified + gzip package size for babel-plugin-relative-path-import in KB


Babel plugin to add the opportunity to use import and require with root based paths.
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  • Babel 7 supports : v2.0.1
  • Previous stable version: v1.0.5


// Usually
import UserAction from '../../../actions/UserAction';
const Colors = require('../../theme/Colors');

// With babel-plugin-relative-path-import
import UserAction from '@actions/UserAction';
const Colors = require('@theme/Colors');


npm install babel-plugin-relative-path-import --save-dev

yarn add babel-plugin-relative-path-import --dev


Add a .babelrc file and write:
  "plugins": [
				"paths": [{
					"rootPathPrefix": "~", // `@` is the default so you can remove this if you want
					"rootPathSuffix": "src/js"
					"rootPathPrefix": "@",
					"rootPathSuffix": "other-src/js"
					"rootPathPrefix": "@parent",
					"rootPathSuffix": "../../src/in/parent" // since we support relative paths you can also go into a parent directory
					"rootPathPrefix": "@some",
					"rootPathSuffix": "../../src/in/some" // since we support relative paths you can also go into a parent directory

// Now you can use the plugin like:
import foo from '~/my-file';
const bar = require('@/my-file');

// Usually
import ParentExample from '../../src/in/parent/example.js';
const OtherExample = require('../../src/in/some/example.js');

// With Babel-Root-Importer
import ParentExample from '@parent/example.js';
const OtherExample = require('@some/example.js');

or pass the plugin with the plugins-flag on CLI
babel-node myfile.js --plugins babel-plugin-relative-path-import

Don't let ESLint be confused

If you use eslint-plugin-import to validate imports it may be necessary to instruct ESLint to parse root imports. You can use eslint-import-resolver-babel-plugin-root-import
"import/resolver": {
  "babel-plugin-relative-path-import": {}

Don't let Flow be confused

If you use Facebook's Flow for type-checking it is necessary to instruct it on how to map your chosen prefix to the root directory. Add the following to your .flowconfig file, replacing {rootPathPrefix} with your chosen prefix and {rootPathSuffix} with your chosen suffix.
module.name_mapper='^{rootPathPrefix}/\(.*\)$' -> '<PROJECT_ROOT>/{rootPathSuffix}/\1'


Webpack delivers a similar feature, if you just want to prevent end-less import strings you can also define aliases in the resolve module, at the moment it doesn't support custom/different symbols and multiple/custom suffixes. READ MORE

Want to revert back to relative paths?

Sometimes tooling might not be up to scratch, meaning you lose features such as navigation in your IDE. In such cases you might want to revert back to using relative paths again. If you have a significant amount of files, it might be worth looking into tooling to help you with the conversion.

Distributing package?

While distributing package somewhere, .babelrc file has problem to resolve the path. To fix that you should run postinstall inside your package.json.
// BabelPostScript.js
(function() {
	const path = process.cwd();
	if (path.includes('node_modules')) {
		const dataPrefix = path.substring(path.indexOf('node_modules')) + '/';
		const fs = require('fs');
		const config = {
			fileName: './.babelrc',
			fileType: 'utf8',

		fs.readFile(config.fileName, config.fileType, function(err, data) {
			const bableDefault = JSON.parse(data);
			bableDefault.plugins[0][1].paths.forEach(i => {
				i.rootPathSuffix = `${config.dataPrefix}${i.rootPathSuffix}`;
			fs.writeFile(config.fileName, JSON.stringify(bableDefault, null, 2), function(err) {
				if (err) throw err;
				console.log('BabelPostScript for babel-plugin-relative-path-import run: complete');

Run this script using postinstall inside package.json
	"scripts": {
		"postinstall": "node ./BabelPostScript.js"


Improved by Gaurav D. Sharma, inspired & originally taken from entwicklerstube