Prompt for user input through the terminal.

  • input

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Prompt for user input through the terminal.
This is built on top of the excellent Inquirer library, so credit mostly goes to @SBoudrias.
This module hides away most of Inquirer's API, wrapping it with a smaller, stricter, promise-based API for asking one question at a time.


> npm install input


Input's functions all return promises, so they work well with await.
import input from 'input';

async function askStuff() {
  const name = await input.text('What is your name?', { default: 'Fred' });

  const colors = await input.checkboxes(`OK ${name}, choose some colors`, [
    'red', 'orange', 'yellow', 'green', 'blue', 'indigo', 'rebeccapurple'

  console.log('You chose:\n  ' + colors.join('\n  '));


You can also import named functions individually (import { checkboxes, select } from 'input') if you prefer.


The function names are based roughly on HTML equivalents.
Every function returns a promise that resolves with the user's answer.
text(label, options)
Accepts a single line of plain text input from the user.
The default label is "Enter text". The default answer is an empty string.
password(label, options)
Same as text(), except the user's typing is presented as asterisks.
The default label is "Enter password". The default answer is an empty string.
select(label, choices, options)
Shows the user a list of choices. The user can move up and down with arrow keys, then press return to select the highlighted choice.
The default label is "Choose an option".
checkboxes(label, choices, options)
Similar to select(), except the user may select multiple choices (or none at all).
The user moves a cursor up and down with the arrow keys, then selects/deselects the highlighted option by pressing space. (It might be a good idea to explain these controls in your label text, depending how technical your users are.)
The default label is "Choose some options".
The answer returned will be an array of all the values of the choices the user checked.
confirm(label, options)
A classic Y/n confirmation dialogue. The user may type y or n (case-insensitive) then press return to answer true or false. The user may alternatively just press return to choose the capitalised answer.
The default label is "Confirm?".
The default answer is true (i.e. Y is capitalised) unless you override this by setting the default option to false.


ℹ️   This section applies only to the select() and checkboxes() functions.

Your choices array must contain two or more non-disabled choice objects.
A choice object has these properties:
  • name (string, required) – what to show the user
  • value (any) – what to return as the users answer, if chosen. (If not provided, this property is set to the name string.)
  • checked (boolean, default: false) – whether this item should be preselected. This only works for checkboxes() – if you're using select(), you should use the default option instead.
  • disabled (boolean, default: false) – makes this a non-selectable item in the list. The arrow keys will skip over this item and it's rendered in grey text. Useful for heading a sub-section of the list.

Alternatively, you may define a choice as as simple string – for example, the string "foo" will be expanded to { name: "foo", value: "foo" }.
You may include the value null to break up a long list of choices – this is rendered as a non-selectable blank line. (In effect, null is the same as { name: "", disabled: true }.)


Every question function accepts an options object as its final argument, with properties as follows:
Sets a default answer for the question – used if the user simply presses return with no other interaction.
This option cannot be used for checkboxes() – instead, use checked: true to preselect individual choices.
For select(), your default should correspond with the value of the choice you want to preselect (not its array index).
A function that will be called to validate the user's answer. If validation doesn't pass, a red message will be shown until the user corrects their answer.
Here's an example validator that ensures a minimum of two checkboxes are selected:
const choices = [ 'cat', 'dog', 'mouse' ];

input.checkboxes('Choose two or more animals', choices, {
  validate(answer) {
    if (answer.length >= 2) return true;

    return `You have chosen only ${answer.length} animals! Keep trying!`;

Your validation result must be a boolean or a string:
  • If it's a boolean, true indicates the user's answer is valid, while false causes the string 'Invalid answer' to be displayed in red text until the user corrects their answer.
  • If it's a string, this works the same as false, except your string will be used as the red text.

If you need to validate asynchronously, return your validation result as a promise. (Or simply define your validator as an async function.)
If your validation function throws an exception (or returns a promise that gets rejected), this will cause the whole question to fail, i.e. the promise returned by the question function will be rejected.