Learn JSDoc - Javascript API document Generator tutorials

Javascript Documentation

JsDoc is a  javascript documentation generator for javascript language. This tool is used to generate code documentation in HTML format of a javascript source code and it is similar to Javadoc in java language. Strong documentation is one of the factors for the successful software application.JSDoc parse javascript source  with content from /** */ and outputs HTML documentation.

This blog post covers JSDoc tutorials with examples

Install and Setup JSDoc

To Play with this, first, you need to install it. the installation provides command line tools - jsdoc. This library available as npm package manager. First make sure that Nodejs is installed, npm and node command works successfully by the following command.

B:\blogger>npm --version
B:\blogger>node --version

Once installed nodejs, Next step is to install jsDoc npm package

npm install -g jsdoc

This installs jsdoc package in a global location. I am doing the installation on windows. see Global npm install location on windows which is a npm location folder on the window is %APPDATA%\npm\node_modules\jsdoc. This is a global location for node_modules module folder To find the jsdoc version, Please issue the command below

B:\blogger>jsdoc --version
JSDoc 3.5.5 (Thu, 14 Sep 2017 02:51:54 GMT)

JSDoc Basic Example

The simple function declared with two parameters with return type The sample code is in helloworld.js

* Adding two numbers.
* @param {value1} firstParameter First parameter to add.
* @param {value2} secondParameter Second Parameter to add.
* @returns {string}
function add(value1, value2) {
 return value1+value2;

Then run the following command to generate HTML documentation.

jsdoc helloworld.js

Generated HTML file as per the below screenshot

Learn JSDoc Library examples with tutorials


* Adding two numbers.
* @param {string} firstParameter First parameter to add.
* @param {string} secondParameter Second Parameter to add.
* @returns {string}


  • Jsdoc contains multiline comments in addition to the first character is asterisk Each comment includes symbol @ and tag name. @param is one tag here Annotation types, It includes type name in braces @param {string} name

JSdoc comments example 

Comments are similar to multi-line comments and the difference is extra asterisk symbol Comments contain HTML tag as well

// Single line comment
 *  multi-line comment
 * Jsdoc comments

JSDoc function example 

Added few metatags @fileOverview,@Author,@Version to the function

 * This is a hello world function.
 * @fileOverview Employee functions.
 * @author [Kiran Babu](mailto:support@cloudhadoop.com)
 * @version 1.0.0
 * @param {string} value - A string param
 * @return {string} Return a string
 * @example
 *     displayEmp('Welcome')
function displayEmp(msg) { return msg }

JSDoc javascript Documentation for classes

How to return the method as void? 

You have to use the @return tag to document the method function with type. Type can be used in curly braces In javascript, a void exists as type, you can also use undefined.

@returns {void} returns nothing
@returns {undefined} returns undefiend

What are valid param tag types in jsdoc? @param tag is used to tag a parameter types to a function or method. You can also use @arg or @argument instead of @param @tag contains the name, type and description of a parameter to a function

 * @param {string} argument name of the employee.

Here, name is argument type is string enclosed in curly braces description is name of the employee You can use javascript inbuilt data types as a values for type parameter Boolean,Null,Number,String,Undefined,Symbol,Object, Optional and default parameter declaration Parameters declared using @param tag, To make it this param option. Let us declare optional parameter say the message of type string

@param {string} [message] // or
@param {string=} message
@param {string} [message='hello'] // defualt value initlization

How to declare the mixed type of parameters? 

Use | symbol separator to add multiple types for a single parameter in a method or function declaration.

 * Utility method
 * @param {(string|number)} argument The input parameter to function
 * @returns {(string|number)} The modified return value from a function.
function doSomething(argument) {
    return argument;};

how to represent a multidimensional array of objects param type? Multidimensional is an array of array of objects. which can be represented in jsdoc comments using type - Object.<Array[]>

How to write a comment for a callback of a function?

 Jsdoc provides a @callback tag. It has information like parameters and returns value about the callback function

 * Callback for multiplying two numbers.
 * @callback multiCallback
 * @param {int} multiply - An integer.

 * Multiply two numbers, output the results to a callback function.
 * @param {int} x - An integer.
 * @param {int} y - An integer.
 * @param {multiCallback} callback - A callback to execute.
function Multiply(a, b, multiCallback) {

How to Document javascript classes? 

@class or @constrcutor are used to mark it as a class or construction which can be created using the new operator

 * Creates a new Employee.
 * @class Employee class
function Employee() {
 /** @lends Employee */
         * Create a `Employee` instance.
         * @param {string} name - The Employee's name.
        initialize: function(name) {
            this.name = name;
var e = new Employee();

@lend tag used to document all members of a class.

JSDoc Frequently Used annotations

Jsdoc supports following tags and syntax is mentioned. All this syntax should be used included in jsdoc syntax (Adding asterisk to multiline comments)





Adds Author of code, supports to add email

@author Kiran


Marks function as a class instance can be created using the new keyword

@class Employee class


Marks function as a constructor and same as @class

@constructor Employee class


Specifies a comment to tell that this method is going to be deprecated

@deprecated from version 2.5


To indicate the exception or error that a method might throw it.

@throws {Exception} @throws Throws an error if the parameter is null


Adding documentation for parameters to method or function

@param {Number} numericValue numeric value to parameter.


mark this as private


@return or @returns

return value documentation of a method or function.

@returns {string}


version number of a code.

@version 1.0


This makes as interfaces

@interface Animal


Marker for a Static variable, This can be accessed without instance



Marker for custom data types. These can be used in other tags like normal type params

@typedef {(number|string)} customType


Document the things need to complete in future

@todo Write Edge cases and documentation for this method.


Document all the members of a class or object

@lends Emploee

Similar Posts