NashTech Insights

Understanding Type Casting in TypeScript

Table of Contents
Type Casting in TypeScript


TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that introduces static typing to the language. It allows developers to define and enforce types for variables, functions, and objects, which helps catch errors at compile-time rather than runtime. However, there are scenarios where you need to work with values of uncertain or mixed types, and this is where type casting comes into play. In this blog, we’ll delve into the concept of typecasting in TypeScript, why it’s necessary, and how to use it effectively.

What is Type Casting?

Type casting, also known as type assertion in TypeScript, is the process of explicitly specifying the type of a value. This can be useful when TypeScript’s type inference may not accurately capture the intended type, or when you want to tell the TypeScript compiler to treat a value as a different type temporarily.

Type casting can be performed in two ways in TypeScript

1. Angle Bracket Syntax: You use angle brackets < > to specify the desired type. For example:

let myValue: any = "Hello, TypeScript!";
let strLength: number = (<string>myValue).length;

2. As Keyword: You can also use the as keyword followed by the desired type:

let myValue: any = "Hello, TypeScript!";
let strLength: number = (myValue as string).length;

Both approaches are widely accepted, but the as keyword is more commonly used in modern TypeScript code.

When to Use Type Casting?

Type casting should be used with caution, as it bypasses TypeScript’s type checking. It is typically necessary in the following scenarios:

1. Working with Union Types

When you have variables with union types, and you want to access properties or methods specific to one of the union types, you can use type casting to let TypeScript know which type you’re working with.

function printMessage(message: string | number) {
    if (typeof message === 'string') {
        console.log((message as string).toUpperCase());

2. Working with JavaScript

When you’re dealing with JavaScript libraries or APIs that don’t have TypeScript type definitions, you may need to use type casting to inform TypeScript about the expected types.

const element = document.getElementById('myElement') as HTMLInputElement;

3. Overriding Type Inference

Sometimes, TypeScript’s type inference might not infer the desired type. In such cases, you can use type casting to explicitly set the type.

let num: number = 5;
let str: string = num as any;

Pitfalls and Best Practices

While typecasting can be a valuable tool, it should be used judiciously to avoid runtime errors. Here are some best practices:

1. Use Type Assertions Sparingly: Only use type casting when you are certain about the types involved. Overusing type assertions can undermine the benefits of TypeScript’s static type checking.

2. Double-check Types: Always double-check the type you’re casting to. Make sure it matches the actual runtime structure of the value.

3. Consider Type Guards: In some cases, type guards like typeof, instanceof, or custom predicates may be a safer alternative to typecasting.


Type casting is a powerful tool in TypeScript that allows developers to work with values of uncertain or mixed types while providing better type safety and code clarity. However, it should be used judiciously. Incorrect type casting can lead to runtime errors, undermining TypeScript’s primary goal of catching errors at compile-time.

Finally, for more such updates and to read more about such topics, please follow our LinkedIn page Frontend Competency



Aanchal Agarwal is a Software Consultant at NashTech. Her practice area is web development. She is recognized as a multi-talented, multitasker, and adaptive to the different work environments. Her hobbies include watching movies, listening to music, and traveling. She likes to read books and explore new things.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Article

%d bloggers like this: