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“The symbol ___ needs to be exported by the entry point ___.”


This message is reported when an exported API refers to another declaration that is not exported.


Suppose your library has ./src/index.ts as the mainEntryPointFilePath, and it contains the following code:

// uncallable forgotten export
enum ReportType {

// forgotten export
interface IShowReportOptions {
  reportTitle: string;
  validation?: boolean;
  reportType?: ReportType;

 * Shows a report.
 * @public
export function showReport(options: IShowReportOptions): void {

// Warning: "The symbol "IShowReportOptions" needs to be exported by the entry point src/index.d.ts."

In the example above, type signature for showReport() refers to an interface IShowReportOptions that is not exported by the entry point. The interface is missing the export keyword. This is valid TypeScript code, however it poses several problems from the perspective of API design:

  • Third parties cannot declare the type: For example, suppose the consumer of this API wants to make a helper function getDefaultReportOptions() that creates the options object. Since they cannot import the IShowReportOptions declaration, there is no easy way for them to annotate the return value of their function.

  • The type is awkward to document: Since IShowReportOptions is not exported, it would not normally be included in the API documentation that is generated for this library. Instead, the information would need to be incorporated somehow into the doc comment for showReport(), which can be awkward. And what if several different functions use this interface?

  • The API may be uncallable: In the case of the ReportType enum, since the enum cannot be imported, a consumer actually cannot use the members of this enum. Thus, they have no way to specify the IShowReportOptions.reportType value at all. Also, reportType is an optional parameter, so this unfortunate oversight might go unnoticed for a long time before someone finally reports the bug.

The ae-forgotten-export validation helps you to identify these problems and fix them proactively.

Keep in mind that API Extractor models your library as having a single entry point. For example, suppose we moved the ReportType into another file, and that our ./src/index.ts imported it using a statement such as import { ReportType } from './ReportType';. In this case, although the enum is “exported” by ./src/ReportType.ts, the ae-forgotten-export message will nonetheless be reported; the ReportType enum needs to be exported by the main entry point.

How to fix

Use the export keyword to export the declaration from the main entry point file (as specified by the mainEntryPointFilePath setting).

Alternatively, if changing your API signature would be too disruptive, you can simply choose to ignore this message. By default it uses addToApiReportFile reporting, which means that it will be written into your API report for tracking purposes. It will not produce a console warning and thus will NOT break your build (assuming that you have apiReport.enabled set to true).

See also