Modules are like mini files! They can contain type definitions, let bindings, nested modules, etc.


To create a module, use the module keyword. The module name must start with a capital letter. Whatever you could place in a .res file, you may place inside a module definition's {} block.

ReScriptJS Output
module School = {
  type profession = Teacher | Director

  let person1 = Teacher
  let getProfession = (person) =>
    switch person {
    | Teacher => "A teacher"
    | Director => "A director"

A module's contents (including types!) can be accessed much like a record's, using the . notation. This demonstrates modules' utility for namespacing.

ReScriptJS Output
let anotherPerson: School.profession = School.Teacher
Console.log(School.getProfession(anotherPerson)) /* "A teacher" */

Nested modules work too.

ReScriptJS Output
module MyModule = {
  module NestedModule = {
    let message = "hello"

let message = MyModule.NestedModule.message

opening a module

Constantly referring to a value/type in a module can be tedious. Instead, we can "open" a module and refer to its contents without always prepending them with the module's name. Instead of writing:

ReScriptJS Output
let p = School.getProfession(School.person1)

We can write:

ReScriptJS Output
open School
let p = getProfession(person1)

The content of School module are made visible (not copied into the file, but simply made visible!) in scope. profession, getProfession and person1 will thus correctly be found.

Use open this sparingly, it's convenient, but makes it hard to know where some values come from. You should usually use open in a local scope:

ReScriptJS Output
let p = {
  open School
/* School's content isn't visible here anymore */

Use open! to ignore shadow warnings

There are situations where open will cause a warning due to existing identifiers (bindings, types) being redefined. Use open! to explicitly tell the compiler that this is desired behavior.

let map = (arr, value) => { value } // opening Array would shadow our previously defined `map` // `open!` will explicitly turn off the automatic warning open! Array let arr = map([1,2,3], (a) => { a + 1})

Note: Same as with open, don't overuse open! statements if not necessary. Use (sub)modules to prevent shadowing issues.

Destructuring modules

Since 9.0.2

As an alternative to opening a module, you can also destructure a module's functions and values into separate let bindings (similarly on how we'd destructure an object in JavaScript).

ReScriptJS Output
module User = {
  let user1 = "Anna"
  let user2 = "Franz"

// Destructure by name
let {user1, user2} = module(User)

// Destructure with different alias
let {user1: anna, user2: franz} = module(User)

Note: You can't extract types with module destructuring — use a type alias instead (type user = User.myUserType).

Extending modules

Using include in a module statically "spreads" a module's content into a new one, thus often fulfill the role of "inheritance" or "mixin".

Note: this is equivalent to a compiler-level copy paste. We heavily discourage include. Use it as last resort!

ReScriptJS Output
module BaseComponent = {
  let defaultGreeting = "Hello"
  let getAudience = (~excited) => excited ? "world!" : "world"

module ActualComponent = {
  /* the content is copied over */
  include BaseComponent
  /* overrides BaseComponent.defaultGreeting */
  let defaultGreeting = "Hey"
  let render = () => defaultGreeting ++ " " ++ getAudience(~excited=true)

Note: open and include are very different! The former brings a module's content into your current scope, so that you don't have to refer to a value by prefixing it with the module's name every time. The latter copies over the definition of a module statically, then also do an open.

Every .res file is a module

Every ReScript file is itself compiled to a module of the same name as the file name, capitalized. The file React.res implicitly forms a module React, which can be seen by other source files.

Note: ReScript file names should, by convention, be capitalized so that their casing matches their module name. Uncapitalized file names are not invalid, but will be implicitly transformed into a capitalized module name. I.e. file.res will be compiled into the module File. To simplify and minimize the disconnect here, the convention is therefore to capitalize file names.


A module's type is called a "signature", and can be written explicitly. If a module is like a .res (implementation) file, then a module's signature is like a .resi (interface) file.


To create a signature, use the module type keyword. The signature name must start with a capital letter. Whatever you could place in a .resi file, you may place inside a signature definition's {} block.

ReScriptJS Output
/* Picking up previous section's example */
module type EstablishmentType = {
  type profession
  let getProfession: profession => string

A signature defines the list of requirements that a module must satisfy in order for that module to match the signature. Those requirements are of the form:

  • let x: int requires a let binding named x, of type int.

  • type t = someType requires a type field t to be equal to someType.

  • type t requires a type field t, but without imposing any requirements on the actual, concrete type of t. We'd use t in other entries in the signature to describe relationships, e.g. let makePair: t => (t, t) but we cannot, for example, assume that t is an int. This gives us great, enforced abstraction abilities.

To illustrate the various kinds of type entries, consider the above signature EstablishmentType which requires that a module:

  • Declare a type named profession.

  • Must include a function that takes in a value of the type profession and returns a string.


Modules of the type EstablishmentType can contain more fields than the signature declares, just like the module School in the previous section (if we choose to assign it the type EstablishmentType. Otherwise, School exposes every field). This effectively makes the person1 field an enforced implementation detail! Outsiders can't access it, since it's not present in the signature; the signature constrained what others can access.

The type EstablishmentType.profession is abstract: it doesn't have a concrete type; it's saying "I don't care what the actual type is, but it's used as input to getProfession". This is useful to fit many modules under the same interface:

ReScriptJS Output
module Company: EstablishmentType = {
  type profession = CEO | Designer | Engineer | ...

  let getProfession = (person) => ...
  let person1 = ...
  let person2 = ...

It's also useful to hide the underlying type as an implementation detail others can't rely on. If you ask what the type of Company.profession is, instead of exposing the variant, it'll only tell you "it's Company.profession".

Extending module signatures

Like modules themselves, module signatures can also be extended by other module signatures using include. Again, heavily discouraged:

ReScriptJS Output
module type BaseComponent = {
  let defaultGreeting: string
  let getAudience: (~excited: bool) => string

module type ActualComponent = {
  /* the BaseComponent signature is copied over */
  include BaseComponent
  let render: unit => string

Note: BaseComponent is a module type, not an actual module itself!

If you do not have a defined module type, you can extract it from an actual module using include (module type of ActualModuleName). For example, we can extend the List module from the standard library, which does not define a module type.

ReScriptJS Output
module type MyList = {
  include (module type of List)
  let myListFun: list<'a> => list<'a>

Every .resi file is a signature

Similar to how a React.res file implicitly defines a module React, a file React.resi implicitly defines a signature for React. If React.resi isn't provided, the signature of React.res defaults to exposing all the fields of the module. Because they don't contain implementation files, .resi files are used in the ecosystem to also document the public API of their corresponding modules.

ReScriptJS Output
/* file React.res (implementation. Compiles to module React) */
type state = int
let render = (str) => str
/* file React.resi (interface. Compiles to the signature of React.res) */ type state = int let render: string => string

Module Functions (functors)

Modules can be passed to functions! It would be the equivalent of passing a file as a first-class item. However, modules are at a different "layer" of the language than other common concepts, so we can't pass them to regular functions. Instead, we pass them to special functions called "functors".

The syntax for defining and using functors is very much like the syntax for defining and using regular functions. The primary differences are:

  • Functors use the module keyword instead of let.

  • Functors take modules as arguments and return a module.

  • Functors require annotating arguments.

  • Functors must start with a capital letter (just like modules/signatures).

Here's an example MakeSet functor, that takes in a module of the type Comparable and returns a new set that can contain such comparable items.

ReScriptJS Output
module type Comparable = {
  type t
  let equal: (t, t) => bool

module MakeSet = (Item: Comparable) => {
  // let's use a list as our naive backing data structure
  type backingType = list<Item.t>
  let empty = list{}
  let add = (currentSet: backingType, newItem: Item.t): backingType =>
    // if item exists
    if currentSet->List.some(x => Item.equal(x, newItem)) {
      currentSet // return the same (immutable) set (a list really)
    } else {
        ...currentSet // prepend to the set and return it

Functors can be applied using function application syntax. In this case, we're creating a set, whose items are pairs of integers.

ReScriptJS Output
module IntPair = {
  type t = (int, int)
  let equal = ((x1: int, y1: int), (x2, y2)) => x1 == x2 && y1 == y2
  let create = (x, y) => (x, y)

/* IntPair abides by the Comparable signature required by MakeSet */
module SetOfIntPairs = MakeSet(IntPair)

Module functions types

Like with module types, functor types also act to constrain and hide what we may assume about functors. The syntax for functor types are consistent with those for function types, but with types capitalized to represent the signatures of modules the functor accepts as arguments and return values. In the previous example, we're exposing the backing type of a set; by giving MakeSet a functor signature, we can hide the underlying data structure!

ReScriptJS Output
module type Comparable = ...

module type MakeSetType = (Item: Comparable) => {
  type backingType
  let empty: backingType
  let add: (backingType, Item.t) => backingType

module MakeSet: MakeSetType = (Item: Comparable) => {

Exotic Module Filenames

Since 8.3

It is possible to use non-conventional characters in your filenames (which is sometimes needed for specific JS frameworks). Here are some examples:

  • src/Button.ios.res

  • pages/[id].res

Please note that modules with an exotic filename will not be accessible from other ReScript modules.

Tips & Tricks

Modules and functors are at a different "layer" of language than the rest (functions, let bindings, data structures, etc.). For example, you can't easily pass them into a tuple or record. Use them judiciously, if ever! Lots of times, just a record or a function is enough.