Express middleware to open file in editor

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import expressOpenInEditor from '';


NPM version Build Status Coverage Status Dependency Status

Express middleware to open any file in an editor by request to defined route. Based on open-in-editor.


npm install express-open-in-editor


var express = require('express');
var openInEditor = require('express-open-in-editor');

var app = express();

// There are few ways to setup:
// - to trigger middleware on *GET* request to `/open-in-editor`
app.get('/open-in-editor', openInEditor());

// - to trigger middleware on *any* request method to `/open-in-editor`
app.use('/open-in-editor', openInEditor());

// - to trigger middleware on *any* request method to *any* path
//   (not recommended unless server's single purpose is to open files in editor)

After that you can use GET requests like /open-in-editor?file=foo/bar.ext:2:5 to open foo/bar.ext in an editor at line 2 column 5.

By default express-open-in-editor uses process.env.VISUAL or process.env.EDITOR (with this priority) to define the command to open a file in an editor. It could be set globally or on script execution:

EDITOR=subl node app.js

Also you can set process.env.OPEN_FILE that has highest priority and understands shorthands (i.e. subl for Sublime Text or atom for Atom Editor).

For more details about setup see open-in-editor description.

Using with webpack-dev-server

Although webpack-dev-server uses express to create a server, you have the same options to apply the middleware to it. The only difference is that you should define it in setup method (see issue for details).

var server = new WebpackDevServer(webpack(config), {
  // ...
  setup: function(app) {
    app.use('/open-in-editor', openInEditor());




  • cwd

    Type: String
    Default: '' (uses process.cwd())

    Working directory used when resolving paths.

  • Rest options are passing to open-in-editor as is.

Related projects

  • open-in-editor – package that do the main task of express-open-in-editor, i.e. opens file in editor.
  • babel-plugin-source-wrapperBabel plugin that instruments source code to associate objects with location they defined in code base.
  • Component Inspector – developer tool to inspect components that can open component creation source location in editor. Has integrations for React, Backbone and can be adopter for other frameworks.