Working with Record and Pick Types in TypeScript

Updated: January 8, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


In the grand world of TypeScript, the type system serves as a cornerstone, ensuring that development is a tale of structured patterns, rather than a chronicle of chaos. Today, we embark on a tale of two such TypeScript heroes: Record and Pick types, which provide flexibility and precision in typifying objects and subsets thereof.

The Saga of Record Types

Like scribes of yore preserving knowledge upon parchment, Record types in TypeScript allow the mapping of keys to values within an object, declaring the shape of keys and values with an ironclad resolve. This mighty tool ensures that each key of a known set maps to a value of a specific type, as exemplified herein:

type Knight = {
    name: string;
    realm: string;

// A record mapping string to Knight
const roundTable: Record<string, Knight> = {
    arthur: { name: 'Arthur', realm: 'Camelot' },
    lancelot: { name: 'Lancelot', realm: 'Joyous Gard' },
    // ... and so forth

This illustrious declaration speaks lucidly of each member of the round table being an object of the Knight type, bound by name to their storied attributes.

Chronicles of Pick Types

In contrast, the Pick type comes into play when a craftsman must extract a selection of properties from a larger contract, much as a gem-cutter selects the finest facets of a raw jewel. As illustrated:

type Castle = {
    name: string;
    location: string;
    foundationYear: number;

// A type representing only the name and location of a Castle
type CastlePreview = Pick<Castle, 'name' | 'location'>;

const castleInfo: CastlePreview = {
    name: 'Camelot',
    location: 'England',

We fill less parchment, for indeed, we have created a concentrated essence of Castle, an abridged account focusing solely upon names and locales.

Advanced Tomes of Record and Pick

The advanced magic of TypeScript enchants us with the power to combine Record with Pick, to create specific constructs drawn from a tapestry of patterns. Observe:

type Noble = {
    name: string;
    title: string;
    holdings: number;

// A record with selected properties of Noble
const nobility: Record<string, Pick<Noble, 'name' | 'title'>> = {
    leodagan: { name: 'Leodagan', title: 'Sir' },
    ector: { name: 'Ector', title: 'King' },

Thus we have inscribed a directory of names and titles, the essence of each noble’s identity, laid down for all eternity.

Tales of Limitations and Perils

Though powerful, our Record and Pick enchantments are not without their limits. A Record assumes all keys are known, and a Pick can find itself stranded should properties vanish from the original type. With vigilance, such caveats can be navigated, ensuring the sturdiness of your code’s edifice.


In reflection, TypeScript’s Record and Pick are tools of finesse and might, enabling developers to define types with precision and flexibility. As scribes and masons of code, let us wield these constructs wisely, forging applications resilient yet supple, ensuring they stand forthrightly against the shifting sands of requirements and the relentless tide of change.