What’s a Vue Plugin and How Do I Use It?

Vue Plugins are modular, reusable, self-contained codes you can install and configure application-wide. In the world of React, a Vue plugin is similar to a library or package that can be installed and used.

Using a Plugin

Once a Vue plugin is installed via npm, it can be utilized in main.ts like the following:

import { createApp } from "vue";
import App from "./App.vue";
import MyPlugin from "myplugin"; 
const app = createApp(App); 

Within app.use is also the place to configure options the plugin offers. Here is an example of using the Prime Vue component library with some optional configuration.

import { createApp } from "vue";
import App from "./App.vue";
import PrimeVue from "primevue/config";

const app = createApp(App);

app.use(PrimeVue, {
  ripple: false,
  zIndex: {
    modal: 1,
    menu: 2,
    tooltip: 2

Writing a Plugin

According to Vue’s type definition for a Plugin, app.use() is looking for an install function when the plugin is instantiated.

declare type Plugin_2 = (PluginInstallFunction & {
    install?: PluginInstallFunction;
}) | {
    install: PluginInstallFunction;
export { Plugin_2 as Plugin }

declare type PluginInstallFunction = (app: App, ...options: any[]) => any;

In a sample MyPlugin, there would be an install function where initial configuration takes place.

import type { Plugin } from "vue";
import AGlobalComponent from "components";

export function install(app: any, options: any) {
  //This is the place for all initial configs
  app.config.globalProperties.$greetings = "Hello There!";

  //If there was any custom options, it can override default options;
  const defaultOptions = {};
  app.config.globalProperties.$options = options ? {...defaultOptions, ...options } : {...defaultOptions}

  //If there's any component that needs to be registered globally
  app.component("AGlobalComponent", AGlobalComponent);

const MyPlugin: Plugin = {

export default MyPlugin;

A Powerful Tool

Vue plugins are a powerful tool that can offer flexibility, global configuration, and ease of use. The Vue official site offers a few more examples. Plus, there are many other popular Vue plugins to explore, including Vuetify, Prime Vue, Vee Validate, Pinia, Vue Router, and so much more.


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