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User Scripts

Publish pseudo topics internally to Foxglove using custom scripts. Manipulate, reduce, and filter existing messages and output them for useful visualization.

User scripts can transform both playback and preloaded data:

When transforming preloaded data, Foxglove creates two instances of the running user script – one handles the full data range, while the other handles just the current playback frame of messages. Each instance of the user script receives the messages in receive time order.

Getting started

User Scripts uses TypeScript to typecheck messages in your scripts.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, so you can Google syntactic questions (e.g. how to manipulate arrays, or access object properties) using JavaScript terms, and semantic questions (e.g. how to make an object property optional) using TypeScript terms.


Writing your first script

Every script must declare 3 exports:

  • inputs – An array of input topics to transform
  • output – Name of the transformed output topic
  • script – A function that takes messages from input topics, transforms them, and then publishes messages on the output topic; must be the default export

Here is a basic script that echoes its input on a new output topic, /studio_script/echo:

import { Input, Message } from "./types";

export const inputs = ["/rosout"];
export const output = "/studio_script/echo";

export default function script(event: Input<"/rosout">): Message<"rosgraph_msgs/Log"> => {
return event.message;

If you drag in a .bag file, you should now be able to inspect the /studio_script/echo topic in the Raw Messages panel.

When you create a new script, you’ll be presented with some boilerplate:

import { Input, Message } from "./types";

type Output = {
hello: string;

export const inputs = ["/input/topic"];
export const output = "/studio_script/output_topic";

export default function script(event: Input<"/input/topic">): Output {
return {
hello: "world!",

You’ll notice a few things:

  • The Input and Message types are imported from the ./types module, which provides helper types for your Input events and messages
  • The Output type has some default properties that the script function's output must adhere to

Input is a generic type, meaning that it takes a parameter in order to be used. It is left empty on purpose as you'll need to populate it with the name of your input topic, e.g. Input<"/rosout">.

As for the Output type, you can either manually type out your output with the properties you care about (i.e. what is available in the boilerplate) or use one of the dynamically generated types from the Message type imported above. For instance, if you want to publish an array of markers, you can return the type Message<"visualization_msgs/MarkerArray">.

It's not always obvious how message properties affect the visualized output – strictly typing your scripts helps you debug issues at compile time rather than at runtime. With that said, you can disable Typescript checks when working on a rough draft of your script by adding // @ts-expect-error on the line above the one you want to ignore.

Using multiple input topics

In some cases, you will want to define multiple input topics:

import { Input, Message } from "./types";

export const inputs = ["/rosout", "/tf"];
export const output = "/studio_script/echo";

export default function script(event: Input<"/rosout"> | Input<"/tf">): { data: number[] } => {
if (event.topic === "/rosout") {
// read event.message fields expected for /rosout messages
} else {
// read event.message fields expected for /tf messages

return { data: [] };

This snippet uses union types to assert that the message in the script function can take either a /rosout or /tf topic. Use an if/else clause to differentiate between incoming topics' schema names when manipulating messages.

To combine messages from multiple topics, create a variable in your script's global scope to reference every time your script function is invoked. Check timestamps to make sure you are not publishing out-of-sync data.

import { Input, Message, Time } from "./types";

export const inputs = ["/rosout", "/tf"];
export const output = "/studio_script/echo";

let lastReceiveTime: Time = { sec: 0, nsec: 0 };
const myScope: {
tf?: Message<"tf2_msgs/TFMessage">;
rosout?: Message<"rosgraph_msgs/Log">;
} = {};

export default function script(event: Input<"/rosout"> | Input<"/tf">): { data: number[] } | undefined => {
const { receiveTime } = message;
let inSync = true;

if (receiveTime.sec !== lastReceiveTime.sec || receiveTime.nsec !== lastReceiveTime.nsec) {
lastReceiveTime = receiveTime;
inSync = false;

if (message.topic === "/rosout") {
myScope.rosout = event.message;
} else { = event.message;

if (!inSync) {
return { data: [] };

Using global variables

The script function will receive all of the variables as an object every time it is called. Each time a new message is received, the script function will be re-run with the latest variable values:

import { Input, Message } from "./types";

type Output = {};
type GlobalVariables = { someNumericaVar: number };

export const inputs = [];
export const output = "/studio_script/";

export default function script(event: Input<"/foo_marker">, globalVars: GlobalVariables): Output => {
if ( === globalVars.someNumericaVar) {
// Message's id matches $someNumericaVar

return { data: [] };


User scripts are not executed unless the output topic is being used somewhere within your layout.

To debug your script, first add a Raw Messages panel subscribing to the output topic to your layout. From there, you can either inspect the incoming topic directly, or invoke log(someValue) throughout the user script to print values to the Logs section at the bottom of the panel.

The only value you cannot log() is one that is, or contains, a function definition. You can also log multiple values at once, e.g. log(someValue, anotherValue, yetAnotherValue).

The following log statements will not produce any errors:

const addNums = (a: number, b: number): number => a + b;
log(50, "ABC", null, undefined, { abc: 2, def: false });
log(1 + 2, addNums(1, 2));

But these containing function definitions will:

log(() => {});
log({ subtractNums: (a: number, b: number): number => a - b });

Invoking log() outside your script function will invoke it once, when your script is registered. Invoking log() inside your script function will log that value every time your script function is called.

Note that if your topic publishes at a high rate, using log() will significantly slow down your code.

Skipping output

Do an early (or late) return in your function body when you don't want to publish. For example, let's say you only wanted to publish messages when a constant in the input is not 3:

import { Input } from "./types";

export const inputs = ["/state"];
export const output = "/studio_script/manual_metrics";

export default function script(event: Input<"/state">): { metrics: number } | undefined => {
if (event.message.constant === 3) {
// Do not publish any message
return {
// Your data here

In Typescript, if you return without a value, it will implicitly return undefined. Note the union return type for the script function – we've indicated to Typescript that this function can return undefined.

Using @foxglove/schemas

Import and use types from the @foxglove/schemas package in user scripts:

import { Input } from "./types";
import { Color, Pose } from "@foxglove/schemas";

export const inputs = ["/imu"];
export const output = "/studio_script/json_data";

type Output = {
color: Color;
pose: Pose;

export default function script(event: Input<"/imu">): Output {
return {
color: { r: 1, g: 1, b: 1, a: 1 },
pose: {
position: { x: 1, y: 1, z: 1 },
orientation: { x: 1, y: 1, z: 1, w: 1 },

Utilities and templates

The sidebar's "Utilities" tab includes functions that can be imported for use in any script (e.g. import { compare } from "./time.ts"). The types.ts utility file is generated from the currently loaded data source, and contains type definitions for all found schemas.

We currently do not allow importing 3rd-party packages, but let us know if there are packages that would be useful to you!

The Templates tab includes boilerplate for writing common scripts, like one that publishes a MarkerArray. If you have any other use cases that would work well as a template, please let us know.


Auto-format on save Auto-format the code in your script on save


  • Cmd + s – Save script changes