Frequently-used modules

An Angular application needs at least one module that serves as the root module. As you add features to your app, you can add them in modules. The following are frequently used Angular modules with examples of some of the things they contain:

NgModule Import it from Why you use it
BrowserModule @angular/platform-browser To run your application in a browser.
CommonModule @angular/common To use NgIf and NgFor.
FormsModule @angular/forms To build template driven forms (includes NgModel).
ReactiveFormsModule @angular/forms To build reactive forms.
RouterModule @angular/router To use RouterLink, .forRoot(), and .forChild().
HttpClientModule @angular/common/http To communicate with a server using the HTTP protocol.

Importing modules

When you use these Angular modules, import them in AppModule, or your feature module as appropriate, and list them in the @NgModule imports array. For example, in the basic application generated by the Angular CLI, BrowserModule is the first import at the top of the AppModule, app.module.ts.

/* import modules so that AppModule can access them */
import { BrowserModule } from '@angular/platform-browser';
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';

import { AppComponent } from './app.component';

  declarations: [
  imports: [ /* add modules here so Angular knows to use them */
  providers: [],
  bootstrap: [AppComponent]
export class AppModule { }

The imports at the top of the array are JavaScript import statements while the imports array within @NgModule is Angular specific. For more information on the difference, see JavaScript Modules vs. NgModules.

BrowserModule and CommonModule

BrowserModule imports CommonModule, which contributes many common directives such as ngIf and ngFor. Additionally, BrowserModule re-exports CommonModule making all of its directives available to any module that imports BrowserModule.

For applications that run in the browser, import BrowserModule in the root AppModule because it provides services that are essential to launch and run a browser application. BrowserModule's providers are for the whole application so it should only be in the root module, not in feature modules. Feature modules only need the common directives in CommonModule; they don't need to re-install app-wide providers.

If you do import BrowserModule into a lazy loaded feature module, Angular returns an error telling you to use CommonModule instead.

More on NgModules

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Last reviewed on Mon Feb 28 2022

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