Tree Extended tool result

Tree-Extended, a tool to get custom directories trees

Raúl Otaño Hurtado
4 min readAug 4, 2022


In this write, I want to show two ways to create custom directories trees by using the tree-extended tool:

  1. By using directly tree-extended in your SO command line by installing it as a node package.
  2. Or, by using the tree-extended vscode extension.

Why tree-extended?

I was documenting one of my projects and I wanted to write in markdown a directory tree representation, but I didn’t want to show all the directories but a particular one, the one that I was talking about in that section in the document. There is a command for Linux named tree that you can install, but it didn’t match all the requirements I was looking for. That is why I created tree-extended as a custom implementation of tree.

Using tree-extended in the command line

First, we need to be sure we have installed NodeJs >= 6.x in our Mac or Pc.

Then just open your terminal and run npm install tree-extended -g . This line will install this npm package globally, in this way you will be able to run the tree-extended command in your terminal.

Ok. Now we have it installed. We can runtree-extended -h to see the help. Here we get all the features we can do:

  • Specify a max tree depth we want to get
  • Specify what to do when we got this max tree depth: print ... or nothing
  • We can choose a charset to use, currently ascii , utf8 , and utf8-icons
  • We can choose if we want to ignore the items defined in the .gitignore file.
  • We can filter the items, by defining ignore and only filters. Here is the true magic. We can create these filters at tree-deep levels. For example: aaa, bbb, 0:ccc, 3:ddd, 3: ffff, 5:eee ... , this means: aaa and bbb are global, ccc is a filter that will apply to the root level, ddd and ffff will be applied to level 1, and so on…

One interesting example

Having this complete directory:

│ ├───aa/
│ ├───ab/
│ └───ac/
│ ├───ba/
│ │ ├───bafile1.txt
│ │ └───bafile2.txt
│ ├───bb/
│ ├───bc/
│ │ └───bca/
│ │ └───bca-file1.txt
│ ├───bd/
│ └───bfile1.txt

We run this command: tree-extended -only="0:b, 1:bc, 2:bca" and we get:

│ └───bc/
│ └───bca/
│ └───bca-file1.txt

We can see that we can restrict the search to only show one path to a file or to a directory. But we are doing it here by using0:b (at level 0 restrict to items matchingb). The problem is that this pattern (b) also matchba/. To avoid this, we can use regular expressions in the patterns:

Now run instead: tree-extended -only="0:b$, 1:bc, 2:bca" and we get:


In this way, by using 0:b$ we are using a regular expression that means: match all items ending in b . In this way, we exclude ba/ from the result.

You can find more examples and use cases by going directly to the library web.

Using tree-extended VsCode Plugin

To make this easier to use I decided to create an extension for VsCode. To install it just go to the Extensions Menu item and search for the tree-extended extension.

Go to the Extension Menu and search ‘tree-extended’

Now, to use it, is as simple as right-clicking on the directory you want to get the tree and clicking Get tree representation

Right-click on /src and then click ‘Get tree representation’

After this, the extension is going to ask if you want to use a custom configuration or the default one:

Choose not to use a custom configuration

By choosing No and we are going to use the default configuration (we can change it in the plugin configuration settings)

Result when using the default configuration for /src directory tree

If we click Yes to use a custom configuration we are able to specify the maximum directory tree deep and the only and ignore filters:

Using custom configuration to create the directory tree

To customize the rest of the options, we go to the plugin configuration settings:

Changing plugin configuration settings

And that’s it! Feel free to play with it, maybe it is helpful to you in the future.