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Angular Signals Cheat Sheet

Angular signals, an exciting feature introduced in Angular v16, offer a new way to make our code more reactive and improve performance by providing better change detection【8†source】.

What Are Signals?

Signals in Angular are a combination of a variable and a change notification mechanism. Unlike regular variables, signals notify about value changes, making them reactive primitives. They are synchronous, always have a value, and are particularly useful for change detection in templates. However, they're not intended for asynchronous operations like those handled by RxJS and Observables【9†source】.

<!-- Reading a signal in an Angular template -->
<span>{{ count() }}</span>

Writable Signals

Writable signals in Angular allow manipulation of their values through API functions like .set(), .update(), and .mutate(). These functions enable direct value changes, updates through calculations or string manipulations, and mutations of complex data structures like objects or arrays【20†source】.

Creating the Signal

To create a writable signal, declare a new variable using the signal() function with an initial value:

import { signal } from '@angular/core';

export class App {
yourSignalVariable = signal(yourSignalValue);

Changing the Signal with .set()

The .set() method directly replaces the signal value:

this.userIsLogged.set(true); // For login
this.userIsLogged.set(false); // For logout

Changing the Signal with .update()

Use .update() for more complex value changes:

(value) => (value = `${value}-passwordEncryption`)

Changing the Signal with .mutate()

For complex data structures, .mutate() is recommended:

this.citiesIWantToVisit.mutate((cities) => {
cities.forEach((city) => {
if ( != 'Phoenix') return;
city.visited = true;

Computable Signals

Computable signals depend on other variables and update automatically when those variables change. They are read-only and cannot be modified directly with methods like set(), update(), or mutate():

totalPrice = computed(() => this.selectedVehicle().price * this.quantity());
color = computed(() => this.totalPrice() > 50000 ? 'green' : 'blue');

Reading Signals

To read a signal's value, invoke it as a getter function:

console.log(count()); // Reads the signal value

In Angular templates, signals are bound and automatically update the view on changes. They are treated as regular properties and can be interpolated with the {{ }} syntax【31†source】【32†source】.


Effects in Angular are used when code reacting to signal changes has side effects, such as API calls or logging. The effect() function runs whenever there's a change in any dependent signal:

effect(() => console.log(this.selectedVehicle()));

Effects should not alter the value of signals; for signal-based changes, use computed signals instead【14†source】.

This cheat sheet provides an overview of the fundamental aspects of Angular Signals, a powerful feature for creating more reactive and performance-efficient Angular applications.