can we get the exact currently indexed key of a type?

If you have a type like Example that you want to convert into this structure, you can do it like this:

type OuterObject<T extends object> = {
    [K in keyof T]: InnerObject<K>

The idea is that we are mapping InnerObject<K> over each K in keyof T.

Importantly, the difference between this and what you wrote is that you were operating on the whole union keyof T and not each element in the union. It’s the difference between {[X in Y]: F<X>}, which evaluates to a possibly different type for each property, and {[X in Y]: F<Y>} which does not.

This produces the behavior you’re looking for:

const obj: OuterObject<Example> = {
    foo: {
        name: 'whatever',
        ref: 'foo',
    bar: {
        name: 'baz',
        ref: 'foo' // error!

Does that work for you?

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