10 essential extensions for VS Code

Published on April 19, 2018

Panjak patel

I’ve been using Visual Studio Code as my main code editor for more than two years now. I used to work with Sublime Text, which was an amazing software (especially coming from Notepad++), but the guys at Microsoft are constantly doing an amazing job at making their editor the best out there, and their monthly update shows how dedicated they are to keep at improving it.

So it’s been my editor of choice, but a good editor would be nothing without good extensions. I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorites (plus a few more) extensions I could not live without. They make my day to day work much easier and allow me to save so much time in the long run. Here they are (in no special order):

Color Info

VS Code provides a tiny preview box for colors in CSS files. Color Info allows you to get a much better view of the color your mouse hovers, complete with CMYK or alpha values. It can even act as a color picker, which is really convenient.

Color Info

:emojisense:

You know I love emojis. This extension allows you to directly insert emojis or type emoji codes in your files. Say you wish to insert a joystick emoji. Just begin to type :joy for instance and you’ll get an auto complete window pop up which will allow to directly insert the 🕹 icon. If you type in ::joy, it’ll insert :joystick: along with a preview of the emoji. It’s great!

Git Blame

As its name states, this simple extension shows the git blame of the current selected line in the status bar.

Git Blame

Markdown All In One

I absolutely love Markdown. Actually this whole site makes extensive use of markdown, as it is built with Hugo. This extension helps you write Markdown by adding shortcuts such as Cmd + B for bold text, Cmd + I for italics, and so on. So convenient!

Settings Sync

If you’re like me and work on multiple (sometimes virtual) machines, this extension is wonderful! It allows you to sync your settings and extensions thanks to a Github Gist that gets downloaded/uploaded.

TODO Highlight

As the name states, it highlights TODOs, FIXMEs and any keyword you specify. Just write TODO: somewhere and not only will it highlight it, but it’ll also list all the ones you’ve already written anywhere in your project.

Todo Highlight

Vetur

This extension is a swiss knife for Vue. From autocompletion to snippets, it’s a must-have for any frontend developer.

Spell Right

A multilingual, offline and «lightweight» spellchecker. Spell Right uses your built-in dictionaries to check for errors, and can check for errors in any (and even multiple) language anywhere within your project. Watch out for big files though, as it can sometimes take some time to operate. I usually have it toggled off by default. It’s easy to ask it for a spell check just by clicking on the eye icon in your status bar.

EditorConfig for VS Code

Strangely enough, VS Code does not support EditorConfig by default. Just install this extension and it’ll instantly start listening to any .editorconfig file it encounters.

Bookmarks

Now this one I use it constantly! Bookmarks is an extension that puts little blue bookmarks in your file gutter. It’s extremely handy when you need to switch between positions inside a file, or if you need a quick reminder anywhere in your project. I’ve set up mine with shift + cmd + = (toggle bookmark) and shift + cmd + - (next bookmark) and thanks to this I can jump around files without having to leave my keyboard. The extension also adds a small panel right below your file browser which lists all active bookmarks in the current project. A must-have.

Bookmarks

Honorable mentions

AutoFileName

This extension is pretty straightforward. Just type in the beginning of a file/directory and it’ll autocomplete its name for you. Really handy when you need to point to a file inside node_modules.

cdnjs

Most of the time I inject my dependencies in my Javascript files thanks to Webpack. But whenever I need to mockup something quickly, this extension has my back. Using the command palette, you’ll be able to insert URLs or script/style tags of all the libraries cdnjs handles. Quite handy.

cdnjs

Got one to share?

So here are a few extensions I use every day. If you’ve got one I should check out, hit the comment section or send me a tweet!

Bullet

Comments:

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Dhaval Vyas Apr 20, 2018.
Great curated list.! Thanks 👍

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Fabien Lasserre Apr 20, 2018.
@Daniel: It’s been mentioned to me, and I’ve tried it a few months ago. I found it a bit too cluttered for my taste, I really like the simplicity of Git Blame. I understand why it’s so popular though, it’s a really complete extension.

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Salatiel Apr 20, 2018.
Great list! Thank you!

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Daniel Grima Apr 21, 2018.
@Fabien agreed it can get too cluttered. Main reason I had installed it is because it allows you to stash a selection of files which VS Code doesn’t allow you to do :) it has lots of customisations which I’m yet to experiment with.

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Arthur Apr 22, 2018.
What theme are you using in your pictures, the white one, it looks really nice. Most of the time I only use dark themes, but this one is exceptional, do you know what it’s called?

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Fabien Lasserre Apr 23, 2018.

@Arthur: If you’re talking about the TODO Highlight screenshot, it comes from the plugin page and apparently it’s the Material Night theme.

I personally use Dracula with IBM Plex Mono. I couldn’t work with a light theme. After a while my eyes get sore. If you like light-colored theme though, I suggest you try out Solarized as well.

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aksh1618 Jun 5, 2018.
Great list ! Another one I recently discovered and really like is Bracket Pair Colorizer. You have listed Spell Right here, but Code Spell Check seems to be much more popular. Any particular reason for preferring Spell Right ? (Also, you misspelt :emojisense: 😛)

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Fabien Lasserre Jun 6, 2018.

It’s really a matter of personal preference, really. I usually don’t like spell checkers when it comes to code, but I understand how people can find this useful.

And thanks for telling me about the typo, it’s fixed now. :)

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Fabien Lasserre Jun 27, 2018.
So since people have been asking me a few time about this, I’ve contacted Pankaj Patel, the author of the photo. The color scheme used in this picture is Atom One Dark and the font is Inconsolata. I believe since the picture is saturated it was hard to guess, but there you have it. 😄


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