15 Essential Plugins for Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a free, cross-platform text editor developed by Microsoft. It is quickly becoming a crowd favorite thanks to its excellent performance and the exuberant amount of features it offers.

Just like most IDEs, VSCode has an extension marketplace containing thousands of plugins with varying quality. To help you pick out the ones worth downloading, we made this collection of the extensions we found most useful and fun.


Open-In-Browser

VSCode doesn't offer any built-in interface for opening files directly in the browser. This extension adds a Open With Default Browser item to the contextual menu, as well as command palette options for opening in a client of your choice (Firefox, Chrome, IE).


Quokka

Quokka is a debugging tool that gives live feedback on the code you are writing. It shows you previews of the results of functions and calculated values for variables. The extension is easy to configure and works out of the box with JSX or TypeScript projects.


Faker

Quickly insert placeholder data using the popular Faker JavaScript library. You can generate random names, addresses, images, phone numbers, or just paragraphs of classic Lorem Ipsum. Each category has various subcategories so you can make the data fit your needs.


CSS Peek

WIth this extension you can trace the definitions of CSS classes and ids in your stylesheets. When you right click on a selector in your HTML files, choosing the options Go to Definition and Peek definition will send you to the CSS code in which you've styled them.


HTML Boilerplate

The HTML boilerplate extension will save you from having to manually write the head and body tags of a new HTML document. Just type html in an empty file, hit the Tab key, and a clean document structure will be generated.


Prettier

Prettier is the most popular code formatter in web dev right now. It allows your team's code look the same, no matter who wrote it. This extension makes it possible to automatically apply Prettier and quickly format whole JS and CSS documents. If you also want to throw ESLint in the mix, there is Prettier - Eslint.


Color Info

Small plugin that gives you various information about the colors you've used in your CSS. By hovering on a color you can see a larger preview of how it looks, as well as info about its translation to all formats (hex, rgb, hsl, and cmyk).


SVG Viewer

This extension adds a number of utilities for working with SVGs in Visual Studio Code. It makes it possible to render SVG files and see how they look like without having to leave the editor. There are also options for converting to PNG and generating data URI schemes.


TODO Highlight

This tool marks all TODO comments in your code, making it easier to track down any unfinished business before pushing to production. By default it looks for TODO and FIXME keywords but you can add your custom expressions as well.


Icon Fonts

Tiny snippets for including icon fonts in your project (from a CDN) and then adding the icons themselves. The extension supports over 20 popular icon sets, including Font Awesome, Ionicons, Glyphicons, and Material Design Icons.


Minify

Extension for minifying your code. It offers a ton of customization settings and the option to automatically minify on save and export to a .min file. Minify works with JavaScript, CSS, and HTML through uglify-js, clean-css, and html-minifier respectively.


Change Case

VSCode has limited options for transforming text. Out of the box it can only do lowercase and uppercase transforms. This plugin adds a lot more commands for modifying strings, including camelCase, kebab-case, snake_case, CONST_CASE, and others.


Regex Previewer

Useful tool for live testing your regular expressions. It works by applying the regex pattern over any text file opened to the side, highlighting all the matches. Kinda like RegExr but right inside your editor!


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Language and Framework Packs

VSCode ships with support for a large number of languages. If for some reason your programming language of choice isn't included, you can download an extension pack which will add autocompletion, proper indentation, and other utilities. Some web dev frameworks like react native and vue also offer language packs.


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Themes

Of course, the most important of all extensions are the themes. You'll be looking at your VSCode editor every day, why not make it more beautiful? There are tons of customization plugins that change the color scheme and the icons in the sidebar. Here are some of our favorites:

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Comments 6

  • HTML5 Boilerplate to the rescue. I loved all of this. Next time you do so, don't forget to add the Git plugin :)

  • I highly recommend this extension for connecting the VSCode debugger with Chrome's devtools.

  • Sorry members but I feel webstorm can perform better that Visual Studio ...

  • It isn't about that, though. It's for existing VS Code users.

  • The language packs are great for React &React Native.