What You Need to Know about Visual Studio Code: A Tutorial


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Visual Studio Code is a source code editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It supports many programming languages with extensions available to support popular frameworks like Node.js or Python.

The “visual studio code tutorial pdf” is a free and open source text editor that has been developed by Microsoft. The tool allows users to code, debug, and build software for multiple platforms.

What You Need to Know about Visual Studio Code: A Tutorial

Every cowboy need a mount, every Batman requires a Robin, and every programmer requires a powerful code editor. When you deal with code on a daily basis, you need a reliable code editor. Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is the editor of choice for many developers. Keep an eye out for the next Visual Studio Code lesson.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn all there is to know about Visual Studio Code and all of its useful features. Continue reading if you want an in-depth look of VS Code, along with detailed descriptions of everything it can do.

This blog article is a chapter excerpt from the eBook From Admin to DevOps: The BS Way to Azure DevOps. Check read the next part if you like this one and want to learn more about DevOps on Azure.

The User’s Interface

The version of Visual Studio Code used in this lesson is 1.53.2. You’re probably using a new version if the instructions and screenshots appear a bit different. However, every effort has been taken to concentrate on the less version-specific parts of VS Code.

When you first launch VS Code, you’ll see something similar to the picture below. You’ll notice that VS Code includes a few key places that you’ll be looking at on a daily basis.

The primary VS Code windowThe primary VS Code window

The primary VS Code window can be broken down into five distinct areas:

  • The Editor Window (Tabs/Groups) is where you’ll be performing the most of your work. All of the code you’re working on will be shown and edited in this window. The code will appear in the editor window whenever you open a new file or modify an existing one. In this editor pain, VS Code features tabs that enable you to open many files at once and editor groups that organize different tabs together.
  • Workspace – The workspace will be the next most frequently used aspect of the UI. Any files you have open in tabs will appear in the workspace. You’ll often open whole folders to view all of the files in a certain folder at once.
  • The sidebar displays information such as the Git repo you’re working with, the name of the Git branch you’re working on, and the option to push Git changes to a remote repo.
  • Panels – The “output” portion is the panels section. Under this pane, you’ll discover numerous “tabs” with information returned by VS Code and its Extensions. You’ll also find the convenient integrated terminal here. The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the is a built-in Bash terminal (with additional shells available through Extensions) that enables you to execute code without needing to open a separate shell in VS Code.
  • The status bar displays information about the currently active editor tab. The status bar displays the cursor location, encoding, and the file type that VS Code understands, among other things. VS Code and its Extensions will show information in the status bar as they run.

The Command and Commands Palette

In VS Code, there’s a lot to accomplish, particularly if you’ve installed a lot of plugins (covered later). The standard File, Edit, and View menus at the top of the window handle a lot of that capability, but not all of it.

In VS Code, using commands from the command palette is the simplest method to get things done. The command palette is a menu that shows at the top of the screen when you pick Command Palette from the View menu, or when you press Ctrl-Shift-P on the keyboard.

The command palette is seen in the following screenshot.

Command palette in Visual Studio CodeCommand palette in Visual Studio Code

The command palette is where you’ll discover all of VS Code’s features. The command palette is useful since it has all of the capability for controlling tasks, settings, snippets, and more in one place (covered later).

The command palette contains everything you can do with a standard VS Code installation as well as any Extensions you’ve added.


With options, you may adjust almost every feature of VS Code. Both the basic VS Code functionality and added Extensions are controlled by the settings. JSON files are used to store settings, and VS Code includes a lot of them out of the box.

Ctrl-Shift-P will launch the Command Palette, where you may adjust your settings. As seen below, type “settings” and choose Preferences: Open Settings (JSON). But be warned: there are a lot of options!

The command palette's settingsThe command palette’s settings

VS Code will then present all of its currently specified options in a JSON file.

However, the VS Code UI provides a simpler approach to adjust settings. As you can see in the picture below, VS Code has a user interface for browsing settings. This UI may be found by going back to the command panel and selecting Preferences: Open Settings (UI).

The VS Code settings UI enables you to search for options and categorize them on the left side of the screen.

Managing the settings in Visual Studio CodeManaging the settings in Visual Studio Code

There’s no chance this Visual Studio Code course will even come close to covering all of the options available. Take a look around and see what modifications you can make to VS Code.


Extensions are one of the most significant aspects of VS Code. VS Code comes with standard code editor features like syntax highlighting, Intellisense, and more. It recognizes the sort of code you’re writing and adjusts in a variety of ways. However, it does not comprehend all languages.

You may be working on an ARM template, for example. JSON is the format of an ARM template. Fortunately, VS Code understands JSON right out of the box. When you open a file with the JSON extension, VS Code believes it’s a JSON file and uses all of its capabilities. A few of these characteristics may be seen in the following screenshot.

After all, JSON is simply plain text. VS Code has to comprehend JSON’s structure in order to recognize when a section should be collapsed and what text should be colored. Depending on the kind of file opened, VS Code uses these capabilities in a different way.

JSON definitions for Extensions for Visual Studio CodeJSON definitions for Extensions for Visual Studio Code

Even if an ARM template is written in JSON and VS Code recognizes JSON, this does not imply that VS Code recognizes ARM templates.

A JSON template isn’t everything that an ARM template is. An ARM template contains a defined structure and schema, as well as functionalities. VS Code is unaware that $schema must be specified as the first element in a specific JSON file. The extension ecosystem in VS Code comes in helpful here.

Even while VS Code doesn’t recognize ARM templates natively, it doesn’t imply it can’t be done. VS Code may be enhanced by developers. In this instance, developers may use an extension to add functionality to ARM templates.

An extension is a tiny package that you may install in Visual Studio Code to make dealing with different resources simpler.

The extension icon in the Activity Bar may be used to manage extensions, as demonstrated below. You should get a list of the most popular extensions in the Extension Marketplace as soon as you click the icon on the left.

Developers store extensions in the Extension Marketplace, which you may download and install at your leisure.

Extensions aren’t merely language-specific, as you can see in the next screenshot. Extensions improve the functionality of VS Code in a variety of ways. If you’re writing code for a particular product, check the Extension Marketplace to see if there are any extensions available.

Extensions for Visual Studio CodeExtensions for Visual Studio Code

For the ARM template, type “arm” into the search box and see what comes up. It’s worth noting that there are a variety of ARM template extensions available, including some from Microsoft and others from third-party developers. When you click the green Install button next to each extension, it will download and install the extension right away.

Extensions for filteringExtensions for filtering

VS Code shines because of its extensions. Extensions let you accomplish a lot more with VS Code and eliminate the need to exit the program to do additional activities.


Have you ever found yourself repeatedly typing the same code snippet? You should constantly endeavor to work according to the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) concept, just as you should in software development.

Sure, you could get the same result by entering the identical function definition snippet 50 times, but what’s the point? And who’s to say you’ll write it in the same manner every time? Snippets are a great technique to make text blurbs in an automatic fashion.

VS Code Snippets: Shortcuts to Make Coding Faster

Snippets in VS Code are a useful tool that everyone should use, regardless of what sort of work they undertake. Snippets let you input a few characters in a code editor tab, which grows to whatever you need rapidly.

Snippets are saved in JSON files and are organized by language or extension. PowerShell, ARM template, Python, C#, and Javascript snippets, for example, may all be installed at the same time.

You can discover snippets by using Ctrl-Shift-P to open the command palette, then entering “snippets” and pressing Enter.

Create a command palette entry for User Snippets.Create a command palette entry for User Snippets.

You’ll be sent to the snippets menu, where you may alter all of the preset language snippets. If you’ve installed any extensions that include snippets, they’ll appear here as well.

Viewing snippets that are peculiar to a certain languageViewing snippets that are peculiar to a certain language

If you use the arrow keys to browse to a certain snippet and then press Enter or click on it, VS Code will open the JSON snippets files in an editing tab. Many will have a single JSON element commented out with instructions on how to create your own snippet, as seen in the accompanying picture.

Viewing a snippet file of a languageViewing a snippet file of a language

Each snippet consists of a single JSON element that corresponds to a certain syntax. On Microsoft’s VS Code snippets website, you may learn more about snippet syntax.

A common sample for creating a PowerShell function is shown in the following code snippet. This snippet makes use of the PowerShell extension, which generates a snippets file called powershell.json. When you enter the snippet “func” in an editing window, VS Code replaces the text with the code in the body.

Take note of the $1|functionName and $2 strings in the example below. With VS Code snippets, you can not only change a code snippet with a few keystrokes, but also alter it once it has expanded. This snippet contains tab stops in this example.

Tab stops enable you to press Tab, update the placeholder text (functionName for the first (1|) tab stop, then press Tab again to start typing on line eight of the body.

“New function”: “prefix”: “func”, “body”: [“function $1:functionName”, “t[CmdletBinding()]”, “tparam”, “t()”, “”, “t$ErrorActionPreference = ‘Stop’”, “”, “t$ErrorActionPreference = ‘Stop’”, “”, “t$ErrorActionPreference = ‘Stop’”, “”, “”,

After you’ve created the snippet, you can use the editor to call it. As you can see in the accompanying example, when you enter “func” in a PowerShell script, VS Code offers you with a choice of possibilities.

VS Code comes with several built-in snippets by default, and some plugins also install snippets. The snippets function, function-advanced, and function-Inline may be found below. The PowerShell addon included these snippets.

Extensions for Visual Studio Code can add "Intellisense" featuresExtensions for Visual Studio Code can add “Intellisense” features

When you click Enter after selecting func in the editor window, func will transform into the code snippet on the left in the figure below. You can see that VS Code has a cursor on line eight and highlighted functionName. These tab stops enable you to alter the extended snippet’s sections.

Creating your own custom snippetsCreating your own custom snippets

If you take the time to flesh out all of the regular procedures you undertake on a daily basis, snippets may save you a lot of time. This Visual Studio Code course just scratched the surface of what you can achieve.

The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the

When writing scripts or software, you don’t simply slap together a lot of code and expect it to function. That would be great if it were true. Instead, you create some code, test it to see if it works, then change and repeat until your job is complete.

To run code in development, you’d typically have to Alt-Tab to another window like a console or other external tool. If that external tool is available via the command-line or you’re writing PowerShell code, you don’t have to leave VS Code and use The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the instead.

The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the is integrated directly into VS Code. It isn’t an external console or window. It sits below your editor tabs at all times (unless you close it). By default, the terminal is a legacy command prompt (cmd.exe) on Windows or Bash on Linux and macOS. However, as you can see below, once you install the PowerShell extension, VS Code defaults to a PowerShell console.

The integrated PowerShell terminalThe integrated PowerShell terminal

You can use The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the just like you would a typical console by typing commands, getting output, etc. But The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the provides a few additional benefits. For starters, one of the most useful benefits is the ability to run pieces of code while in development.

For example, let’s say you’re working on a PowerShell script and you’d like to test a single line. Instead of copying out the code and pasting it into another PowerShell window, click on any position on that line and hit the F8 key. VS Code then reads the entire line and executes it in The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the (if you have the PowerShell extension installed).

Using the integrated terminal to run code is a device that allows you to connect to theUsing the integrated terminal to run code is a device that allows you to connect to the

In this Visual Studio Code tutorial, you’re only going to learn The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the basics. To learn more about The Integrated Terminal is a device that allows you to connect to the, be sure to check out Microsoft’s documentation.

Using Workspaces to Work as a Team

So far, this course has assumed you’ve been using VS Code on your own. It’s presumed that all you’re doing is typing on your keyboard. However, this does not represent reality. In the actual world, you’ll almost certainly be part of a team.

You were modifying VS Code’s setup for you while you were searching through the settings, adding extensions, and generating some snippets. What if you’re part of a team that may benefit from the changes you made to your VS Code setup? In such scenario, you’ll have to disclose your preferences. A workstation is one method to do this.

A workspace in Visual Studio Code is a collection of files and settings that influence behavior for a single project.

Consider an app your team is working on that has a lot of files, a Git repo, and possibly a coding standard that everyone in the team must follow. A workspace may be useful for a single “project.”

Related: How to Setup Visual Studio Code on GitHub!

To create a workspace, open one or more folders, then go to the File menu, choose Save Workspace As from the drop-down menu, and save the file. The workspace is saved to a file with the extension code-workspace by VS Code. This file holds all of the workspace’s stored data.

Workplace and Environment

When it comes to settings, workspaces play an important role. In VS Code, you may configure settings at the user or workspace level. You’ll probably want to setup a shared workspace if you’re working on a collaborative project and everyone is using VS Code. To do so, open the necessary folders and save the workspace.

When you’re working in a workspace, open the command palette and enter “settings,” and you’ll get a new Workspace Settings option, as seen in the picture below.

Setting up the workplaceSetting up the workplace

After that, selecting the Open Workspace Settings option will return you to the Settings panel. You’ll have two categories of options this time: User and Workspace. If you choose Workspace and make a change here, the change will be saved to the workspace file rather than your personal VS Code installation.

Settings for the user vs. the workplaceSettings for the user vs. the workplace

Workspaces are a wonderful way to organize and distribute snippets, settings, and other stuff across a team to provide a uniform experience.


This Visual Studio Code lesson was created to help newcomers get up and running with the IDE. Despite the fact that it is difficult to cover the whole of VS Code in 3,000 words, this lesson has covered the most important aspects.

Check out the Microsoft documentation if you want to learn more about Visual Studio Code and go further into any of the capabilities discussed here.

Visual Studio Code is a free and open source code editor that has been designed to offer more modern coding experiences. It offers an integrated development environment (IDE) with built-in support for debugging, version control, and multi-cored Git workflow. Reference: what is visual studio code used for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Visual Studio Code good for coding?

A: Yes, it can be used for coding. Im not sure if Microsoft officially supports VS Code, but there are many extensions available that allow you to do a lot of things with the IDE

Is Visual Studio good for beginners?

A: Visual Studio is a very good compiler that can be used to create C# and other programming languages. Although its not the only option, you should use this tool when trying to learn how to develop your computer software or game idea because of its ease-of-use and familiarity with beginners.

What can I do with Visual Studio Code?

A: Visual Studio Code is a free, open source text editor and code editor that can be used to create web apps, edit C# and TypeScript code files. It also provides options for debugging your JavaScript code, for unit testing different parts of an applications logic (unit tests), or just inspecting the language runtime in general.

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