Visual Studio Code

Last updated
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code 1.35 icon.svg
VS Code (Insiders).png
Visual Studio Code running on Windows 10
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial releaseApril 29, 2015;6 years ago (2015-04-29)
Stable release 1.58.2 [1]   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg (15 July 2021;13 days ago (15 July 2021)) [±]
Preview release 1.55.0-insider [±] [2]
Repository OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Written in TypeScript, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS [3]
Operating system Windows 7 or later, OS X 10.10 or later, Linux
Platform IA-32, x86-64, ARM64
  • Windows: 40.8–68.3 MB
  • Linux: 46.5–66.6 MB
  • macOS: 67.5 MB
Available in14 languages
List of languages
English (US), Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Turkish [4]
Type Source code editor, debugger
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Visual Studio Code is a source-code editor made by Microsoft for Windows, Linux and macOS. [9] Features include support for debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, code refactoring, and embedded Git. Users can change the theme, keyboard shortcuts, preferences, and install extensions that add additional functionality.


Microsoft has released most of Visual Studio Code's source code on the microsoft/vscode repository of GitHub using the "Code – OSS" name, under the permissive MIT License, [5] [10] while the releases by Microsoft are proprietary freeware. [7]

In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, Visual Studio Code was ranked the most popular developer environment tool, with 50.7% of 87,317 respondents reporting that they use it. [11]

Visual Studio Code was first announced on April 29, 2015, by Microsoft at the 2015 Build conference. A Preview build was released shortly thereafter. [12]

On November 18, 2015, Visual Studio Code was released under the MIT License, having its source code available on GitHub. Extension support was also announced. [13] On April 14, 2016, Visual Studio Code graduated from the public preview stage and was released to the Web. [14]


Visual Studio Code Insiders logo Visual Studio Code Insiders 1.36 icon.svg
Visual Studio Code Insiders logo

Visual Studio Code is a source-code editor that can be used with a variety of programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, Go, Node.js, Python and C++. [15] [16] [17] [18] It is based on the Electron framework, [19] which is used to develop Node.js Web applications that run on the Blink layout engine. Visual Studio Code employs the same editor component (codenamed "Monaco") used in Azure DevOps (formerly called Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio Team Services). [20]

Instead of a project system, it allows users to open one or more directories, which can then be saved in workspaces for future reuse. This allows it to operate as a language-agnostic code editor for any language. It supports a number of programming languages and a set of features that differs per language. Unwanted files and folders can be excluded from the project tree via the settings. Many Visual Studio Code features are not exposed through menus or the user interface but can be accessed via the command palette. [21]

Visual Studio Code can be extended via extensions, [22] available through a central repository. This includes additions to the editor [23] and language support. [21] A notable feature is the ability to create extensions that add support for new languages, themes, and debuggers, perform static code analysis, and add code linters using the Language Server Protocol. [24]

Visual Studio Code includes multiple extensions for FTP, allowing the software to be used as a free alternative for web development. Code can be synced between the editor and the server, without downloading any extra software.

Visual Studio Code allows users to set the code page in which the active document is saved, the newline character, and the programming language of the active document. This allows it to be used on any platform, in any locale, and for any given programming language.

Language support

Out-of-the-box, Visual Studio Code includes basic support for most common programming languages. This basic support includes syntax highlighting, bracket matching, code folding, and configurable snippets. Visual Studio Code also ships with IntelliSense for JavaScript, TypeScript, JSON, CSS, and HTML, as well as debugging support for Node.js. Support for additional languages can be provided by freely available extensions on the VS Code Marketplace. [25]

Data collection

Visual Studio Code collects usage data and sends it to Microsoft, although this can be disabled. [26] In addition, because of the open-source nature of the application, the telemetry code is accessible to the public, who can see exactly what is collected. [27] According to Microsoft, the data is shared with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries, although law enforcement may request it as part of a legal process. [28]

Version control

Source control is a built-in feature of Visual Studio Code. It has a dedicated tab inside of the menu bar where you can access version control settings and view changes made to the current project. To use the feature you must link Visual Studio Code to any supported version control system (Git, Apache Subversion, Perforce, etc.). This allows you to create repositories as well as make push and pull requests directly from the Visual Studio Code program.


In the 2016 Developers Survey of Stack Overflow, Visual Studio Code ranked #13 among the top popular development tools, with only 7.2% of the 46,613 respondents using it. [29] Two years later, however, Visual Studio Code achieved the #1 spot, with 34.9% of the 75,398 respondents using it. [30] In the latest survey, the 2019 Developers Survey, Visual Studio Code is still ranked #1, with 50.7% of the 87,317 respondents using it. [11]

See also

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