Category Archives: Visual Studio Code


Programming editors, like music, are a matter of personal taste and I don’t hope to convert anyone here today. I would however like to bring something to your attention which I discovered at the weekend.

I’m a “Notepad++” man. I don’t particularly like the look of NotePad++ but it is fast and flexible and has colour-coding. It’s a Windows only program but has lots of plug-ins. It is my favourite editor. Well, it was.

I’ve recently been toying with other editors such as Atom but invariably I last a matter of hours with new things before finding bugs – which I am very good at, unfortunately. I think the first issue I had with Atom was Javascript refactoring but there were other issues which, all in sent me scampering back to NotePad++

There is of course Visual Studio – and that’s very nice for Windows users if you can handle it being slow as molasses – I can’t. Life is way too short to sit and wait for it to start up.

Then there is Sublime Text 3. I started warming up to that too – but again little niggles I didn’t like.

Until recently I figured I may as well stick with NotePad++ but for a chance trip to see my friend Jonathan. As always when we meet up he has stuff I’m not up to speed with and vice-versa and so it was that in the course of conversation he asked me if I was using Visual Studio Code?

My immediate reaction wasn’t totally positive – thinking it would have something to do with Visual Studio and hence “tarred with the same brush”. Anyway, being Jonathan I could not dismiss this out of hand so I asked him to show me what he was on about.

Well, things have certainly changed at Microsoft, haven’t they! Presumably partly due to Steve Ballmer disappearing off the scene?

Visual Studio Code is an editor – simple as that – a code editor. I’ve been playing with it for hours now and done some major upgrades to one of my nodes with it.  This fast, free (and importantly advert-free) clean multi-panel editor appears to have everything that Notepad++ has – and VERY much more. The first thing I noticed on pulling in my JavaScript Visual Studio Codecode was the really nice colour coding and the dark theme. The second thing – and in all honesty one of the main reasons I’m attracted to this – is the really good Intellisense.  Was it that or the document formatting, turning my spiders web of a program into a very neat job at a button-press.

Or was it the gob-smacking list of extensions? Or the GIT integration, file compare… whatever, I’m a convert.

There are some features you might not believe if you’ve not kept up with Microsoft… extensions for debugging via Chrome (yes, that’s the competitor’s program) or the (untested by me) stunning fact that this editor is also available for the MAC and LINUX !!! What!!???! In my case I’m happy to stick with editing in Windows.

So – free, better than what I’m using now, fast, flexible and supported by Microsoft Why wouldn’t I be impressed. If you give the editor a go (which takes no time at all in Windows), you might be too. Integrates no problem as the primary editor for WinSCP.