What is Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is a free, open-source, and cross-platform source code editor developed by Microsoft. It provides developers with a lightweight yet powerful tool for editing and debugging code across multiple programming languages. Unlike full-featured IDEs, VS Code is fast and lean, built on the Electron framework, while still offering many advanced capabilities through its extensions system. Developers can add functionality to VS Code by installing extensions that add language support, themes, debuggers, and more from the huge extension marketplace.
- What is Visual Studio Code
- How it works
- How to use Visual Studio Code
- Technical characteristics Visual Studio Code
- System Requirements Visual Studio Code
- Versions Visual Studio Code Product
- Download Visual Studio Code on Your PC for Free
- How to Install or Uninstall Visual Studio Code
- Free Alternatives to Visual Studio Code
- Download link (button)
Useful features in Visual Studio Code include built-in Git support, smart code completion using IntelliSense, an integrated terminal, and debugging tools. VS has quickly become one of the most popular code editors across platforms like Windows, Linux, and macOS due to its active open-source development, regular updates from Microsoft, rich extension ecosystem, and flexibility as a customizable editor for any coding project. The lightweight and streamlined interface of VS Code makes it easy for developers to use as their primary powerful source code editor for web, mobile, desktop, and cloud application development.
How it works
Microsoft Visual Studio Code works by providing a streamlined source code editor experience while integrating powerful development tools under the hood. At its core, VS Code lets you edit code files with syntax highlighting, code completion, and other editor features to be productive. It uses the Electron framework to provide cross-platform support across Windows, macOS, and Linux. For building and debugging code, Visual Studio Code has native support for compiling applications, running tasks, and launching debuggers. Developers can access these through the intuitive IDE-style interface. It’s allow adding new languages, themes, and features by tapping into the editor and terminal APIs. Everything runs locally with a Node.js backend, meaning VS Code provides speedy performance.
Microsoft and the open-source community continually enhance VS with new capabilities and frequent updates. Overall, VS combines a simple yet customizable code editing experience with robust programming tools in an extensible open-source package.
- Cross-platform support – works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Developers can use VS on their desktop OS of choice.
- Active open source development – Visual Studio Code is developed and maintained publicly on GitHub with new features and updates added frequently.
- Lightweight and fast – much less resource intensive than traditional IDEs, allowing speedy performance.
- Extensions ecosystem – thousands for added functionality like themes, etc.
- Customizable – from theme colors to keyboard shortcuts, VS can be customized to suit preferences.
- Integrated terminal – work in the shell/command line without leaving the editor.
- IntelliSense and debugging – get intelligent code completion, and hints.
- Broad language support – supports most major programming languages out of the box.
- Free source code editor and open source – available to download and use without cost under the MIT license.
- Community and ecosystem – benefits from strong support community and available resources/tools.
- Not a full IDE – lacks some advanced features found in traditional integrated development environments.
- Limited refactoring capabilities – Renaming variables/functions is supported
- No built-in code profiling – Must rely on code profiling/performance analysis.
- Scope of extensions vary – can be hit or miss depending on maintainer support.
- Difficulty debugging complex systems – Can be tricky configuring VS for large enterprise codebases.
- Missing niche features – As an editor it may lack very specific tools some developers need.
- Command line required for some tasks – A terminal is necessary for some build operations.
- Performance issues with very large files – Large files like big JSONs can slow down the editor.
- Keybindings differ from traditional IDEs – Learning curve coming from an IDE background.
- Browser preview requires extensions – No built-in browser preview, relies.
- Limited Git support – Integrations exist but still lacks full native GUI Git tools.
How to use Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is fairly simple to use once installed. Open Visual Studio Code and you’ll see your folder structure on the left sidebar. Create or open a project folder to access its files. The editor window shows file contents – you can directly edit code here with syntax highlighting. Use the top menu bar and command palette to access key features like search, debug mode, version control, and managing. Write code in the editor using IntelliSense autocomplete and smart hints. Save files directly or through source control like Git. Launch tasks and debuggers from the Run menu to build and test projects. Many keyboard shortcuts are available to speed up navigating and editing code. Overall, the streamlined interface, command palette, and editor workflow make Visual Studio Code intuitive to use for writing, running.
Technical characteristics Visual Studio Code
- Built on Electron framework using Node.js and Chromium
- Uses Monaco editor component for the coding interface
- IntelliSense for smart code completion and hints
- Integrated debugger supports breakpoints, call stacks, variable inspection
- Extensions implemented using TypeScript and Node.js
- Remote development capabilities to code on remote machines
- Responsive user interface with customizable layouts
- Command palette for quick access to all features
- REST APIs and CLI for custom automation and tool integration
System Requirements Visual Studio Code
- Windows 7 and later, macOS recent versions, Linux distros like Ubuntu
- 1.6 GHz or faster processor, dual core recommended
- 1 GB RAM minimum, 4 GB+ recommended
- 400 MB to 1 GB storage space needed
- modern web browser required for extensions marketplace
- Requires installing .NET Framework on Windows and Mono framework on Linux
- Works best with updated/modern hardware and software configurations
- SSD storage recommended for better performance
- Code Editing – Supports syntax highlighting, code completion, formatting, snippets etc. for many programming languages.
- Debugging – Built-in debugger with breakpoints, call stacks, watch window for monitoring variables.
- Git Integration – Review diffs, stage files, commit code, and push branches, all within the editor.
- Extensions – Extend VS Code by installing extensions that add new languages, themes, debuggers, and more.
- Customization – Change keyboard shortcuts, color themes, settings, and layout for a personalized editing workflow.
- IntelliSense – Provides intelligent code completions, signature help, quick info and error checking.
- Terminal – Integrated terminal to run shell commands and tools right inside VS Code.
- Code Navigation – Quickly navigate and symbol search using outline view, go to definition etc.
- Integrated Source Control – Review and manage and other source code repositories.
- Task Runner – Run build tasks defined in task.json right within the editor.
- Code Refactoring – Perform quick code refactors like extract method and rename symbol.
- Remote Development – Use VS Code to code on remote machines.
Versions Visual Studio Code Product
visual studio 2012
- First release with Windows 8/WinRT support
- Async coding, IDE theme editor
visual studio 2013
- Universal Windows app development
- Code lens & cloud business apps
visual studio 2015
- .NET Framework 4.6, Roslyn compiler
- Enhanced debugging and testing tools
visual studio 2017
- Visual debugging improvements
- Live Unit Testing
- Lightweight Installer option
visual studio 2019
- IntelliCode, Live Share, tighter GitHub integration
- Container tools, C# 8.0
visual studio 2022
- Hot reload for .NET, 64-bit IDE
- Enhanced debugging visualization
Visual Studio Code is a separate lightweight code editor compared to the Visual Studio IDEs for .NET development. In summary, each major Visual Studio release adds new features for .NET development, mobile apps, databases, collaboration, AI assistance, and modern frameworks like .NET 6. VS in contrast is a lightweight editor for web/cloud development.
Download Visual Studio Code on Your PC for Free
You can easily download Visual Studio Code installation archive from our website, using the download button at the end of this article.
How to Install or Uninstall Visual Studio Code
How to Install Visual Studio Code
- Step 1
Go to the end of this article and download the installer for your platform.
- Step 2
Run the downloaded VS Code installer executable.
- Step 3
Follow the setup wizard, accept the license agreement, and choose the install location.
- Step 4
Let the installation complete. This will install VS Code on your system.
- Step 5
Once done, VS Code can be launched from the Start Menu or desktop shortcuts.
- Go to Add/Remove Programs or Apps section in your system settings.
- Find the Visual Studio Code entry, right click and select Uninstall.
- Follow the prompts to confirm the removal of VS Code.
- The uninstaller will delete VS Code application files and shortcuts.
- You may need to restart your system to complete the uninstall.
After restart, Visual Studio Code will be fully uninstalled and removed from your system. This process works for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. Let me know if you need any clarification on the steps!
Free Alternatives to Visual Studio Code
- Atom – Created by GitHub, Atom is a customizable text editor with robust extension support.
- Sublime Text – Very fast and responsive lightweight editor with powerful customization options.
- Vim – Terminal-based editor with advanced text editing features and keyboard shortcuts.
- Emacs – Extensible, customizable editor that has been around for decades with active community.
- Visual Studio Community – Free version of Visual Studio IDE optimized for .NET development.
- Eclipse – Popular open source IDE used extensively for Java but supports other languages too.
- NetBeans – Java-focused open source IDE with drag-and-drop GUI builder and robust tools.
A: Yes, VS Code is completely free to download, use, and share under an open-source MIT license. There are no paid versions.
A: Yes, VS Code is generally secure and safe to use. As an open source project, the codebase is reviewed by the community. Extensions should be vetted.
A: Yes, you can run a portable version of VS Code off a USB drive without needing install. This can be done by installing VS Code normally, then copying the installed folder.
Visual Studio Code for Windows is a lightweight but powerful source code editor from Microsoft. It is a fully featured code editor that allows you to work with files and folders, and it supports features like debugging, syntax highlighting, and autocomplete based on variable types. You can download the latest version of Visual Studio Code for free from the download page, and it can be installed on your Windows PC. With built-in git commands and support for pushing and pulling from any hosted SCM service, Visual Studio Code also offers extensions to add new functionality and connect to additional services, making it a versatile and efficient tool for developers.