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How to Download and Install Visual Studio Code
If you are looking for a powerful, free, and open source code editor that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux, you might want to try Visual Studio Code (VS Code). In this article, we will show you how to download and install VS Code, as well as how to use its basic features and compare it with other editors.
What is Visual Studio Code?
VS Code is a source code editor developed by Microsoft that supports a wide range of programming languages and technologies. It has many features that make coding easier and faster, such as:
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IntelliSense: a smart code completion tool that provides suggestions based on variable types, function definitions, and imported modules.
Debugging: a built-in debugger that allows you to set breakpoints, inspect variables, view call stacks, and execute commands in the console.
Git integration: a seamless integration with Git and other source control providers that lets you review diffs, stage files, and make commits right from the editor.
Extensions: a rich ecosystem of extensions that add new languages, themes, debuggers, and tools to VS Code.
Customization: a high level of customization that lets you change the layout, icons, fonts, color scheme, keyboard shortcuts, and settings of VS Code.
VS Code also has a web version called vscode.dev that allows you to edit code online without installing anything. You can access it from any browser and work with files from GitHub, Azure Repos, or your local machine.
How to Download VS Code
To download VS Code, you need to visit the official website . There you will find different installation options for your platform. For example, if you are using Windows, you can choose between:
User Installer: a standard installer that requires administrator privileges and installs VS Code for your user account.
System Installer: an alternative installer that requires administrator privileges and installs VS Code for all users on the machine.
.zip: a compressed archive that does not require installation. You can extract it to any folder and run VS Code from there.
CLI: a command line interface that allows you to launch VS Code from the terminal.
You can also download VS Code for Mac or Linux using similar options. Alternatively, you can use the Snap Store or the Homebrew package manager to install VS Code on Linux or Mac respectively.
How to Install VS Code
To install VS Code, you need to run the installer or extract the archive that you downloaded. The installation process is straightforward and does not require much configuration. However, you can customize some aspects of VS Code during or after the installation. For example, you can:
Select the destination folder where VS Code will be installed.
Select the start menu folder where VS Code will create shortcuts.
Select additional tasks such as creating a desktop icon, adding VS Code to the path, or registering code file associations.
Select the language pack for your preferred language.
Select the extensions that you want to install along with VS Code.
After the installation is complete, you can launch VS Code from the start menu, desktop icon, or terminal. You can also access the settings and preferences of VS Code from the File menu or by pressing Ctrl+, (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+, (Mac).
How to Use How to Use VS Code
VS Code is a versatile and user-friendly code editor that allows you to work with different types of files and projects. To use VS Code, you need to understand some of its basic features and commands. For example, you can:
Open a file or folder by using the File menu or by dragging and dropping it into VS Code.
Create a new file or folder by using the File menu or by pressing Ctrl+N (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+N (Mac).
Save a file or folder by using the File menu or by pressing Ctrl+S (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+S (Mac).
Search for a file or text by using the Edit menu or by pressing Ctrl+F (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+F (Mac).
Replace a text by using the Edit menu or by pressing Ctrl+H (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+H (Mac).
Navigate between files and symbols by using the Go menu or by pressing Ctrl+P (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+P (Mac).
Run, debug, or test your code by using the Run menu or by pressing F5.
Format, refactor, or lint your code by using the Source Control menu or by pressing Shift+Alt+F (Windows/Linux) or Shift+Option+F (Mac).
Install, update, or manage extensions by using the Extensions menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+X (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+Shift+X (Mac).
View, split, or move editors and terminals by using the View menu or by pressing Ctrl+\ (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+\ (Mac).
VS Code also has a command palette that lets you access all the commands and settings of VS Code. You can open it by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+Shift+P (Mac). You can also use keyboard shortcuts to perform various actions in VS Code. You can view and customize them by using the Keyboard Shortcuts menu or by pressing Ctrl+K Ctrl+S (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+K Cmd+S (Mac).
How to Compare VS Code with Other Editors
VS Code is not the only code editor available in the market. There are many other editors that offer similar or different features and functionalities. Some of the most popular ones are Sublime Text and Visual Studio. How does VS Code compare with them? Here is a table that summarizes some of the main differences and similarities between them:
Free and open source
$80 for a license
$45-$250 per month for a subscription
Windows, Mac, Linux
Windows, Mac, Linux
Supports over 100 languages with extensions
Supports over 50 languages with plugins
Supports over 30 languages with extensions
Built-in and customizable for most languages
Limited and requires plugins for some languages
Built-in and advanced for C#, C++, VB.NET, F#, etc.
Built-in and supports many debuggers with extensions
Limited and requires plugins for some debuggers
Built-in and supports many debuggers with extensions
Built-in and supports many Git commands and providers with extensionsLimited and requires plugins for some Git commands and providersBuilt-in and supports many Git commands and providers with extensions >Extensions >Rich and diverse ecosystem of over 30,000 extensions >Moderate and varied ecosystem of over 5,000 plugins >Limited and specific ecosystem of over 1,000 extensions >Customization >High level of customization for layout, icons, fonts, color scheme, keyboard shortcuts, and settings >Moderate level of customization for layout, fonts, color scheme, keyboard shortcuts, and settings >Limited level of customization for layout, fonts, color scheme, keyboard shortcuts, and settings >As you can see, VS Code has many advantages over other editors, such as being free, cross-platform, versatile, and extensible. However, it also has some drawbacks, such as being less stable, less performant, and less integrated than some of its competitors. Ultimately, the choice of editor depends on your personal preference, needs, and goals.ConclusionIn this article, we have shown you how to download and install VS Code, as well as how to use its basic features and compare it with other editors. We hope that you have found this article helpful and informative. If you want to learn more about VS Code, you can visit its official website .