The Must-Have Visual Studio Code Extensions for Front-End Developers

Whether you’re writing CSS or a full-blown Elixir application, automating the way you work can save hours of time each week. Ask yourself the question, “How much time do I spend each day doing X?”

As a Front-End Developer, I’ve always strived to be more efficient by writing, cleaner, and faster code. Visual Studio Code is my editor of choice. It’s even required at Revelry, as we often pair-program using the built-in Live Share feature. I want to highlight some of the tools I use to speed up my workflow.

SCSS-Lint

If you write a lot of CSS then you probably care about the quality of your code. I’ve long been a fan of CSS linters. Revelry even built a linting robot to assist us with such tasks. The beauty of SCSS-lint is that your settings file, .scss-lint.yml, can be either globally or project-based. You can use this extension to lint CSS right in the VS Code problems panel.

demo
Learn more about scss-lint here.

Alphabetical Sorting

When it comes to fixing lints, the one rule that continuously needs fixing is PropertySortOrder: true, meaning that all CSS should be alphabetized. After mapping this extension to a shortcut (E.g. ctrl, a), you can perform this action in less than a second.

Learn more about alphabetical sorting here.

Emmet

Emmet, now built right into Visual Studio Code, is the code expansion tool you can’t live without. In addition to Emmet’s sophisticated code expansion, you can also wrap Individual lines with Emmet code snippets:

For more info, check out Chris Coyer’s tutorial on this method.

Bonus Tip

Try typing “lorem” TAB to fill in “Lorem Ipsum” placeholder text.

emmet
Learn more about Emmet here.

Auto Rename Tag

This simple extension does one thing; It auto renames paired HTML/XML tags. This is especially helpful on tags that wrap extensive amounts of content.

auto-rename
Learn more about Auto Rename Tag here.

Change Case

This doesn’t sound like much, but when you combine the Change Case extensions with shortcuts, it becomes a handy tool for switching between all cases. E.g. Change a sentence into lowercase, then kebab case.

change-case shortcuts
Learn more about Change Case here.

Rainbow Brackets

Find that missing tag with ease by color-coding every bracket set in your environment.

rainbow-brackets
Learn more about Rainbow Brackets here.

VS Code Great Icons

Organize your environment by applying an appropriate icon set to visually identify files by type.

VScode great icons
Learn more about Great Icons here.

GitLens

Take control of your projects by bringing the power of Git right into VS Code. View complete commit history, compare files, view branches, or even look at who committed code and when with line blame. GitLens is especially helpful when dealing with merge conflicts. To learn more about GitLens, check out GitLens in the VS Code Marketplace.

Learn more about GitLens here.

Import Cost

This extension displays the import size of the package you are importing right inside the code editor. 

import-cost
Learn more about Import Cost here.

Peacock

Change the color of your workspace. Ideal when you have multiple VS Code instances and you want to identify which is which.

peacock-windows
Learn more about Peacock here.

Settings Sync

What good is the perfect setup if it’s not backed up? “Synchronize settings, snippets, themes, file icons, launch, keybindings, workspaces, and extensions across multiple machines using GitHub gist.”

vscode settings sync
Learn more Setting Sync here.

Write Good Linter

Your markdown needs to be better. Just because you’re writing in markdown, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice grammar. Improve your writing with this must-have extension.

write-good-linter
Learn more about Write Good Linter here.

Placeholder Images

Services like unsplash.it and placehold.it are extremely useful. Now you can save time by adding placeholder images right from within VS Code.

placeholder
Learn more about Placeholder Images here.

All the VS Code Extensions!

That’s a basic overview of VS Code extensions I’m currently using to increase efficiency, but I’m finding new ones every day. No seriously, I recently discovered Save Without Format. There are always new and better ways to work. If I ever find myself struggling with the same task, I need to stop and ask myself, “Is there a better way to do this?” or more appropriately, “Is there a VS Code extension for this?”

Resources:

More Posts by Steve Achord:

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