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Derek Ardolf for Dendron Inc

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

Highlights from VSCode 1.61

The open source VSCode project, along with VSCodium1, completed their latest monthly release with v1.612. For those of us that haven't been using the Insider's Build,3 it's time to look at what's new.

As a bonus for this release, Microsoft held a little VSCode 1.61 Release Party on YouTube. Watch the recording, see the devs show off features, and feel like you were actually invited to a party!

Locked editor groups

Locked editor groups in Visual Studio Code

Note: this is an experimental feature.

Don't lose track of a file or terminal you are bouncing back-and-forth between in your gigantic list of editor tabs: use locked editor groups. These prevent VSCode from opening more editor tabs in a group (a collection of tabs).

I like this feature, as I'm often opening new files in the wrong area of the screen. I want those side-by-side, computer!

Split an editor without creating a new group

Split editors in groups in Visual Studio Code

Do you find yourself looking at large files, and wish you could scroll down while staying in place elsewhere? Now you can, by doing the splits without creating a new group. Test it out with View: Split Editor in Group in the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P) or with the keybinding shortcut: Ctrl+K Ctrl+Shift+\. This is useful when converting pieces of code into functions, trimming fat, copy/pasting comment blocks, and whatever else your heart desires.

No new group means not having yet another tab open in your editor!

Webview UI Toolkit for Visual Studio Code

For extension authors making use of the webview API for customizable views in the editor, life is about to become easier: say hello to the Webview UI Toolkit. This is an open-source component library, providing Visual Studio Code design language, which matches the look and feel of VSCode/VSCodium. This is compatible with your tech stack of choice, bet it React, Vue, or OMGNewJSFramework!

Other notables

General tip: Wondering what shortcuts are configured in VSCode? One shortcut to rule them all: Ctrl+K Ctrl+S

  • Or Ctrl+Shift+P -> Preferences: Open Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Confusion was caused by a new telemetry config option, telemetry.telemetryLevel, which would display that telemetry was enabled (even if it was previously disabled). The full discussion can be found on GitHub, which led to improvements being implemented in the 1.61.1 update.
  • Platform-specific extensions: no longer try installing a MacOS-only extension on your Windows system, or vice-versa. That is, if the extension developer specifies the supported OS targets. This was previewed at the release party.
  • I often came back to my laptop to find that my terminal was having a stroke in the VSCode editor. This seems to be resolved!
  • The latest point releases4 include fixes for other problems, such as high CPU consumption. Make sure to keep up-to-date!

I can't forget: want to take a look at VSCode in your web browser, without installing a thing? These are called Virtual Workspaces, such as and Reference the VSCode Blog Post on for a full rundown on bringing VSCode to the browser.

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  1. Checkout VSCodium, for the truly MIT-licensed version of the VSCode IDE (with telemetry/tracking disabled). 

  2. VSCode release notes for 1.61, along with release notes for previous monthly releases. 

  3. The VSCode Insiders Build allows users to get VSCode with new features as soon as they are available, rather than at the monthly cadence. 

  4. Issues resolved in point releases, referred to as "Recovery" releases, can be found on GitHub: 1.61.1 and 1.61.2

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