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Yet Another List of (lesser known) VSCode Extensions

dutzi profile image Eldad Bercovici ・5 min read

VSCode is one hell of an editor. About two years after it was initially announced I started using it regularly, and, as much as I cherish Sublime Text, I haven't looked back since.

Here are some of my favorite extensions.

Naming Is Hard

Naming things is one of the toughest problems I encounter daily while programming.

A lot of times I would google the not-so-good name I came up with just to see what comes up.

Altervista Thesaurus, Cinnanyms and Dictionary Lookup all try solving this issue by listing synonyms of whatever word you give them.

It's nice and it helps some of the time. But sometimes the word I'm looking for isn't an equivalent of some word. Sometimes I'll think of a word, and I'll want to know what is it a type of. For example, the word "example" is a type of "representation". For that, I'll use Words API. No VSCode extension for it yet.

Editing Utils

Change Case - It has been in my toolbelt since I've been using Sublime Text. I am using it so much that I've set up the following keybindings for it:

[
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+k",
    "command": "extension.changeCase.kebab"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+c",
    "command": "extension.changeCase.camel"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+p",
    "command": "extension.changeCase.pascal"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+s",
    "command": "extension.changeCase.snake"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+t",
    "command": "extension.changeCase.title"
  }
]

Expand Region - This one lets you bind a keyboard shortcut for expanding and contracting the selected region, having a GIF explain it makes so much sense, so check out the one in the link.

I found the following keybinding best suiting for it:

[
  {
    "key": "alt+shift+up",
    "command": "expand_region",
    "when": "editorTextFocus"
  },
  {
    "key": "alt+shift+down",
    "command": "undo_expand_region",
    "when": "editorTextFocus && editorHasSelection"
  }
]

Import Cost - Displays the size of an imported 3rd party module, next to the import statement. Doesn't always work for me, but when it does it's really neat. Saves the hassle of going to Bundle Phobia.

Incrementor - Lets you bind a keyboard shortcut to increment/decrement the value within your current selection(s). I used to havily depend on this one but haven't much since I moved to VSCode. Maybe you'll find it useful though.

Insert Numbers - Insert a range of numbers to all cursor positions.

Multiple Cursor Case Preserve - Got a curser over a bunch of words cased differently? Once you start typing, this extensions will preserve the casing under each selection. I use this one a lot!

Path Intellisense - Autocompletes paths as you write them.

Permute Lines - As the name suggests, this one exposes some nice line manipulation tools.

Select Part Of Word - This one lets you traverse camel-cased words easily.

I have the following keybindings set up for it:

[
  {
    "key": "ctrl+shift+right",
    "command": "selectPartOfWord.selectRight"
  },
  {
    "key": "ctrl+shift+left",
    "command": "selectPartOfWord.selectLeft"
  },
  {
    "key": "ctrl+backspace",
    "command": "selectPartOfWord.backspace"
  },
  {
    "key": "ctrl+delete",
    "command": "selectPartOfWord.delete"
  },
  {
    "key": "ctrl+left",
    "command": "selectPartOfWord.moveLeft"
  },
  {
    "key": "ctrl+right",
    "command": "selectPartOfWord.moveRight"
  }
]

Diff

Partial Diff - VSCode has a nice UI for diffing files. This extension lets you enjoy that UI when diffing between a wider variety of input sources (files, clipboard and current selection), so you can diff between the contents of your clipboard and your current selection, for example.

Files

Copy File Name - Useful in projects where the filenames are the names of the classes/functions they contain. With it I can Cmd+Shift+P > Type "cfn" > Enter, then paste it somewhere I need it, and using the kybindings for Change Case, change its case to whatever.

File Utils - This extension adds some useful file manipulation commands to the Command Palette.

Etc

Copy JSON Path - Very useful in all sorts of use cases. One that pops to my mind immediately when thinking about this extension is where you need to specifiy the getter string (or JSON path) for an i18n string that resides in some lengthy JSON.

Quit Control for VSCode - Quit control will pop up a message box making sure you really want to leave once you hit Cmd+Q / Cmd+Shift+W. This one saved me so many times.

More Shortcuts

Coming from Sublime Text, I'm pretty sure the first extension I added was Sublime Text Keymap and Settings Importer (check this out for even more extensions for people coming from ST).

Here are some other useful keyboard shortcuts I set up along the years:

[
  // Collapses all folders within the Explorer Pane
  {
    "key": "cmd+k cmd+c",
    "command": "workbench.files.action.collapseExplorerFolders"
  },
  // Cancels the default binding for cmd+k cmd+r
  {
    "key": "cmd+k cmd+r",
    "command": "-workbench.action.keybindingsReference"
  },
  // Binds cmd+k cmd+r to refresh the Explorer
  {
    "key": "cmd+k cmd+r",
    "command": "workbench.files.action.refreshFilesExplorer"
  },
  // Again, clears existing keybinding (ctrl+t)
  {
    "key": "ctrl+t",
    "command": "-editor.action.transposeLetters",
    "when": "textInputFocus && !editorReadonly"
  },
  // Binds ctrl+t to Git Create Tag
  {
    "key": "ctrl+t",
    "command": "extension.gitcreatetag"
  },
  // Close all editors to the right of the current one
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+r",
    "command": "workbench.action.closeEditorsToTheRight"
  },
  // And, for completeness, the not so useful close-editor-to-the-left
  {
    "key": "cmd+i cmd+l",
    "command": "workbench.action.closeEditorsToTheLeft"
  },
  // Clears the terminal
  {
    "key": "cmd+k cmd+k",
    "command": "workbench.action.terminal.clear",
    "when": "terminalFocus"
  },
  // Increase and decrease the sidebar's width using your keyboard!
  {
    "key": "ctrl+shift+left",
    "command": "workbench.action.decreaseViewSize",
    "when": "sideBarFocus"
  },
  {
    "key": "ctrl+shift+right",
    "command": "workbench.action.increaseViewSize",
    "when": "sideBarFocus"
  },
  // The following ones map Chrome's DevTools keybindings to VSCode's debugger
  {
    "key": "cmd+'",
    "command": "workbench.action.debug.stepOver",
    "when": "debugState == 'stopped'"
  },
  {
    "key": "f10",
    "command": "-workbench.action.debug.stepOver",
    "when": "debugState == 'stopped'"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+;",
    "command": "workbench.action.debug.stepInto",
    "when": "inDebugMode"
  },
  {
    "key": "f11",
    "command": "-workbench.action.debug.stepInto",
    "when": "inDebugMode"
  },
  {
    "key": "shift+cmd+\\",
    "command": "workbench.action.splitEditor"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+\\",
    "command": "-workbench.action.splitEditor"
  },
  {
    "key": "cmd+\\",
    "command": "workbench.action.debug.continue",
    "when": "inDebugMode"
  },
  {
    "key": "f5",
    "command": "-workbench.action.debug.continue",
    "when": "inDebugMode"
  }
]

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