Extensions/preferences/settings to clean up the Visual Studio Code UI?

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I've recently switched from Sublime Text to Visual Studio Code and while it's a net-positive, I do tend to find myself overwhelmed by all the icons/button VSC shows.

I'd much prefer to access necessary in-app tools with keyboard shortcuts versus always showing me all the things.

So, what are some preferences/settings/extensions I should look in to for making the VSC UI less-overwhelming?

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Use a minimal theme. Disable that shady sidebar.

 

Thanks ! Any suggestions for the theme ? Also, where can we disable the shady sidebar ? As the OP, we're newbies with VSCode, so don't know all the things by heart. In Sublime, ALL settings were stored in a single JSON, so people would just share the relevant key, e.g. disable_shady_sidebar: true.

 
 

The default short cut to hide the side bar is cmd+b . You can a user shortcut for the activity bar as well. I choose option+cmd+b. That way if i need them, they are there. otherwise out of sight.

 

Try Ctrl + k + z, you go into zen mode and everything is acsessible through hotkeys, but all you see is the code.

 
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