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Tuomo Kankaanpää
Tuomo Kankaanpää

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If you use Git and VS Code – Read This!

I am, like many other developers nowadays, using Git and VS Code as my version control and code editor. Couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Best extensions for VS Code in 2020.

In that post I mentioned GitLens as one of my favourite plugins. This was mostly because I use Git and I need to see Git commit history and changes for a given file and VS Code itself doesn’t offer a good tool for that. Well not until March 2020 update.

Introducing Timeline

In the March 2020 update Timeline view was out of preview and enabled by default. Timeline view is a unified view for visualising time-series events (for example, Git commits, file saves, test runs, etc.) for a file.

So basically you can select different sources for the timeline and if you for example select Git as a source, you get nice view of Git commit history for a file. You can also view the commits and see a diff view for the file.

Here is a quote from the release notes: In this release, the built-in Git extension contributes a timeline source that provides the Git commit history of the specified file. Selecting a commit will open a diff view of the changes introduced by that commit. A context menu provides commands to Copy Commit ID and Copy Commit Message. There is also a new Open Timeline command on the File Explorer’s context menu, to quickly show the timeline for the selected file.

Timeline view

I have been using the timeline view quite a lot for the past few weeks and personally I think it’s a great and very needed addition to VS Code. What do you think?

Originally published at on May 2, 2020.

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Top comments (6)

msucorey profile image
Corey Wofford

Yeah I've been loving this feature. Had a lot of fun time traveling my project's package.json - really tells a story, but of course useful anywhere. Really it has me using GitLens a lot less as Timeline offers most of what I was looking for there, but more intuitively.

manuelojeda profile image
Manuel Ojeda


javaarchive profile image

Git in eclipse slows it down, but I'm happy it doesn't very much in VSCode. Thanks for sharing this

kensixx profile image
Ken Flake

Wow I have never used until now. Thanks for this post!

ekibet profile image
Evans Kiptarus Kibet

I feel this information does not explain how to link your git and vscode.

schmitzel76 profile image
Patrick Schmitz

It's a very welcome addition and I use it a lot to quickly browse file history.