Visual studio code: the microsoft code editor you’ll want to install

All operating systems come by default with a plain text editor that allows us to easily modify files or take notes. In the case of Windows, for example, it’s Notepad. Although this program does its job, the truth is that it is infinitely limited in every way. For this reason, users who want a more advanced notebook, or are going to program any type of software, often turn to much more complete and professional alternatives, such as Visual Studio Code .

Visual Studio Code is a free and open source plain text editor developed by Microsoft to offer users an advanced programming tool as an alternative to Notepad .

This editor is written entirely in Electron, a framework used to unite Chromium and Node.js in the form of a desktop application. It is not exactly characterized by low memory consumption (since it has to load the entire Chrome core), but it is very easy to program, very powerful and flexible. This editor uses the same editor component as Visual Studio Team Services (Monaco) instead of the classic Atom.

Alternative to Notepad for programmers

Any user can download and use Visual Studio Code without any hassle. However, the people who will really benefit from this code editor are the programmers. If we are not going to use it to program it is better to choose other alternatives to Notepad, such as Notepad ++.

One of the best features of this editor is IntelliSense. This function allows us to highlight the syntax of all the source code that we are writing and, in addition, it allows us to use functions such as auto-complete, based on variables, definitions and modules.

Visual Studio Code also has a host of code debugging options designed to help programmers find errors in code, debug it, and even optimize it. And thanks to Git commands (and from other version control platforms), it is possible to have a complete version controller integrated within the editor.

In addition to its own characteristics, Visual Studio Code hides a large number of tricks and hidden functions that we will not find in the menus, but must be executed from the command palette (a kind of internal terminal) or through configuration files. json.

Supported programming languages

Finally, another of the main characteristics of this software is the large number of programming languages ​​with which it can work:

Highlight the syntax:

  • Batch file
  • C
  • C #
  • C ++
  • CSS
  • Clojure
  • CoffeeScript
  • Diff
  • Dockerfile
  • F#
  • Git-commit
  • Git-rebase
  • Go
  • Groovy
  • HLSL
  • HTML
  • Handlebars
  • INI file
  • JSON
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • JavaScript React
  • Less
  • Lua
  • Makefile
  • Markdown
  • Objective-C
  • Objective-C ++
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Perl 6
  • PowerShell
  • Properties
  • Pug template language
  • Python
  • R
  • Razor
  • Ruby
  • Rust
  • SQL
  • Sass
  • ShaderLab
  • Shell script (Bash)
  • Swift
  • TypeScript
  • TypeScript React
  • Visual basic
  • XMLX
  • Query
  • XSL
  • YAML


  • Groovy
  • Markdown
  • Neem
  • PHP
  • Swift

Code autocompletion:

  • CSS
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • JSON
  • Less
  • Sass
  • TypeScript


  • C #
  • TypeScript


  • JavaScript and TypeScript for Node.js projects.
  • C # and F # for Mono projects on Linux and macOS.
  • C and C ++ on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Python.
  • PHP

And all this can be improved thanks to the extensions.

Extensions: the strong point of Visual Studio Code

Making such a complete system in every way is very complicated and, furthermore, very inefficient. Many developers would have problems having so many programming languages ​​in one package.

For this reason, Microsoft decided to make  Visual Studio Code a modular and fully customizable editor using plugins. Both Microsoft and other developers can share their plugins to enhance Visual Studio Code through the extension store.

We can access the extensions store from the publisher’s own website, or from the program itself.

This extension store has more than 16,500 extensions, which we can explore one by one or use the search engine to quickly find the one we want based on our needs.

We can find extensions for practically everything, from adding support for the languages ​​that we are going to use to integrating the editor with other platforms.

Download Visual Studio Code

This text editor is totally free for all users, and we can download Visual Studio Code from the following link . It is available for both Windows and Linux and macOS, and all extensions and functions are supported for all operating systems.

Installation is quick, easy and does not hide anything weird. Once the program is installed we can start using it. Every time there is an update, the editor itself will notify us, and we can download it in seconds from the program itself.

Alternatives to Visual Studio Code

If we are a text editor for programming, we present some alternatives to Visual Studio Code that we must take into account:


We are talking about an open source text editor that will allow us to work with Git and GitHub directly. It has an intuitive interface specially developed to be used by both programming students and advanced users. It has compatibility with programming languages ​​C ++, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, among others. It stands out for having a good number of utilities that make it a very complete program. For example, it has contextual autocompletion, language autodetection, and snippet support. Its interface can be organized by including several panels that we can use simultaneously and organize our projects by folders. Atom is a multiplatform application that we can download from its  website .

Sublime Text

It is an application that has become one of the best options for professionals to edit text. It is ideal for web programmers since it has a wide variety of compatible programming languages ​​such as CSS and HTML, among many others. Among its features is its ability to allow jumping to strings or symbols, highlighting the code, defining various syntax and doing divided division. Although it is a somewhat complex application, with the help of its keyboard shortcuts and commands we will be able to increase our productivity by carrying out programming tasks. Sublime Text is multiplatform, and we can download this program for free from its page . If we want to take advantage of all its functions, we can opt for its Premium version of payment.

Notepad ++

One of the most popular text editor that supports programming languages ​​like HTML, Java, Pascal, Ada, C, C ++, and much more. If it is characterized by something, it is because it is very light, so it can be used in all types of computers and because of its simplicity, making it ideal for students. Notepad ++ is a free and open source application for Windows, whose repository is also available on GitHub. We can download it from  this link .

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