Customizing Visual Studio Code

Customizing Visual Studio Code

One-stop guide to customizing VS Code and making it yours.


3 min read

In this article, we will talk about customizing Visual Studio Code including installing extensions and changing your color theme to make it suit you and your development.

Firstly, lets discuss changing your color theme, since its very easy and simple and has quite an impact on the editor's aesthetic.

Changing Color Theme

Changing your color theme is very simple in Visual Studio Code.

  1. Hit 'CTRL' + 'SHIFT' + 'P'
  2. You should then see what's called the command palette. It looks like this:

VS Code Command Pallette

Note: your options may look slightly different (mainly at top: recently used) however the process remains the same.
  1. Search for Color Theme, click on "Preferences: Color Theme" and you will then be taken to a menu where you can select one.
Tip: You will have minimal color themes available right off the bat. You can install more through the Extensions tab (Hit CTRL+SHIFT+X).

I currently use a theme called Aurora X and I find it clean, nice and great to use. Some popular options include:


Dracula Theme


Abyss Theme

Shades of Purple

Shades Of Purple

Night Owl


Installing Extensions

Installing extensions will significantly boost your productivity as a developer and allow you to code much easier. So how do you install an extension?

  1. First, open the extensions tag by clicking on the extensions icon in the sidebar or by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+X. This will open up a tab that looks like this:

Visual Studio Code Extensions Panel

  1. You can then click on the search bar in the top left of the screen and search for an extension. This will then bring up the extension's page. For example, the CSS Peek extension page looks like this:

CSS Peek Extension Page

Note: On my screenshot it shows uninstall since I already have the extension however yours will just say 'Install'.
  1. Finally, click the install button and the extension will be installed.

Here is a list of a few popular extensions I couldn't live without:

Live Sass Compiler

This extension watches sass files and automatically compiles them to regular css. It is extremely handy when using Sass which i commonly use.

View Extension

Live Server

Live server allows you to run a live server by simply pressing on 'Go Live'. This server auto updates when a file is changed which is very useful when building simple html and css applications.

View Extension

ES7 React/Redux/GraphQL/React-Native snippets

This extension gives you a set of snippets of React, Redux, GraphQl, and React Native. These snippets are very useful and can significantly boost your productivity since you will write less boilerplate.

View Extension

Bracket Pair Colorizer

This extension colors brackets that open/close each other the same color which means you can more easily interpret your code.

View Extension

Auto Rename Tag

This extension automatically renames tags when one of them is changed which is incredibly useful when coding HTML and manipulating elements.

View Extension

Take Away

Hopefully, you have learned how to successfully customize Visual Studio Code by changing your color theme and installing extensions. This knowledge should help increase your productivity as a developer.

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