Your First Extension
In this topic, we'll teach you the fundamental concepts for building extensions. Make sure you have Node.js and Git installed, then install Yeoman and VS Code Extension Generator with:
npm install -g yo generator-code
yo code # ? What type of extension do you want to create? New Extension (TypeScript) # ? What's the name of your extension? HelloWorld ### Press <Enter> to choose default for all options below ### # ? What's the identifier of your extension? helloworld # ? What's the description of your extension? LEAVE BLANK # ? Initialize a git repository? Yes # ? Bundle the source code with webpack? No # ? Which package manager to use? npm # ? Do you want to open the new folder with Visual Studio Code? Open with `code`
Then, inside the editor, press F5. This will compile and run the extension in a new Extension Development Host window.
Run the Hello World command from the Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)) in the new window:
You should see the
Hello World from HelloWorld! notification showing up. Success!
Developing the extension
Let's make a change to the message:
- Change the message from "Hello World from HelloWorld!" to "Hello VS Code" in
- Run Developer: Reload Window in the new window.
- Run the command Hello World again.
You should see the updated message showing up.
Here are some ideas for things for you to try:
- Give the Hello World command a new name in the Command Palette.
- Contribute another command that displays current time in an information message. Contribution points are static declarations you make in the
package.jsonExtension Manifest to extend VS Code, such as adding commands, menus, or keybindings to your extension.
- Replace the
vscode.window.showInformationMessagewith another VS Code API call to show a warning message.
Debugging the extension
VS Code's built-in debugging functionality makes it easy to debug extensions. Set a breakpoint by clicking the gutter next to a line, and VS Code will hit the breakpoint. You can hover over variables in the editor or use the Run and Debug view in the left to check a variable's value. The Debug Console allows you to evaluate expressions.
You can learn more about debugging Node.js apps in VS Code in the Node.js Debugging Topic.
In the next topic, Extension Anatomy, we'll take a closer look at the source code of the
Hello World sample and explain key concepts.
You can find the source code of this tutorial at: https://github.com/microsoft/vscode-extension-samples/tree/main/helloworld-sample. The Extension Guides topic contains other samples, each illustrating a different VS Code API or Contribution Point, and following the recommendations in our UX Guidelines.
This is also a good time to review our UX Guidelines so you can start designing your extension user interface to follow the VS Code best practices.