What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code 1.50

Microsoft updates Visual Studio Code monthly. This changelog tracks the new features and improvements through version 1.50.

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  • Search Editors that display workspace search results in a full-sized editor, with syntax highlighting and optional lines of surrounding text.
  • Support for the Orca screen reader on Linux.
  • Draggable sash corners, with support extended to the edges between views and editors. Previously with editor sashes, users could resize two orthogonal sashes simultaneously by dragging the intersection between them. Now this also works in edges between editors and views.
  • Notarized MacOS builds for the editor, so users no longer receive a warning dialog that Visual Studio Code cannot be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.
  • A new setting, minimap.size, controls how the minimap uses vertical space.
  • A Column Selection mode has been added for creating a column selection.
  • The default value of renderWhitespace setting has been changed from none to selection. Whitespace characters now will be rendered by default on highlighted text.
  • A Convert to template string refactoring for JavaScript and TypeScript can quickly convert string concatenations to template strings, also known as template literals.
  • A TypeScript/JavaScript call hierarchy view is provided via TypeScript 3.8, which is bundled with Visual Studio Code 1.43.
  • A preview is offered for a Settings Sync capability to share settings and key bindings across machines.
  • Work continues on Remote Development extensions, which allow for the use of a container, remote machine, or Windows Subsystem for Linux as a full-featured development environment. There is support for Windows and MacOS SSH (Secure Shell) hosts and SSH connection sharing.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.42

Visual Studio Code 1.42, released in February 2020, includes these updates:

  • Rename changes can be previewed. When renaming, developers can confirm a new name and see the Refactor Preview panel.
  • New settings limit the number of open editors.
  • The addition of a background highlight makes folded code regions easier to discover.
  • The Debug Console input now uses the language mode of the current active editor, meaning this input supports syntax coloring, auto closing, indentation, auto closing of quotes, and other language capabilities. Also, the presentation of input and output in the Debug Console has been tuned to make it more distinguishable. VS Code displays an arrow next to the input expression only. A new setting, console.closeOnEnd, controls whether the Debug Console will automatically close when debugging ends.
  • Tasks declared inJSON now are supported at the User Settings level.
  • The bundled version of TypeScript has been upgraded to version 3.7.5, a minor update with bug fixes. Among the bug fixes: IntelliSense works for projects not stored on C: drives on Windows.
  • The panel holding the Output, Debug Console, Terminal, and Problems panes now can be moved to the left side of the editor. The command “View: Toggle Panel Position” was removed in favor of the commands “View: Move Panel Left,” “View: Move Panel Right,” and “View: Move Panel to Bottom.”
  • The debugger for Java now supports Data Breakpoints, for creating breakpoints that will get hit when the value of a variable changes.
  • Work continues on Remote Development extensions, for using a remote machine or container as a full-featured development environment. Improved support for Windows servers, including automatic OS detection, is highlighted.
  • A Timeline view feature, now in an early preview status, provides a unified view to visualize time series events such as Git commits, file saves, and test runs for a resource such as a file or folder.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.41

Visual Studio Code 1.41 was released on December 12, 2019, with the following new capabilities:

  • Compact folders, in which single child folders in File Explorer now are rendered in a compact form. Single child folders will be compressed in a combined tree element. This is useful for Java package structures, for example.
  • Support has been improved for opening repositories in Docker containers. This has been done via ongoing work on Remote Development extensions.
  • Results of full text searches now will update as the developer types.
  • When comparing two files that are editable, such as from File Explorer or when running a global Search and Replace, the left-hand side can now be edited and saved.
  • Errors and warnings now are highlighted inline in the minimap (code overview). The color of these decorations can be changed with new theme colors.
  • Additional predefined filters were added to the Problems panel. Problems can be filtered by type. Developers can see problems scoped to the current active file.
  • An HTML “mirror cursor” capability now allows you to edit opening and closing HTML tags simultaneously. This is control by setting the mirrorCursorOnMatchingTag tag, on by default.
  • Optional chaining, which produces shorter, simpler expressions when accessing a chain of properties, is supported for JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • Extract to Interface refactoring lets developers quickly extract an inline type to an interface so it can be reused.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.40

Visaul Studio Code 1.40, released November 7, 2019, introduced these new features:
  • VS Code is now built with TypeScript 3.7, and supports TypeScript 3.7 directly too. VS Code also now uses Electron 6.0 for its desktop edition.
  • A new experimental version of VS Code can be run directly in the browser. It requires making a copy of the VS Code source repository. Use yarn web to activate it from there, and view the results at http://localhost:8080.
  • The Activity Bar has been revamped slightly to better indicate which activity is selected and to improve overall contrast. Window borders in VS Code can now be themed.
  • The Outline view and breadcrumb navigator have new settings to control which symbols are shown.
  • New settings let you control the size of editors when they are split.
  • GPU hardware acceleration can be disabled in Preferences, for systems that experience issues with GPU rendering.
  • The scale of the code minimap can be set via the editor.minimap.scale setting, for those using 21:9 or high-DPI displays.
  • Highlighting of matching brackets appears when you are anywhere within the bracketed region, not just when you have the cursor next to one of the brackets.
  • A “Duplicate selection” command duplicates the selection or the current line when nothing is selected.
  • Improved rendering of Unicode combining characters, with the Unicode code point count (as opposed to just a column count) shown in the status bar.
  • More font control options, such as the ability to enable or disable specific font features.
  • The diff editor’s timeout for computing changes can now be altered from its default of five seconds. Set the timeout to 0 to always compute changes no matter how long it might take. The editor can show or ignore trailing whitespace differences on lines.
  • NPM scripts can be run from a folder using a File Explorer context menu selection.
  • Slow-running tasks generate a warning, and task autodetection can be turned off to improve performance.
  • Breakpoints show up in the file overview ruler, not just in the margin to the left of the line numbers in the code editor.
  • TypeScript users can change the memory settings for the TypeScript server instance that VS Code runs for IntelliSense.
  • The integrated terminal has a number of new features:
    • Selected chorded keybindings can be passed directly to VS Code instead of being evaluated in the terminal.
    • Pressing Alt while using the mouse wheel will scroll faster based on the editor.fastScrollSensitivity setting.
    • The right-click action can be configured to always paste in the terminal.
  • VS Code’s Git tools have added these new features:
    • Untracked files in Git can now be hidden entirely, or shown in a separate list of changes.
    • A “Reveal in Explorer” action is now available for right-clicked files in the Git list.
    • Git clone actions have a progress meter.
  • Extensions have many new APIs, color tokens for symbols, and new methods for retrieving data from an external URI to the extension.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.39

Visual Studio Code 1.39, released October 9, 2019, and otherwise known as the September 2019 release, contains the following highlights:

  • Text selections are displayed in minimap (code outline), with developers able to see regions in the minimap overview. Also, the minimap slider now can be dragged with touch.
  • A folding region can be expanded with the Toggle Fold command.
  • The Source Control view was updated to use the latest tree widget. Users can toggle between a list and a tree view with the Toggle View Mode on the Source Control title bar.
  • A new command enables creation of terminals with a custom current working directory (cwd).
     "key": "cmd+shift+h",
     "command": "workbench.action.terminal.newWithCwd",
     "args": {
         "cwd": "${fileDirname}"
  • Autocompletion and hover information for HTML ARIA attributes now have a reference to the corresponding WAI-ARIA.
  • CSS property completion now inserts a semicolon at the end of a line. Also, when completing CSS variables, if the original variable is a code string, VS Code now will show the completion item with its color.
  • For debugging, VS Code now shows breakpoint candidate locations inline, making it easier to place a breakpoint in the correct position.
  • When sessions or threads are shown in the Call Stack view, debug actions now are shown inline on hover. This will make it easier to control the debug flow when debugging multiple threads or sessions.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.38

Visual Studio Code 1.38, released in September 2019, offers the following new features and improvements:

  • The process of creating top-level files and folders in the Explorer has been improved. There are now three ways to create a file or folder in the root of the File Explorer, involving scrolling beyond the last element, pressing Escape to clear focus and selection, or using a context menu on the scroll bar.
  • The settings editor now displays errors for array-of-strings items when the current value does not specify the minItems, maxItems, enum, or item.pattern schema.
  • The cancel search icon has been updated to better represent the action when running long searches.
  • In the editor, developers now can customize the number of visible lines to display around the cursor when moving the cursor toward the beginning or end of a file.
  • A new setting, incrementalNaming, controls duplicate file naming, which can have the values simple or smart.
  • Multiline text search and replace is now supported in the editor Find control.
  • A prompt is now shown before opening outgoing links.
  • New actions are featured for copying or reverting deleted content when using the inline diff editor.
  • The Preserve Case option added to the Find/Replace control in release 1.37 is now available as the AB icon in global search and replace. A new case preservation mode can be applied to hyphen-separated words.
  • Support for the Less.js CSS extension has been improved, with support for features such as root functions and map lookups.
  • From the Variables view, developers now can create data breakpoints that will get hit when the value of the underlying variable changes.
  • TypeScript 3.6.2 is included, bringing language improvements such as stricter generators.
  • JSDoc comments no longer merge for IntelliSense. 
  • Semicolon-aware editing is offered for JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • A Toggle Editor Group Sizes command will toggle between maximizing the active editor group and evening out editor group widths.
  • The workbench’s layout engine has been rewritten to use the same grid widget as the editor. The setting, useExperimentalGridLayout, will be enabled by default.
  • A touchbar.ignored setting can selectively remove Visual Studio Code commands from the MacOS touch bar.
  • New editor group context keys are included.
  • The Screencast mode has been improved, with highlights such as a limit on the length of the screencast binding label and improvements to the keyboard shortcuts render style.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.37

Visual Studio Code 1.37, published in August 2019, offers the following new capabilities and improvements:

  • The Settings editor now supports editing array-of-string settings.
  • Developers no longer see warnings for unsupported or unknown in settings.json files. Inactive settings are faded similar to unused source code, with a hover to explain why. Users also do not see warnings for settings or extensions that are disabled.
  • In the File context menu, the new Reveal in Explorer command navigates a file in File Explorer.
  • The editor.renderWhitespace setting adds support for the selection option. Whitespace characters are shown just on selected text.
  • The NPM Scripts Explorer is collapsed in the File Explorer when there is a package.json file at the root of the workspace.
  • Minimap (code outline) search results’ visibility has been improved.
  • Users can preserve case when doing a replacement in the editor’s Find widget. Also, the Find widget’s button toggle’s active state has been updated with a filled background so developers can more easily tell when they are focused on an active toggle.
  • Navigation has been improved for SCSS@import.
  • CSS property value completion has been improved.
  • A previously experimental setting that split the TypeScript server that powers Visual Studio Code’s JavaScript and TypeScript language features into separate syntax and semantic servers is now on by default. Syntax-based operations such as code folding should be available more quickly.
  • For extension authoring, a new API is included for extensions to manage, read, and write files and folders. This is an alternative to the Node.js fs file system module. Access to files from contributed file systems is enabled.
  • The proposed TerminalRenderer API introduced in 2018 has gone through a major change and has been deprecated in favor of Extension Terminals.
  • For the integrated terminal, a search UX improvement aligns with other terminal emulators, with the search starting from the bottom of the buffer and searching upward, leading to less disoriented experience. Previously, searching from the terminal started at the top of the terminal viewport and searched downward.
  • Error reporting and diagnostics have been improved in the terminal.
  • Updated product icons are uniform in color, size, and style.

What’s new in Visual Studio Code 1.36

Visual Studio Code 1.36, published in July 2019, offers the following new capabilities and improvements:

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