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Quick Tip: Using Visual Studio Code from the Command-Line on macOS

calvinallen profile image Calvin A. Allen Originally published at calvinallen.net on ・1 min read

As part of my new job, I had to get (and learn!) a new Macbook.

Luckily, most of the applications I need are cross-platform these days, including Visual Studio Code (my favorite all around text editor). In fact, I’m using it right now to write this post.

I installed Visual Studio Code, as per usual (following the instructions on the website). I tried to launch it from the terminal, just like I do all the time on my Windows-based machines, but it wouldn’t work! VSCode wouldn’t launch and I received an error that the command wasn’t understood. But why not, I thought to myself? It’s been installed, machine has been restarted (as a result of other installations / configurations), why couldn’t it find it?

I do what every developer does, I open up a browser and hit my favorite search engine - BING, and FINALLY, uncovered it…

Installing Visual Studio Code on a Mac, by default, does NOT add the installation directory to the PATH. Great, so what’s the answer, you ask?

  1. Launch VSCode
  2. Open the Command Palette (View | Command Palette or CMD + SHIFT + P)
  3. Type shell command, which should bring you to Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH
  4. Hit enter, and you’re done.

Restart any open terminal windows to pick up the PATH change, and you can use code directly from the terminal now!

Enjoy!

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