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Stefi Rosca
Stefi Rosca

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7 Useful VS Code extension for junior web developers

In my early days of coding I used to get quickly frustrated when my code didn't run. It felt like I was doing everything right but the web app still didn't work. Mostly it was a silly mistake, some sort of typo, a missed comma, bracket or semicolon. This made me question my potential of becoming a developer.

More experienced developers always had fancy extensions and in the beginning I felt quite nervous downloading any. I didn't see the value and I didn't want to add stuff that might break my current setup or that I didn't quite understand.

With the extensions I share below I became a bit more productive and spend less time debugging.

1. Prettier

This extension is a code formatter that you can set to automatically format your code on save. This will make it easier to read and write code as it removes unnecessary space and aligns everything well.

It works with JavaScript, TypeScript, Flow, JSX, JSON, CSS , SCSS, Less, HTML, Vue, Angular, GraphQL, Markdown and YAML.

Demo Prettier extension

To make this extension format your code automatically on save you have to change this in settings as per the screenshot below.

Settings - automatically format your code on save


>>> Get Prettier here <<<

2. Highlight Matching Tag

This extension is useful to find matching opening and/or closing tags especially when having tags with a lot of tags inside.

Demo Highlight Matching Tag


>>> Get Highlight Matching Tag here <<<

3. Auto Rename Tag

Have you ever had to change maybe an h1 for an h3 or div for a ul? If so with this extension when you rename one HTML/XML tag, you can automatically rename the paired HTML/XML tag. Pretty useful I'd say.

Demo Auto Rename Tag


>>> Get Auto Rename Tag here <<<

4. Error Lens

A bit annoying at times as I don't finish typing and it tells me something is missing but found it super useful for those forgotten brackets or commas. It highlights errors visibly right in the line where something is not right.

Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 15.46.00

Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 15.45.14


>>> Get Error Lens here <<<

5. Live Server

A helpful extension when working on static websites - HTML, CSS and JS and no framework as you won't have to reload every time you make a change. After each save it will be automatically reload the page.


>>> Get Live Server here <<<

6. Sort Lines

I'm not sure if one really needs this extensions but I've found that some people like to sort their CSS lines plus you look cool. Simply select the content you want to sort alphabetically and click: Keybound to F9 on a Mac.

Demo Sort Lines

7. Bracket Pair Colorizer 2

This extension highlights matching brackets with the same colour. This makes it easier to find a missing bracket.

Demo without extension:
Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 15.37.11

Demo with extension:
Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 15.41.07

Although with the new VS Code update you could activate this functionality directly the IDE by setting the bracketPairColorization.enabled in the settings section.


>>> Get Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 here <<<


Bonus extensions


Do you use other extensions that you find useful? Please add them in the comments below.

Thank you!

Discussion (9)

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cassidoo profile image
Cassidy Williams

Thanks for the list, Stefi!

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nsokolov114 profile image
NSokolov114

Hey, thanks for mentioning the Sort Lines extension!
It's not as useless, as one might think: google guidelines require to alphabetize declarations, and rearranging lines is sometimes quite annoying.

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stefirosca profile image
Stefi Rosca Author

Thank you for you for sharing your thoughts :)

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ibrahimcesar profile image
Ibrahim Cesar

Hello! Great list! I just want to add that bracket colors are native to VS Code now and thus, more performant than a extension: code.visualstudio.com/updates/v1_6...

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stefirosca profile image
Stefi Rosca Author

Thank you! Yes, I mentioned this and additionally explained how to enable it 😉 Probably you just read the name of the extensions, right? 😅

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ibrahimcesar profile image
Ibrahim Cesar

Yes, spot on.

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omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay

@stefirosca It's worth mentioning that Live Server is currently unmaintained and hasn't been updated in two years. Also, Bracket Pair Colorizer is apparently unmaintained.

This prompted me to check my extensions, and unfortunately, Rainbow Brackets which I use also hasn't been updated since 2016... marketplace.visualstudio.com/items...

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stefirosca profile image
Stefi Rosca Author

Thank you, Omri for the comment! Both Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 and Rainbow Brackets are not required anymore with the new VS Code update. Now you can activate this functionality directly the IDE by setting the bracketPairColorization.enabled in the settings section 😉

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omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay

wow, thanks for the heads up!