Using VSCode as a general purpose text editor

I recently started to test out VSCode as a general purpose text editor since it has a lot of plugin support for languages. I never used Sublime or Atom before, so this is my first time encountering such a feature rich editor. I’ll not try to cover all commands that this program offers, such as the complete command palette, but focus on things that I find awesome and plugins that I installed. I have to say tho that I love the command palette which gives me all of the control via keyboard, I don’t have to use the mouse ever in VS Code, which I really welcome.

Writing Markdown

You can write Markdown with VSCode and pop up a preview window with CTRL+K V which updates automatically.

Editing Markdown with preview in VS Code

As seen in the screencast there is also a spell checking plugin by Bartosz Antosik. The cool thing about this spellchecker is that it uses the native spell checker of your operating system, if available. If not, you can use a plain dictionary file.

Terminal inside of VSCode

Since VSCode 1.2 the terminal can be shown and used inside of VSCode as an integrated terminal. It even works correctly with my fish-shell on Ubuntu and Powershell on Windows, including posh-git and PSReadline:

Integrated Terminal in Ubuntu

Integrated Terminal in Windows

To get the Powershell instead of CMD there is one option to change:

"": "\\windows\\system32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\powershell.exe"

Credit goes to Thomas Stringer.

TODO list

I recently saw someone using Sublime Text and having a nice TODO-list with checkboxes etc. and I was curious if there was a plugin for this for VSCode.

I found todotasks, which supports writing TODO-lists in plain text files (nice for versioning) and different coloring for importance of a task.


Vim support

No editor should miss an add-on for Vim-style editing 🙂 . VS Code has, at this time of writing, 3 add-ons to accomplish this. I found the best to be vscodevim, because it also mimics some popular vim plugins like easymotion.


I’m using VS-Code at the moment to program in Python and F# on Ubuntu, which is supported nicely via plugins. All the features that I like from Visual Studio, such as Intellisense, are included.

I’m sure that I missed a lot of features or plugins that are really cool, so if you have some hints for me, feel free to comment 🙂