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New Features to Test Out in Visual Studio Code 1.14

Developers who prefer VSC will find a slew of new change in the June release, including some enhancements that will make working with the Integrated Terminal more flexible. There are also a few changes to how VSC handles tasks.

July is here, so that must mean another build for Visual Studio Code is upon us. The June 2017 Build, dubbed version 1.14 showcases a number of features and enhancements: improved productivity when using the terminal, enhanced accessibility to commands and tasks, and automated code indenting. There are also a few preview features that are available to those using Visual Studio Code with the Windows Insider Builds. As usual, these are just highlights, and there's much more listed in the release notes.

For Visual Studio Code users who often find themselves using the integrated terminal, there are a number of productivity improvements having to do with making selections. For one, users can now select and copy text from several pages of the terminal window, and there's also now a Select All command that selects everything. As such, wrapped lines would copy with line breaks, but now that issue is fixed in the more recent build. Other terminal improvements: basic find capability, and ability to rename terminal sessions via a new command.

Tasks are now on the top-level menu to make it more accessible, and along with that change come some enhancements when using the Configure Default Build Task in conjunction with version 2 of the tasks.json file: Run Task opens most recently used tasks first, and are opened in the integrated terminal to take advantage of the terminal's capabilities; Task will automatically detect whether it's being extended to TypeScript, Gulp, Jake, or npm, with support for dotnet and Maven is planned (there's a tasks API available for providers who want to work on supporting task detection through specific languages).

For persnickety developers who like well-formatted code, VSC 1.14 has built in some coding conveniences. One is recognition of indentation rules for specific languages: TypeScript, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, JSON, as well as others. It's done by setting a new feature called editor.autoIndent to True. The feature is in preview, so developers might have issues with it, but as of now, the way it works is that any time a developer types a line of code or moves or copies and pastes code, the code should indent based on the programming language in use. For C languages, bracketing rules will also be applied.

There are also a few preview features that are available to those using Visual Studio Code with the Windows Insider Builds. There's currently a VSC 64-bit that works with the current Windows Insider Builds. The notes warn that the 32-bit version does need to be uninstalled before using this one. Also in preview only for those working under the Insiders Build is a capability to have open multiple project folders in a single window. From those open projects, developers will soon be able to use File Explorer and perform some limited search capabilities among projects.

These are just highlights, see the release notes full list.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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