Essential Visual Studio IDE Extensions

For daily development, Visual Studio 2022 IDE is my weapon of choice. While the default feature set is amazing, it can be enhanced further by using the right extensions. With nearly 2,000 extensions to choose from, we are spoilt for choice!

Figure: Most Popular Visual Studio 2022 Extensions | Visual Studio Marketplace

In this blog post, I’ll share what I consider to be essential extensions. These are the extensions that I use on a daily basis and the first to be installed when spinning up a new dev environment. Let’s get started!

Add New File

The Add New File extension is the fastest and easiest way to add new files to any project – including files that start with a dot. With this extension installed, simply select the appropriate project or folder in Solution Explorer, then hit Shift + F2 to create one or more files and folders. Check out Rapidly Adding New Files in Visual Studio to learn more.

Open Command Line

The Open Command Line extension opens a command line at the root of the project. Support for all consoles such as CMD, PowerShell, Bash, etc. Provides syntax highlighting, Intellisense and execution of .cmd and .bat files. With this extension installed, simply select the appropriate project or folder in Solution Explorer, and then hit Alt + Space to open your favourite command line at the selected location. Check out Launch Windows Terminal in Visual Studio to learn more.

Open in Visual Studio Code

The Open in Visual Studio Code extension adds a menu command that lets you open any solution, project, folder, or file in Visual Studio Code. While I primarily develop in Visual Studio IDE, I’ll often switch to Visual Studio Code for tasks such as front-end development, editing Bicep templates, or editing CI/CD workflows. With this extension installed, just right-click on the solution, project, folder, or file in Solution Explorer, and click Open in Visual Studio Code.

GitHub Copilot

The GitHub Copilot extension is your AI pair programmer. GitHub Copilot uses OpenAI Codex to suggest code and entire functions in real-time right from your editor. I can’t imagine writing code without it anymore, it will drastically improve your productivity. Need help with a design pattern? Copilot has you covered. Learning a new framework? Copilot has your back. Check out GitHub Copilot · Your AI pair programmer to learn more.

Markdown Editor

The Markdown Editor extension is a fully-featured Markdown editor with live preview and syntax highlighting. With this extension installed, easily edit and preview markdown files from within Visual Studio. This extension has many features, my favorite being the ability to paste images from the clipboard directly onto the document.

Next Steps

In this post, I shared my essential Visual Studio IDE extensions, the extensions I use every day. Check out the following resources to learn more:

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment with your essential extensions below.