Hello Code, VS Code 0.9.1 that is...


Another week, another theme... :)

With the recent VS Code update, VS Code v0.9.1 (October 2015), I'm going to make it a VS Code Theme week.

Today it's an overview of this update and recent changes. Wednesday will be Node.JS with VS Code and the MVA day, Thursday on the Kinect Gallery will focus on VS Code and Unity (it's a stretch, but I just couldn't find anything closer...) and finally on Friday, VS Code and Arduino.

First to level set, you all know about VS Code, right? It's a cross platform, free, fast, code focused editor...


Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.

Download Code for Windows

Available on other platforms

Streamlined + Powerful

Code combines the streamlined UI of a modern editor with rich code assistance and navigation, and an integrated debugging experience – without the need for a full IDE.

Intelligent code authoring, understanding and navigation

Rich, multi-file IntelliSense for ASP.NET v5 application development using C#, JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML, CSS, LESS, and more. Easily navigate and understand your code with features traditionally only found only in IDEs, such as Outlining, Find All References, and Go To Definition.

The latest update is quickly summarized in this snap...

VS Code v0.9.1 (October 2015)

It’s that time again – our October update is ready for VS Code.



Recent news? This one, while you might think boring, it actually pretty cool and is already improving the product, powered by the community.

VSCode Documentation moves to GitHub

Since we released VS Code, we have worked hard to have a great set of docs to help you get started. 

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We think of the docs as a core part of the product.   We build them with VS Code as a set of Markdown files.  We then use a Gulp task to transform them into HTML for our website (we actually provide some examples of how to do this in the Docs :) ).

Since our initial launch, we have tried to improve the docs every release.   For example, we have added in…

  • A summary of what's changed for each update – as well as updating the core docs as required
  • An FAQ covering any known issues – we try to update this as they come in
  • Site search to aid in discovery of content – the easiest way to find the missing setting
  • Facebook and Twitter links – to help drive awareness of content
  • Ability to send us doc feedback – which we review each day
  • Increased our focus on languages and runtimes – with walk troughs for the most common ones

At the same time, we have witnessed many of our insiders and the community at large create additions and enhancements as well as fill in the gaps in our docs.   A good example of this is the number of Unity & VS Code blogs, videos and projects that are out there.   So… Today we moved the source files for our Docs to a GitHub repo. 


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The goal here is to work with the community (yes you reading this :) ) to make them even better. 

We had two new contributions from the community as we moved these over:

  1. Developing Unity Projects with VS Code - this also includes a community driven VS Code Unity plug-in
  2. Developing Office Add-ins with VS Code - including a 'Yo Office' generator for VS Code

We would love your help to keep on evolving these new docs as well as our existing ones.  We also plan to add an ‘Edit on GitHub’ link as well as a contributor list on the site.  But that’s a job for another day.

Let us know what you think – or even better start contributing to the docs.

Finally, I wanted to highlight the current "runtimes" shown. There are those that you'd expect, like ASP.NET 5 and Node.js, but also one that you might not expect, Microsoft Office. Yeah, you can write Office Add-ins with VS Code. If you've been doing Office Add-ins for any length of time, you'll know the pain this can be, dealing with different versions, deployment, cost for Visual Studio etc.

Office Add-ins with VS Code

Office Add-ins run inside an Office application and can interact with the contents of the Office document using the rich JavaScript API.

Office Add-in overview

Under the hood, an Office Add-in is simply a web app that you can host anywhere. Using a manifest.xml file, you tell the Office application where your web app is located and how you want it to appear. The Office application takes care of hosting it within Office.


To run the Yeoman Office Add-in generator, you need a few things:


Create an Office Add-in

Once you have a place to put your Add-in, you can now create the Add-in. Use the Yeoman generator office to create one of three Add-ins: mail, content or task pane.

The generator is designed to be run from within the directory where you want to scaffold the project so ensure you set the current directory appropriately.

The generator will prompt you for the Add-in name, relative folder where the project should be created, the type of Add-in and the technology you want to use to create the Add-in.

YO Office


Install the Add-in

Office Add-ins must be installed, or registered, with the Office application in order to load. This is done using the manifest.xml file you modified earlier.

Side Loading Mail Add-ins

Mail Add-ins can be installed within the Outlook Web App. Browse to your Outlook Web App (https://mail.office365.com) and login. Once logged in, click the gear icon in the top-right section and select Manage add-ins:


Next Steps

Check out the other pages on the VS Code site to find out how you can leverage more capabilities of the editor when creating custom Office Add-ins:

  • Language Overview - You can write Office Add-ins in many languages. Find out what VS Code has to offer.
  • The Basics - Just starting out with VS Code? This is worth reviewing.
  • Editing Evolved - Review all the ways VS Code can help you in editing.
  • Node.js - Find out more about our Node.js support.

Common Questions

Q: Can I create an Office Add-in with the generator and use VS Code regardless of the language or client-side framework?

A: Yes, you can. You can use pure HTML, Angular, Ember, React, Aurelia... anything you like!

Q: Can I use TypeScript to create my Office Add-in?

A: Absolutely and VS Code has great support for TypeScript!

Finally, finally, check out this Channel 9 episode of the Office Dev Show, Episode 15 - Getting Started with Office Add-ins

So ready to VS Code yet? Download in install is crazy fast and cost it right. Do it... DO it... DO IT! :)


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