Powershell, Visual Studio Code and Extensions

While getting the feel for, and getting even more comfortable with, Visual Studio code I have been playing with a good number of Extensions. While fun, this can be overwhelming as there are a great number of extensions available depending on what you plan on using Visual Studio Code for. The ones I am favoring so far:

I am leaving out themes as I still have not found the Theme for me but there are some interesting choices.

Just some quick code:

Begin {
    $extPath = "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft VS Code Insiders\resources\app\extensions"
Process {
    $codeExtensions = get-childitem -Path $extPath -Directory | sort-object -Property Name
    ForEach ($ext in $codeExtensions) {

I am using Open Live Writer to write blog posts, still hoping a Code Syntax plugin becomes available because in my opinion this a a great blogging tool.

Visual Studio Code and Powershell Snippets the easy way

I spent more time working with Visual Studio Code and Snippets. For my Comment Based Help I did find a way to add the file name but sadly there seems to be no way to include a Date. I have been spoiled by some of the stuff Sapien does and wanted to see if I could reproduce that. Maybe more on that later. If you are looking to quickly create snippets, and this is not just Powershell, but there is an extension that makes it a very simple process. Check out https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=tariky.easy-snippet-maker . There is another one I am testing but as I started to work through these I found something that had me thinking there was a problem but I looked a little further and nope no problem if you know where to look.

What am I talking about? So this extension allows you to select some code, right-click create snippet… enter the Name, prefix and Description and wala you have a snippet. Then I tried it in the Insiders version of Visual Studio Code… hmmm doesn’t seem to work. Uggh. Try again and it says a Snippet with that name already exists. I open the powershell.json file and I can’t find it. What the heck…. then I compared \Roaming\Code\User\Snippets to \Roaming\Code – Insiders\User\Snippets the extension is putting the Snippet in the non Insiders version of the Snippets folder. Just an FYI.

Visual Studio Code Snippets

I am trying to get comfortable with Visual Studio Code for working with PowerShell scripts. Admittedly I still revert back to the ISE to debug the code. Maybe Code will provide that integrated interface one day but we will see. Moving on, one thing I use a great deal of are snippets. Admittedly I was completely lost on how to implement snippets in this IDE, then I found a great article from Keith Hill. This post provides information as well as a great starter file.

Now I want to add my own Snippets. The process is easy enough and the JSON editing in Visual Studio Code is pretty slick. I then found myself struggling with how to create a snippet and using PowerShell syntax create a variable. It starts with a dollar sign, easy enough right? Not really. The dollar sign is part of the snippet language as well. Yes I read this doc but didn’t put one and one together I guess. After some trial and error I found that $$ would then create the PowerShell syntax I was looking to achieve.



So in a PowerShell script I start typing the prefix and Intellisense detects possible matches, one of them being my Snippet:


Then I click on the User Snippet reference and the result is…


Now I have to start converting my library of snippets and then play with the dollar sign operator of Visual Studio Code snippets.