VSCode Python Extensions

Now that you have VSCode installed and know how to open it, we need to discuss one final topic before you start creating your Python programs: VSCode Python extensions. You should see VSCode as a basic framework. It can do things like:

  • Open, edit, and save files
  • Lets you work on projects
  • Start in-app terminals to keep things together
  • Manage extensions

About Extensions

It’s the extensions where VSCode really starts to shine. It has extensions for virtually anything you can think of. Through these extensions, VSCode supports specific languages, like Python, but also Java, Kotlin, Javascript, Typescript, etcetera. But it also offers features like:

  • Advanced code completion, where it suggests useful ways to continue with what you are typing, taking the context into consideration
  • Integration with Version Control Systems like Git
  • Integration with cloud-based services, like GitHub, Docker Hub, etc.

The power of VSCode is that it can do all of this at once. It’s not just a Python IDE, it’s also a great HTML editor, terrific at writing Javascript, and of course, it’s great with Python code too! And the best of all: you get to decide what you want it to be able to do. So can keep it lean and mean, or install every plugin you ever need. It’s up to your taste!

How to install extensions

To install an extension in VSCode, you can press the large extensions button on the left, as shown in the following screenshot:

Installing extensions in VSCode is easy

It will open the extensions marketplace. In there, enter Python in the search bar to find all extensions related to Python. You can click the extensions to read more about them and press the install button to install an extension.

The Best VSCode Python Extensions

Python

You at least want to install the official Python extension for Python programming. It offers many features you’ll need, like IntelliSense, linting, debugging, code navigation, code formatting, refactoring, variable explorer, test explorer, snippets, and more. You’ll automatically get the Pylance plugin when you install this plugin.

Sonarlint

The Sonarlint plugin detects common mistakes and bugs. It detects many security and code quality issues and has saved me more than once. I highly recommend it. It’s not just for Python but also supports common languages like Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, and more.

MagicPython

MagicPython is a cutting-edge version of the default Python syntax highlighter in VSCode. You don’t need it unless you use cutting-edge Python versions, but I always install it just to be sure.

Python Indent

The Python Indent plugin helps you indent your code, especially when creating complex data structures between bracket pairs. E.g., when you create large nested lists, big dictionaries, etcetera.

autoDocstring

The autoDocstring extension helps you quickly generate docstring snippets.

Visual Studio IntelliCode

The Intellicode extension is a smart, AI-assisted code completion extension built by Microsoft. It supports Python, Java, JavaScript, and TypeScript. Changes are you already have this installed, though!

Python Extension Pack

If you want to get a nice selection quickly, you can also install the Python Extension Pack. I personally prefer to pick my own selection since packs like these may change their selection of extensions at any moment and perhaps add things I don’t want.

Get certified with our courses

Learn Python properly through small, easy-to-digest lessons, progress tracking, quizzes to test your knowledge, and practice sessions. Each course will earn you a downloadable course certificate.

Related articles

Leave a Comment