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 searchbar to find all extensions that have something to do with 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

For Python programming, you at least want to install the official Python extension. It offers many features you’ll need, like IntelliSense, linting, debugging, code navigation, code formatting, refactoring, variable explorer, test explorer, snippets, and more.

MagicPython

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

Visual Studio IntelliCode

The Intellicode extension will probably be installed as a dependency of the Python extension. Still, it’s good to make sure it’s installed. IntelliCode is a smart, AI-assisted code completion extension build by Microsoft. It supports Python, Java, JavaScript, and TypeScript.

About the author

Erik is the owner of Python Land and the author of many of the articles and tutorials on this website. He's been working as a professional software developer for 25 years, and he holds a Master of Science degree in computer science. His favorite language of choice: Python!