Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks

Organize Your VS Code Extensions by Development Task

NOTE: Because Code Builder is a web-based, this tip isn’t of relevance if Code Builder is your development environment of choice.

Organizing your VS Code extensions by development task can help you avoid having extensions provide functionality that’s not useful for the task at hand. Having only the extensions that you need helps minimize the VS Code startup time and ensures that shortcut keys don’t interfere with one another. Here’s how to set up VS Code to launch with only the extensions for working with Salesforce.

  1. Add a code-sfdx alias to your shell’s startup script.

    • Windows

      1. When you install VS Code, install code as part of your prompt. See Visual Studio Code on Windows in the Visual Studio Code docs for details.
      2. Open Git Bash. (Git Bash is installed as part of Salesforce CLI.)
      3. Check whether you have a .bashrc file. If you don’t, create it by running:
        touch .bashrc
      4. Add this line to your .bashrc file.
        alias code-sfdx='code --extensions-dir ~/.sfdx-code'
    • macOS or Linux

      1. Open VS Code.
      2. To open the Command Palette, press Cmd+Shift+P (macOS) or Ctrl+Shift+P (Linux).
      3. Run the command Shell command: Install ‘code’ command in PATH. From the Command Palette, choose Shell command: Install 'code' command in PATH

          This command lets you invoke `code` directly from your favorite terminal.
      4. In your favorite terminal, open your shell’s startup script.

        If you’re using Bash, the startup script is typically your .bashrc or .bash_profile file. If you’re using Z Shell, it’s typically your .zshrc file. If you don’t have a file with these names, create a file called .bashrc in your home directory (for example, in Macintosh HD/users/yourName).

      5. Add this line to your shell’s startup script.
        alias code-sfdx='code --extensions-dir ~/.sfdx-code'
  2. Either open a new terminal window or run one of the following commands from your current terminal.
    source .bashrc
    source .bash_profile
    source .zshrc

  3. From the terminal, run code-sfdx to launch an instance of VS Code that has only your extensions.

    NOTE: The first time you launch code-sfdx, it has no extensions because it’s a fresh instance VS Code.

  4. Select View > Extensions.

  5. Install the Salesforce Extension Pack extension (and any other extensions that you use for Salesforce development).

  6. The next time you’re working on a Salesforce DX project, you can launch VS Code using code-sfdx and all your extensions will be there.

You can have as many aliases as you want, with as many extensions-dir directories as you need to help organize your extensions.

Create Keyboard Shortcuts for Common Tasks

If using keyboard shortcuts is your jam, you’ll appreciate the rich keyboard shortcut editing experience with the Keyboard Shortcuts editor that VS Code provides. Open the editor from Code > Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts or from Preferences: Open Keyboard Shortcuts command (⌘K ⌘S). See Key Bindings for Visual Studio Code for details.

Use Quick Open

Quickly search and open files using the keyboard shortcut ⌘P.

Commands for Salesforce Development

Open the Command Palette using the keyboard shortcut ⌘⇧P. Type “SFDX” to view a list of commands available in your Salesforce project.

Use the Extensions View

Bring up the Extensions view by clicking the Extensions icon in the Activity Bar on the side of VS Code or run the View: Extensions command (⌘⇧X). Search for an extension. On an extension’s details page you can look up a lot of information such as its dependencies, feature details, settings, and change log.

Some Useful Commands

Show Running Extensions Open the Command Palette and type “show running…” and find and run the Developer:Show Running Extensions command to view all the extensions currently running in your VS Code session. You can see the start-up time for each extension. Right click an extension and select Report Issue to quickly create an issue on the extension’s GitHub repository. Toogle Developer Tools Run Developer:Toggle Tools to view and understand the underpinnings of your VS Code sessions. From here you can grab any error messages that you’d like to include in an issue or a communication.

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