Understanding settings.json in Visual Studio Code

If you’re a developer, you’re likely familiar with the power and versatility of Visual Studio Code (VSCode). This free, open-source code editor has gained immense popularity due to its extensive feature set and a thriving ecosystem of extensions. One of the key elements that make VSCode so adaptable to your needs is the settings.json file. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into settings.json and show you how to harness its potential to supercharge your coding environment.

What is settings.json?

settings.json is a configuration file in VSCode that allows you to customize various aspects of your coding environment. It’s a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) file where you can specify your preferences, set up extensions, and fine-tune the editor’s behavior to match your workflow perfectly.

Where to Find settings.json?

Locating your settings.json file in Visual Studio Code is straightforward:

  • Open VSCode.
  • Click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Select “Preferences” and then “Settings.”
Visual Studio Code SettingsVisual Studio Code Settings
  • In the upper-right corner, click on the gear icon and choose “Settings (JSON).”
Screenshot of button to open settings.json fileScreenshot of button to open settings.json file

Now, you’re ready to start customizing!

Common Customizations in settings.json

1. Editor Preferences


  "editor.tabSize": 4,
  "editor.detectIndentation": true,
  "editor.wordWrap": "on",
  "editor.fontSize": 14,
  "editor.fontFamily": "Fira Code, Consolas, 'Courier New', monospace"

These settings control how your code looks and behaves in the editor. You can set the tab size, word wrap settings, font size, and font family according to your preferences.

2. Extensions Configuration


  "python.pythonPath": "/path/to/your/python",
  "eslint.enable": true,
  "prettier.printWidth": 100

Many extensions, such as those for Python development, ESLint, and Prettier, allow you to configure their behavior through settings.json. This helps you maintain consistent coding standards and integrate external tools seamlessly.

3. Workspace Settings


  "files.exclude": {
    "**/.git": true,
    "**/.DS_Store": true
  "search.exclude": {
    "**/node_modules": true,
    "**/dist": true

You can also define settings at the workspace level by creating a .vscode directory in your project and adding a settings.json file there. This allows you to override or extend global settings for a specific project.

In conclusion, settings.json in Visual Studio Code is your gateway to tailoring your coding environment to suit your needs precisely. By mastering it, you can enhance your productivity and coding experience. Keep exploring and experimenting to discover the settings that work best for you, and watch your development skills soar to new heights!