Visual Studio Code Tutorial: Writing Python Code In Visual Studio Code(IDE)

In this article, we discuss Visual Studio Code Tutorial: Writing Python Code In Visual Studio Code(IDE)

Writing Python Code in Visual Studio

Visual Studio Code Tutorial: Writing Python Code In Visual Studio Code (IDE)

Python programming language is a versatile language when it comes to extending support to and from other technologies. Visual studio code is one such code editor that extends support to the python programming language using the python extension. In this article, we will learn about how we can use visual studio code for python.

  • What Is Visual Studio Code?
  • Visual Studio Code Installation
  • Python Extension In Visual Studio Code
  • Writing First Python Program In Visual Studio Code
  • Editing An Existing Project
  • Linting
  • Debugging Support
  • Jupyter Notebook Support
  • Interactive Python
  • Environments

What Is Visual Studio Code?


The visual studio code is a lightweight yet powerful source code editor that runs on your desktop. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

It also comes with built-in support for node.js, javascript, and typescript with a wide range of external support for other languages like python, c, c++, etc.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Extensions

Here are some of the most popular extensions for visual studio code.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Now that we have a vague idea about visual studio code, let’s take a look at how we can download and install visual studio code in our systems.

Visual Studio Code Installation

You can find the relevant versions compatible with your system here.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

After you are finished with the installation, you can simply begin your journey for python in visual studio code.

Python Extension In Visual Studio Code

To work with python in visual studio you need to install python extensions from the marketplace. It is quite easy to find the python extension in the marketplace.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

The python extension that you need to install is named python and is published by Microsoft. Let us taka a look at a few features of python extension.

  • Intellisense
  • Linting
  • Code Formatting
  • Debugging
  • Testing
  • Jupyter Notebooks
  • Environments
  • Refactoring

After you’re done with the installation, you can start with your first python program.

Writing First Program In Visual Studio Code

To start with your first python program, go to the command prompt and type the following commands.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

It will open the vs code with a hello directory, and then you can add a new file with a .py extension to write your first python program.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

When you have made a new file, open the file and make a simple hello world program.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

This is how we can make a simple hello world program in visual studio code using the python extension. Python extension provides many features for editing python source code in vs code.

  • Autocomplete and IntelliSense:They are provided for all python packages stored at standard locations, you can right click on different identifiers to take advantage of the several commands.
    • Go to Definition
    • Peek Definition
    • Go to Declaration
    • Peek Declaration
  • Run Selection/line in Terminal:It is used to take the selected line to the python terminal.
  • Formatting:
    It makes the code readable and easier by implementing certain rules for indents, spacing around operators, line spacing, etc.
  • Refactoring: The python extensions add the following refactoring commands
    • Extract Variable – It extracts all similar occurrences of the selected text within the current scope.
    • Extract Method –  It extracts all similar occurrences of the selected expressions or block within the current scope
    • Sort Imports – Sort imports use the isort package to consolidate specific imports from the same module into a single import statement and to import statements in alphabetical order.

Now let us take a look at how we can edit an existing project using the vs code.

Editing An Existing Project

You can edit an existing project in visual studio code by simply navigating to the project in the command line, and then entering the following command.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

After you enter this command, the vs code will open with the existing project on the location and you can run the project or edit the code in the visual studio code.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Now that we know how we can edit the existing projects in visual studio code, let us understand linting.

Linting

It basically highlights the syntactic and styling problems in the python source code. To enable linters we can use the following approach, although the python extension comes enabled with a pylint linter as a default. Press “ctrl+shift+p” and select the python: select linter in the pallet.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Even though linting runs automatically when you save your file. You can run linting by selecting the following in the command palette.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Following are a few specific linters:

  • Pylint –
  • Flake8
  • mypy
  • pydocstyle
  • prospector
  • Pep8
  • pylama
  • bandit

Debugging Support

Let us try to understand how debugging works in our simple hello world program.

Just click on the editor’s left gutter and set a breakpoint on the line, and press f5.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Select the configuration and it will open the debug toolbar shown below.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Press the f5 key again to run the program to completion and you will see the output in the terminal. This is how we can debug a program in visual studio code, you can see a lot of options and a debug toolbar so that you can hover over the code as well.

Now that we are done with debugging, let us understand the jupyter notebook support in visual studio code.

Jupyter Notebook Support

To open the jupyter notebook in vs code, open the command pallet and select the following

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

After you open the notebook, you can simply run your code and save it.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Now that we know how we can use jupyter notebook in visual studio code, let us understand how we can use the interactive python in vs code.

Interactive Python

You can simply add “#%%” in your code, and save it in a .py extension file. When you click the run cell button, it will open the python interactive panel and you can run your code directly using the python interactive window directly. Just type your code and press “ctrl+enter”.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

Environments

Python extension usually looks for the environment and selects the first interpreter in the system path. To select a specific environment you can search for the environments using the command pallet.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

After you select this, it will show you the available interpreters you can choose from.

Writing Python Code In Visual Studio

This brings us to the end of this article where we have learned how we can use the visual studio code using the python extension. I hope you are clear with all that has been shared with you in this tutorial.

Also Check out PyCharm Tutorial: Writing Python Code In PyCharm (IDE)

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