Microsoft VS Code 1.42 is out: New debug tools for TypeScript, JavaScript, Chrome

Microsoft delivers new improvements and fixes for its popular cross-platform code editor, Visual Studio Code.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has released a January update of its popular open-source cross-platform Visual Studio Code (VS Code) code editor.   

VS Code version 1.42 is available today for Windows 10, macOS, and Linux systems, bringing a host of new features and improvements for developers and users on the Insider preview edition. 

VS Code has become a popular development environment since its release in 2016. Facebook recently chose it as its default development platform and is helping Microsoft improve the remote-desktop experience. It's also widely used at Google. 

Users can now put a cap on the maximum number of editors that are open simultaneously, which will automatically close the least recently used editor when a new one is opened. 

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The update introduces a change for untitled editors. Previously, they were given a generic name, but now the title will be automatically drawn from the first line of the document. For untitled editors, VS Code now dynamically uses the language mode of the active editor instead of a fixed default. 

Microsoft has added new tools to make it easier for developers to navigate the most recently used editors. VS Code includes a list of recently used editors across all editor groups, and developers can add keyboard shortcuts to navigate without a mouse or use two new commands either to open the next recently used editor or to open a previous recently used editor. 

There are also some goodies for developers using JavaScript and Microsoft's JavaScript superset language, TypeScript, on the Insiders edition of VS Code. 

It includes experimental error reporting for JavaScript and TypeScript projects, which can be enabled by setting 'typescript.tsserver.experimental.enableProjectDiagnostics' to 'true'. 

The preview also has semantic highlighting for TypeScript and JavaScript, which can be enabled by setting 'editor.semanticHighlighting.enabled' to 'true'. Once enabled, users will see identifiers with new colors and styles and highlighted by their resolved type. 

Microsoft is working on a new debugger for Node.js and Chrome, which is installed by default for insiders and can also be installed from the Visual Studio marketplace. 

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The debugger automatically debugs commands run in the new JavaScript Debug terminal. This can be opened by using the command Debug: Create JavaScript Debug Terminal. 

Finally, developers can soon expect easier methods for tweaking the layout of VS Code, which can now be tested by setting 'workbench.view.experimental.allowMovingToNewContainer' to 'true'.

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