An excellent code editor that works for Python code is the Visual Studio code. But to achieve all that this combination has to offer, there's a need for Python extension(s).
With Python extensions, you can leverage VS code’s ability to provide unit testing, debugging, auto-complete, etc., services.
This article provides you with top Python extensions to choose from, according to the services that may help you write better and easier code.
What is Visual Studio Code (VSCode), and does it work with Python?
Visual Studio code is simply a code editor. VSCode being an Integrated Development Environment (IDE); stands out among the rest. It is also lightweight, open-source, and extensible, which are outstanding properties for a code editor.
Does VSCode work with Python?
Of course VSCode works with Python… But you’ll have to set up an environment for Python development; this includes installing Python extension, VSCode, and Python.
Why is it important to use Python extensions in VSCode?
Simply put - without a Python extension, you won’t be able to use VSCode to edit your Python code. VSCode does not work directly with Python code.
What are the most popular Python extensions for VSCode?
Let’s recall that for VSCode and Python to work together, there’s a need to create a Python development environment – Python, VSCode, and Python extension.
There are many outstanding options for Python extensions, and we’ll discuss the 10 most popular extensions in this part of the article.
Being a top contender in computer languages, Python has become mostly used by developers globally, and by an extension (pun intended), it has rich features that support Python in VSCode.
In addition, functionalities like syntax checking, code auto-completion, and navigation are enabled with a feature like IntelliSense.
The Python Preview provides a fast way of debugging Python code through visualizing code execution.
One of the unique things about Python Preview is that your code editor is placed side-by-side with stack frames and object allocation; it does this before you even get to debugging. What’s more? It’s 100% free.
The unique thing about Lightrun is that it’s favorable to applications written in different languages (including Python), while it also serves as a VSCode extension.
In addition to its intuitive interface, another advantage is that with Lightrun, you can add snapshots, explore variables, and stack trace, all while running your live application.
Python Snірреts 3
As the name suggests, you get Python code snippets when typing. It соntаіnѕ numerous in-built snippets suсh as ѕtring, list, sets, tuple, dictionary, сlаѕѕ, аnd much more.
Concepts for object-oriented programming, such as polymorphism, inheritance, encapsulation, etc., are not left out.
Better Comments, as the name suggests, heps to create comments that you can easily understand.
With better Comments VSCode extension, it is easier to distinguish between different types of comments likes alerts, todos, queries, etc..., as they are colored differently in order to categorize them.
Indentation in Python is essential, and the Python Indent extension sees that your indentation is accurate in VS Code.
Also, because of the addition of closing brackets, which could get overwhelming, this extension makes it easier when you tap on the “tab key,” of course, you’d agree that this helps you save a lot of time.
Bracket Pair Colorizer 2/ CoenraadS
By helping you figure out which bracket pairs with which, the Bracket Pair Colorizer extension makes it easier to write code.
It does this by using colors and even letting you choose the colors that suit you best. As a result, it’s often preferred to the native Python bracket-matching feature by many developers.
Python Test Explorer
It’s impossible to know and maintain the quality of your code (in developing an application) without testing it.
The most outstanding Pylance feature is fastness. By using Pyrite, Pylance supercharges the IntelliSense experience, thereby providing rich-type information that, in turn, helps you write better code at a faster pace.
Pylance, like the Python extension, is a Microsoft creation powered by a Microsoft Static Tool, Pyright.
How does it sound to have a code evaluator as you write code? First, it is a significant time saver. With the AREPL extension, you can spot errors as you write code.
These errors are shown through logs. You can also configure AREPL settings to suit your user experience.
Top 10 Python extensions for VSCode for Specific Use Cases
Python extensions can also be grouped according to their fortes or use cases. For this reason, we have drawn up 10 Python extensions according to their use cases. Find them below:
For syntax checking & auto-correction
There are Python extensions that stand out in areas of auto-correction and syntax checking. They include:
Of course, it rings a bell; it was number 1, too, in the previous list of popular Python extensions for VS Code.
As a close runner-up to the Python extension, the Pylance extension is also a Microsoft creation that offers rich-type information that makes it easier to write better code.
For code snippets
Python extensions that are outstanding in the code snippets category generate code by providing shortcuts.
Django extension works only for Django projects providing code snippets and syntax highlighting. Its features include improved syntax and snippets that support selected and copied texts with no unnecessary new lines, emmet, etc.
Like the Django extension, Djaneiro is tailored for Django projects. It uses abbreviations to generate models, functions, forms, and templates on your editor.
For Flask Snippets
The python extensions under the flask snippets category see those code snippets added to the VS Code. They include:
Python snippets extension is beginner-friendly and offers in-built snippets for dictionaries, tuples, lists, classes, etc. Moreover, it helps to avoid repeating code by proffering its snippets, thus, saving time for programmers.
Testing extensions are useful for writing and running tests. They include:
Python Test Explorer
With features and functionalities like re-rerun tests, timely error reporting, unittest, pytest, and testplan debugging, the Python test explorer extension lets you run code tests with the Test Explorer UI.
AI assistant extensions are used for auto-completion, code generation, etc.
As an AI assistant, the kite is an extension whose main functionality is speed. It simply helps programmers write code faster.
As with Kite, Github also helps programmers write code faster.
Step-by-Step guide on installing and configuring the Python extension for VSCode
Now that we have seen the many options of Python extensions that work with VS Code let’s get to the other essential part of installing and configuring a Python extension for VS Code in the following steps:
Visit the VS Code official website and download the VS Code that suits your device (e.g., MacOS, Linux, or Windows).
Launch the setup wizard to install the application.
Launch the VS code application.
Install Python extension from the VS Code marketplace thus;
Select the “extensions” tab.
On the search bar, type “python.”
On the right pane, click the “python extension.”
To install the Python extension, click the “install” button.
And you’re all set for your first Python program.
Best practices for managing installed Python extensions for VSCode
When you’ve successfully installed your preferred Python extensions, there are several ways to manage them for maximum benefits. Here are a few best practices to get you started:
Troubleshooting common issues with the Python Extension for VSCode
Error: Cannot resolve authority/ Failed to connect to the remote extension host server.
Many reasons, including firewall restrictions, network issues, etc., can cause this error.
Troubleshooting this issue involves ensuring you’re connected to a stable network, checking the firewall settings to ensure that VS code is allowed, installing the latest version of VS Code, resetting, uninstalling, and reinstalling, etc.
Command working on console with discovery fails with the ModuleNotFoundError
This issue can be seen when you’ve not installed a module you’re trying to import in your code or your Python path encounters a problem, or when there’s a typo in the module name, or the module has a problem itself.
To troubleshoot this error, ensure that all the necessary modules are installed and that you’re using the appropriate version of Python.
Call entries exceeded – Testsuite failed to run
Testsuite failing to run can be caused by several reasons, and to troubleshoot this error, you’d need to check the test runner’s output for error messages.
In addition, your test dependencies should be installed on the test runner. Also, ensure that your test runner is configured correctly.
How to use Python extensions to boost your productivity when using VSCode
In all of this, attaining a higher level of productivity with the Python extension is all that matters. Using VS code, you must know how to use these extensions to boost productivity. Here are a few tips to get you going:
Writing and editing Python code isn’t quite the walk in the park, but with VS code and Python extensions, it has become much easier. These Python extensions offer many unique features that help to make programming a less daunting task.
Compared to other programming languages, Python is considered one of the easiest. It isn’t hard for most people. Getting on board may take a little time, but it gets easier from there.
It’s never too late to learn programming and writing code, especially with a language like Python that is relatively easy to learn, especially considering the impacts of technology and application development.
Python, as an open-source programming language, is completely free. Therefore, you can download Python alongside its frameworks at no charge.
Yes. There are many options to make money from Python; the most popular is being a freelance Python developer. Most freelance Python developers earn about $106,900 annually, about $51 an hour.
Python is outstanding for characteristics that include ease of use, beginner-friendliness, dynamic semantics, etc. However, there are a few alternatives you can opt for; they include NodeJS, Ruby, Java, PHP, Elixir, Kotlin, etc.