Microsoft Brings Edge Dev Tools to Visual Studio Code

Posted on October 1, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Microsoft Edge with 10 Comments

Microsoft announced today that its Microsoft Edge Tools extension for Visual Studio Code is now available.

“The new Microsoft Edge Tools for VS Code extension … has been significantly improved and is now exiting preview for the first time,” the Microsoft Edge Team writes in a new blog post. “With this release, we’ve merged the functionality of two experimental extensions that brought Developer Tools functionality to Visual Studio Code: The Elements and the Network extension. We also made it easier to contribute and build the extension yourself and smoothed out some of the rough edges.”

For those unfamiliar with these tools, Microsoft—like Google and other browser makers—provides a comprehensive suite of web developer tools inside of Microsoft Edge. (They’re sometimes referred to as the “F12” tools because they are most easily invoked by pressing F12.) What this new extension does is embed these browser developer tools directly in Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s lightweight code editor.

“Why embed developer tools in an editor?” the team asks rhetorically. “Continuously switching between editor and browser adds cognitive load to your workflow throughout the day. You change from one environment to another—from development to debugging mode—and you need to switch back. That feedback is what prompted us to explore embedding the developer tools into an extension, thus allowing you to see what your code generates and debug it without leaving your ‘development’ mindset.”

And adding this functionality as an extension makes sense, Microsoft says, because it can iterate it based on feedback more quickly and not add to the overhead of editor.

You can get the Microsoft Edge (Chromium) Tools for VSCode from the Visual Studio Marketplace.

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