VS Code Basics and WPILib in VS Code

Microsoft's Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is the new supported IDE for C++ and Java development in FRC, replacing the Eclipse IDE used from 2015-2018. This article introduces some of the basics of using VS Code and the WPILib extension.

Note: If you used the publicly available VSCode Alpha, you should create a new project, re-import your Eclipse project with the Beta. There were breaking changes made to some of the configuration files (such as build.gradle) between releases.

The rest of this article is currently still the same as Alpha.

VS Code Welcome Page

When VS Code first opens, you are presented with a Welcome page. On this page you will find some quick links that allow you to customize VS Code as well as a number of links to help documents and videos that may help you learn about the basics of VS Code as well as some tips and tricks.

You may also notice a small WPILib logo way up in the top right corner. This is one way to access the features provided by the WPILib extension (discussed further below).

VS Code User Interface

The most important link to take a look at is probably the basic User Interface document. This document describes a lot of the basics of using the VS Code UI and provides the majority of the information you should need to get started using VS Code for FRC.

VS Code Command Palette

The Command Palette can be used to access or run almost any function or feature in VS Code (including those from the WPILib extension). The Command Palette can be accessed from the View menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P (Cmd+Shift+P on Mac). Typing text into the window will dynamically narrow the search to relevant commands and show them in the dropdown.

In the following example "wpilib" is typed into the search box after activating the Command Palette, and it narrows the list to functions containing WPILib.

WPILib Extension

The WPILib extension provides the FRC specific functionality related to creating projects and project components, building and downloading code to the roboRIO and more. You can access the WPILib commands one of two ways:

  • By typing "WPILib" into the Command Palette
  • By clicking on the WPILib icon in the top right of most windows. This will open the Command Palette with "WPILib" pre-entered

For more information about specific WPILib extension commands, see the other articles in this chapter.

0 Report Errors

Use this form to report any errors with the documentation. For help with WPILib, please use the FIRST Forums at http://forums.usfirst.org For reporting WPILib bugs, please submit an issue on GitHub at https://github.com/wpilibsuite/allwpilib/issues/new

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