C++ in Visual Studio Code reaches version 1.0!

Julia Reid

Julia

We’re excited to announce the first generally available release of the C++ extension for Visual Studio Code! Visual Studio Code is a free code editor that runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and is highly-customizable to make it exactly what you want it to be.

The C++ extension brings a rich set of productivity features to VS Code for C++ developers, including IntelliSense smart code completion, debugging, refactoring, code navigation, and more! On top of that, these features are adaptable to various platforms, architectures and compilers, enabling all your cross-compiling and remote development scenarios.

Throughout the years, our customers have helped shape the direction of C++ development in VS Code by asking for key features and reporting bugs. The version 1.0 of the C++ extension for Visual Studio Code delivers these features in high quality. You asked, we listened.

Editing

When it comes to editing, the C++ extension provides an abundance of productivity features to boost your coding efficiency. To name a few, the extension comes with:

  • IntelliSense: code completion, parameter info, quick info, and member lists
  • Code navigation: Find All References, Go to Definition/Declaration, Peek Definition/Declaration
  • Refactoring support: Rename Symbol
  • Code formatting
  • Semantic colorization, which provides colorization to variables even when they are used outside of the scope in which they are declared
  • Doxygen comment documentation

Screenshot of member list from C++ IntelliSense engine

Debugging

Visual Studio Code’s built-in debugger UI launches your C++ debugger of choice under the hood, creating an intuitive, yet customizable, debugging experience across Linux, macOS, and Windows. With the C++ extension’s debugger, you can:

  • Set breakpoints (conditional, unconditional, and function breakpoints)
  • Set watch variables
  • Step through your program
  • Debug multi-threaded programs
  • Debug a remote process
  • And more!

Screenshot showing C++ debug session in VS Code

The C++ extension 1.0 also includes all our recent fixes to previous issues with the debugger, such as:

  • Support for macOS Catalina (GitHub issue #3829)
  • Support for modifying conditional breakpoints while debugging (cppdbg) (GitHub issue #2297)
  • Watch local variables support for LLDB (GitHub issue #1768)

What’s new in 1.0?

Support for Linux on ARM and ARM64

We’re excited to announce that version 1.0 of the C++ extension brings a first-class development experience for Linux on ARM and ARM64, complete with IntelliSense and remote build and debug support. You can now develop C++ applications on Raspberry Pi with VS Code and Remote-SSH!

Easy IntelliSense configuration

We know that configuring C++ IntelliSense hasn’t always been easy. So, we’ve created a video tutorial to help you out. Get rid of your error squiggles in minutes!

Customizable code formatting

Version 1.0 of the C++ extension brings a new, rich set of C++ formatting settings. All C++ code formatting settings from the Visual Studio IDE are now supported in VS Code. What’s more, the C++ extension has built-in EditorConfig support for all these new settings, giving you more control and flexibility with code formatting than ever before.

C++ extension pack

To make it as easy as possible to take full advantage of everything Visual Studio Code has to offer—remote development, GitHub integration, first-class CMake support to name a few—we’ve created a C++ Extension Pack for you. The extension pack includes:

  • C/C++
  • C/C++ Themes
  • CMake
  • CMake Tools
  • Remote Development Extension Pack
  • GitHub Pull Requests and Issues
  • Visual Studio Codespaces
  • LiveShare Extension Pack
  • Doxygen Documentation Generator
  • Better C++ Syntax

Quality

If you haven’t tried Visual Studio Code with C++ in a while, it is time to give it another go. Our team has been hard at work for months fixing a myriad of reported issues and the C++ extension is now better for it. For example, we’ve addressed nine performance-related GitHub issues in the past nine months. In fact, many VS Code extensions build off of the C++ extension’s high quality IntelliSense engine, such as PlatformIO IDE, a popular extension for embedded development in VS Code. Version 1.0 of the C++ extension meets the high bar we, and our customers, have set for quality—but we won’t stop there. Performance will continue to be a prioritization for the C++ extension.

Give it a try

Install the C/C++ Extension Pack, check out the new Configure C++ IntelliSense in Visual Studio Code video tutorial, and let us know what you think! You can also find Hello World build and debug tutorials for different compilers and platforms in the VS Code C++ documentation.

If you run into any issues, or have any suggestions, please report them in the Issues section of our GitHub repository. You can also join our Insiders program and get access to early builds of our release by going to File > Preferences > Settings and under Extensions > C/C++, change the “C_Cpp: Update Channel” to “Insiders”.

We can be reached via the comments below or in email at visualcpp@microsoft.com. You can also find our team on Twitter at @VisualC.

2 comments

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    Timothy Liu

    Congratulations! Great job!
    I’ve been waiting for the 1.0 release for a long time. Recently I’m writing a book for C beginners. To minimize the the requirement to the computer power, I choose [VS Code] + [C++ Extension] + [MinGW-64] as the dev environment.

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    Diego Dagum

    Hey, @Julia, I was using VS Code with the C++ extensions for years now (so compelling that it became my top IDE). It was the MS-supplied one. Do you say it wasn’t even a 1.0 version? Worked really good and I can’t remember having had an issue with it, so… great job, guys!