Python in Visual Studio Code – March 2023 Release

Courtney Webster

We’re excited to announce that the March 2023 release of the Python and Jupyter extensions for Visual Studio Code are now available!

This release includes the following announcements:

  • Back button and cancel support added to Create Environment command
  • Python extension no longer ships isort by default
  • Improvements to kernel picker selection in Jupyter notebooks
  • Python for VS Code team on the Python Pulse

If you’re interested, you can check the full list of improvements in our changelogs for the Python, Jupyter and Pylance extensions.

Back button and cancel functionality added to Create Environment command

In this release, we have added functionality that enables you to go Back or Cancel while using the Python: Create Environment command. This change will allow you to return to previous steps to make changes to environment creation or cancel the action altogether by pressing the Escape key or Cancel button. This enhancement has been applied to all Create Environment UI and will be present in the Jupyter extension as well.

Create Environment command using the back button

Python extension no longer ships isort by default

We are continuously listening to feedback from the community and have heard requests to reduce the number of extensions we install by default alongside the Python extension. We also want to make sure community-created extensions are considered equally compared to any extension we provide as a team, e.g. people consider the Ruff extension for import sorting. Subsequently, as of this release, isort is no longer installed by default alongside the Python extension.

The isort extension can still be downloaded from the marketplace as an opt-in to the functionality it provides.

Improvements to kernel selection in Jupyter notebooks

When selecting a kernel in a Jupyter notebook, the picker now shows the most recently used kernels by default. This is a convenient change from the previous behavior, as it used to show all available kernels. You can still see all available kernels by a secondary picker Select Another Kernel…, which will group all kernels by their source (for example: Jupyter Kernel, Python Environment, etc.) when you have the latest Jupyter and Python extensions installed.

Jupyter Kernel Picker with MRU

Python for VS Code team on the Python Pulse

The Python for VS Code team joined Dawn Wages on the Python Pulse livestream to talk all things Python and VS Code! Meet the team, learn how to contribute to the Python extension, and hear more about what is top of mind for the Python extension and VS Code by watching the livestream recording.

The Python Pulse is a bi-monthly livestream where host, Dawn Wages, recaps the latest news in Microsoft Cloud, VS Code and Python tech ecosystem; then deep dives into special segments with an esteemed guest. Catch Dawn on the next Python Pulse livestream, March 10, streaming on Visual Studio Twitch Channel and VS Code YouTube Streams.

Other Changes and Enhancements

We have also added small enhancements and fixed issues requested by users that should improve your experience working with Python and Jupyter Notebooks in Visual Studio Code. Some notable changes include:

  • Improved IntelliSense support for pytest with Pylance is now out of preview and available in this latest release
  • The editor.formatOnType setting is now on by default for Python files, which enables auto indentation with Pylance for everyone.
  • Version 8 of IPyWidgets is now supported in the Jupyter extension
  • Improvements to Jupyter extension’s Interactive Window kernel selection. The current active interpreter will be used unless another kernel was previously chosen for an Interactive Window in that workspace

We would also like to extend special thanks to this month’s contributors:

Try out these new improvements by downloading the Python extension and the Jupyter extension from the Marketplace, or install them directly from the extensions view in Visual Studio Code (Ctrl + Shift + X or ⌘ + ⇧ + X). You can learn more about Python support in Visual Studio Code in the documentation. If you run into any problems or have suggestions, please file an issue on the Python VS Code GitHub page.


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