VSCode Configuration

We recommend using VSCode to edit your user interface. The great Typescript integration makes development and detecting issues easier.


Download Visual Studio Code here, then install it.

On Linux distributions, vscode will be available from your package manager. Its also sometimes called code.

macOS users can optionally use Brew: brew install visual-studio-code.

Note: Visual Studio Code (VSCode) is a fundamentally different editor from Visual Studio. VSCode is free, and open source.

Some people may prefer to build or download a community edition which lacks any (minor) Microsoft branding, telemetry, and enforces the MIT licensing scheme, rather than Microsoft's licence.

Projects like vscodium aim to make building community versions easy.

vscode first launch window

Typescript Selection

Our package management solution keeps all packages archived in order to conserve diskspace. Unfortunately the default Typescript version bundled with VSCode doesn't support these archived dependencies. The template contains a version of TypeScript that supports these features, however it must be explicitly enabled using the following steps:

  1. Open a TypeScript file in the Electric UI templated project.
  2. Click 'Allow' on the 'workspace TypeScript version' prompt that appears.

the typescript version autoprompt in vscode

If this prompt is not displayed automatically it can be enabled manually with the following steps.

  1. Press ctrl+shift+p when a TypeScript file in an Electric UI templated project is open.
  2. Type to search for "Select TypeScript Version", choose this option.

the control-shift-p select typescript menu in vscode

  1. Pick "Use Workspace Version"

use workspace version of typescript in vscode

Alternatively, while editing a Typescript file in an Electric UI templated project, the current version can be clicked to open the menu above, again pick "Use Workspace Version".

status bar typescript version selection


We suggest using the Prettier code formatting tool, as it enforces a strict code standard.

Installing Prettier

Open the VS Code Marketplace, and search for Prettier by Esben Petersen. Install it, and allow VSCode to relaunch if requested.

prettier by esben petersen shown in marketplace

Configuring Prettier

Open up the VSCode preferences with File > Preferences > Settings.

vscode file-preferences-settings navigation

Search for and enable "format on save".

format on save checkbox enabled

The Electric UI template created by arc includes a prettier configuration file, no configuration needed.


VSCode uses similar keyboard shortcuts and feature mappings as other modern IDEs. A single page keyboard shortcut overview PDF is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Access the command palette with Ctrl+Shift+P (Command+Shift+P on macOS). Start typing to search for functionality or settings, keyboard binding hints display alongside.

The autocomplete and prompting tools are most useful, Ctrl+Space and Ctrl+Shift+Space ( ^Space and ^+Shift+Space on macOS ) provide general completion hints, property suggestions and inline documentation.

suggested property completion

Because our components are strictly typed, errors appear when mandatory properties are missing. Hover the cursor over an error for details, in this example the Printer requires a data source such as accessor="led_pwm" .

missing property error checks

While importing components use Ctrl+Space for component suggestions from the library in context.

suggested components during import

Unused components listed as imports are greyed out. Removing unnecessary imports can help keep your codebase readable.

unused import hint

Other tips

  • Holding Ctrl (or Command on OSX) while clicking on a variable/function/component will take you to the definition.

  • Ctrl+D selects the next instance of the highlighted word/variable, useful for multiple cursor based edits.