VSCode 1.90: Multi-tab selections are now official!

VSCode 1.90: Multi-tab selections are now official!
Photo by Yancy Min / Unsplash

On June 5, 2024, Microsoft released Visual Studio Code 1.90, the May 2024 update to their widely used code editor. This version introduces several new features and improvements aimed at enhancing developer productivity and customizing the development environment. Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, this update can be downloaded from the Visual Studio Code website.

Multi-Select Editor Tabs

One of the most notable new features in VSCode 1.90 is the ability to select multiple editor tabs simultaneously. This multi-select capability allows developers to apply actions to several tabs at once, such as moving, pinning, or closing them. This feature streamlines workflows, particularly for developers who work with multiple files and need to manage their workspace efficiently. For example, you can now close all files related to a specific task or project with a single action, rather than handling each file individually.

To use this feature, simply hold down the Ctrl (or Cmd on macOS) key and click on the tabs you want to select. Once selected, you can right-click on any of the highlighted tabs to see a context menu with actions that can be applied to all selected tabs.

Configurable Window Profiles

Another significant addition is the ability to configure a preferred profile for new windows. This is managed via the window.newWindowProfile setting. Previously, when opening a new VSCode window, the editor would default to the profile of the active window or the default profile if no active window was present. With this update, developers can specify which profile should be used, allowing for more consistent and personalized environments across multiple sessions.

To set a preferred profile, you can add the following configuration to your settings.json:

"window.newWindowProfile": "YourPreferredProfileName"

This ensures that each new window starts with the same configurations, extensions, and settings, making your development process more seamless and tailored to your needs.

Source Control and Editor Action Improvements

VSCode 1.90 introduces several enhancements to source control and editor actions:

Source Control Shortcuts

New workbench commands have been added, enabling developers to create keyboard shortcuts for focusing on the next or previous source control input field or resource group within a repository. This makes navigating and managing source control operations faster and more intuitive.

Always Show Editor Actions

A new setting called editor.actions.alwaysShow has been introduced. When enabled, editor title actions of each editor group are displayed regardless of whether the editor is active. This provides quick access to common actions without needing to switch focus to each editor.

"editor.actions.alwaysShow": true

Enhanced Notebook Features

Notebooks in VSCode 1.90 now support a new kind of Code Action, identified by the notebook.format Code Action Kind prefix. These actions can be triggered automatically through explicit formatting requests or when saving a notebook. This feature enhances the functionality and flexibility of notebooks, making it easier to maintain code quality and consistency.

To leverage this feature, ensure your notebook extensions are updated to support the new Code Action Kind prefix. This will allow for improved automation and formatting capabilities within notebooks.

Experimental and Miscellaneous Features

VSCode 1.90 also introduces several experimental features and miscellaneous updates:

Debounce Position Changes

A new experimental setting, editor.experimental.debouncePositionChanges, allows developers to adjust the debounce time for various accessibility signals using the editor.experimental.signalOptionsDelays setting. This feature aims to improve the responsiveness and customization of accessibility tools.

"editor.experimental.debouncePositionChanges": true,
"editor.experimental.signalOptionsDelays": {
    "change": 300,
    "save": 500

Accessibility Help Dialog

Developers can now configure keybindings directly from the accessibility help dialog. This enhancement makes it easier to set up and modify shortcuts without navigating away from the current context.

Terminal Renderer Update

The canvas renderer, deprecated in VSCode 1.89, has been completely removed. Machines that do not support WebGL2 will now use the DOM-based renderer, ensuring better compatibility and performance.

Glyph Rescaling

The terminal.integrated.rescaleOverlappingGlyphs setting, introduced as a preview feature in VSCode 1.88, is now enabled by default. This feature improves the rendering of overlapping glyphs in the terminal, enhancing readability and aesthetic consistency.

GitHub Copilot Enhancements

GitHub Copilot Enterprise users benefit from new capabilities in VSCode 1.90. Users can now ask questions enriched with context from web results and enterprise knowledge bases, facilitated by the latest release of Copilot Chat. This feature enhances the AI-driven assistance provided by Copilot, making it more contextually aware and useful for enterprise environments.

To try out these new capabilities, ensure you have the latest version of Copilot Chat installed and configured within your VSCode environment.

New APIs for Extension Authors

VSCode 1.90 introduces two new APIs for extension development:

  1. Chat Participants API: This API allows extensions to participate in chat interactions within VSCode. It enables extensions to engage in chat-based workflows, providing more interactive and dynamic user experiences.
  2. Language Model API: This API provides access to language models, enabling extensions to leverage advanced language processing capabilities. This can be used to build features such as code suggestions, natural language queries, and more sophisticated language understanding within extensions.

These APIs open up new possibilities for extension developers, allowing them to create more powerful and integrated tools for the VSCode ecosystem.

The Conclusion

Visual Studio Code 1.90 brings a host of new features and improvements that enhance both the usability and functionality of the editor. From multi-select editor tabs and configurable window profiles to advanced notebook features and experimental accessibility options, this release caters to a wide range of developer needs. Additionally, the updates to GitHub Copilot and the introduction of new APIs for extension authors further expand the capabilities and versatility of VS Code.

Whether you are a seasoned developer or just starting, the enhancements in VSCode 1.90 are designed to make your coding experience more efficient, customizable, and enjoyable. Be sure to download the latest version and explore all the new features to fully benefit from this powerful tool.

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