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Visual Studio Code

A text editor is a simple notepad type application. For the DRI, we will be using the VSCode text editor because it supports syntax highlighting, is free and open source, and is consistent across OSX, Windows, and Linux systems.


Download VSCode at


  1. Click on the VScode installer in your downloads folder:

installer shortcut - shaded blue box with ribbon logo. It has something like VSCodeSetup- at the front of its filename

  1. When you see this window, click Next:

initial installer window

  1. Accept the license agreement by selecting the first radio button. Then click next

license agreement install window

  1. Choose the folder on the computer that VSCode should be installed in (the default is usually fine). Then click Next:

installation folder selection window with a browse button to enable you to search for an installation folder

4b. Windows only: Choose the folder in the start menu that VSCode should be installed in. Then click Next:

select start menu folder installation window, with a browse button to enable you to search for a folder on the start menu to

4c. Windows only: Please check the box that says Add to PATH, which is the fifth (last) box. Check the other boxes at your own discretion. Then click Next:

Select additional tools menu of check boxes. The options are (top to bottom): i. Create a desktop icon, ii. Add Open With Code action to Windows Explorer file context menu, iii. Add Open With Code action to Windows Explorer directory context menu, iv. Register code as an editor for supported file types, v. Add to Path (available after restart)

  1. You should see a window listing the configurations you chose in the previous steps. If they are incorrect, click Back and redo the previous steps. If they are correct, click Install:

ready to install window listing configurations

  1. Sit back and relax because the install will take a while. You should see a window with a progress bar similar to this:

progress bar showing how far along the install is

  1. Check the "Launch Visual Studio Code" checkbox and then click Next

setup finished window with launch visual studio code checkbox

  1. Test Install


To open code from the osx terminal (command line), we need to add it to path after the install.

  1. Download VSCode

  2. Drag the Visual Studio Code application to Applications folder. osx finder window showing visual studio code icon

  3. Open VSCode via your preferred method. Click on the icon:

Visual Studio Code icon - black box with blue ribbon inside

  1. Navigate to the View->Command Pallet menu and click on command

VSCode top level menu bar, View is the fourth option down

  1. The Command Pallet menu looks like this. Type shell into the text bar. Then choose "Shell Command: Install code command in PATH"

textbar with menu options underneath

  1. Once the install is finished, you should be able to open a terminal and type code and that should launch VSCode

OS/X open terminal with the code command

  1. Test Install

Test Install

VSCode should now be installed. You should see something like this window when you launch VSCode:

main vscode screen with side panel menu buttons: file explorer, search, git integration, debugger/variable explorer, extension manager. Second panel is file browser to find file to open, and third panel is to chose customizations

Ignore the warnings about git not being installed.

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