Modify User Settings in Visual Studio Code

06 Jan 2016

Yesterday I did a poll on twitter for how many spaces people prefer with their JavaScript development environment editor. It was a great response, with many (more than I thought) preferring 2 spaces instead of the default 4 spaces.

Visual Studio Code is a great environment to work in, and likewise it is extremely customizable. So say you want to change the tab size from 4 to 2 and persist this in VS Code…

There are a couple of ways to navigate to the user settings configuration…

  1. Through the menu bar (File -> Preferences -> User Settings)
  2. (my favorite) The command palette (>Preferences: Open User Settings or type part of the string to find the option)

Do either of the above operations, you’ll be confronted with two editor windows: Default Settings and settings.json. The settings.json file is where you’ll want to make the modifications/additions to your specific user settings. What I love about the quickness in this is that you can use the Default Settings window as an easy reference point.

In my case, I want to change the tab size, so I see in the Default Settings that there is a default option set already: "editor.tabSize": 4. To change this to 2, you wouldn’t modify the Default Settings, but you would add this change to overlay in settings.json, by simple typing "editor.tabSize": 2.

Done! Now you have customized your VS Code experience by putting your non-default settings in settings.json.