The latest improvements for Visual Studio Code

VS Code 1.42: Jan 2020 update includes Rename preview & debugger improvements

Sarah Schlothauer
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Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code has a new release for the new year. VS Code version 1.42 is here and adds a long list of new features for the editor, workbench, and the debug console. This new update includes a Rename preview, a way to limit the number of open editors, adds new container tutorials to the documentation, a simplified Debug view, fixes some issues, and much more.

The first Visual Studio Code update of the new year (and new decade) arrived. January 2020’s VS Code release adds a way to preview Rename changes, includes some accessibility changes, improvements to the Debug Console, updates the bundle to TypeScript 3.7.5, and more.

This update includes a large number of changes and quality of life improvements, so let’s dive in. Here are some of the highlights:

Preview Rename changes

Now you can preview Rename changes by confirming a new name with Shift + Enter and by viewing the Refactor Preview panel. Then after reviewing the preview, you can either apply or abort the rename and go right back to the current editor.

Here’s what it looks like in action.

SEE ALSO: Java on VS Code update: Call hierarchy support added

Set the number of open editors

Users can now set the limit of the maximum number of editors that can be open simultaneously.

This feature is off by default. Once enabled, when you reach the limit, it will close the last used editor when you open a new editor. In order to keep your work safe, this will never automatically close editors with unsaved changes.

Save operations change

Some Visual Studio Code users with large files have experienced frustration with slow save operations when trying to use Format on Save and Fix on Save. Now, VS Code changes its timeout-based approach to saving and will now show a progress notification.

This allows users to cancel extensions and lets you know that save operations are running so you can either wait for the save participant to finish or cancel.

vs code

Save progress notification. Source.

SEE ALSO: JEP 371: Hidden Classes in Java

Debug Console improvements

The Debug Console receives various improvements, including an updated input/output presentation, input box auto-suggestions, and a new setting that can automatically close the console after debugging finishes.

It now also will use the language mode of the currently active editor in the Debug Console input. This will add support for language features such as syntax coloring, indentation, and bracket matching.

Miscellaneous VS Code updates

Some other changes include:

  • The Debug view has been simplified with only one Run and Debug button.
  • By default, Visual Studio Code will now restore all windows on startup.
  • The Debugger for Java supports Data Breakpoints.
  • Users can move the panel, containing Output, Debug Console, Terminal, and Problems panes, to the left side of the editor.
  • Using window.autoDetectColorScheme, VS Code can automatically detect the OS’s color scheme and switch itself to match.
  • Next month, we can look forward to TypeScript 3.8’s official release. But until then, VS Code v1.42 includes TypeScript 3.8-beta features.

As always, this update fixes some bugs and issues. New tutorials about containers were also added to the documentation.

Read the full release notes from Microsoft for all the updates.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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