Language-specific settings in VSCode

Over the last couple of days I’ve come to really love Visual Studio Code. The amount of polish and tiny little gems in there is just amazing! Something I stumbled upon this morning is that you can override specific settings for specific file types.

Inside the editor this is called “Language specific settings” or “Language based settings” and is documented in detail here. It basically boils down to something like this within your workspace’s settings.json (or your user-specific settings):

  "[markdown]": {
    "editor.wordWrap": "wordWrapColumn",
    "editor.wordWrapColumn": 80

In this example, [markdown] as a configuration key indicates that everything within that object should be specific to Markdown files. In this case I override the word-wrap column by setting it to 80 characters and activate word-wrapping at that column.

UI for accessing language-specific settings

There is also quite a lot of UI available to generate that settings-block. You can either click on the language button in the lower right corner when you have a file open, or hit cmd+p and execute “Preferences: Configure Language Specific Settings…“. In general, I’m amazed by the way VSCode handles preferences. Nearly everything has contextual help and auto-completion despite being presented as a simple text file.

In #1587 there was even some discussion about letting you define settings for specific filename patterns. That could be quite handy if you want to apply, for instance, different word-wrap settings for Markdown files in different folders for some reason That’s not yet supported, though, nor could I find another ticket about something like that. Luckily, I usually don’t need something like that 😉

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