23-Jun-2022| Debugging, Dev Tools, integrations, Java, Tutorials |6 min read

Visual Studio Code (VScode) is an open-source and cross-platform source-code editor. It was ranked the most popular development tool in the Stack Overflow 2021 Developer Survey, with 70% of the respondents using it as their primary editor. VScode allows you to use a few programming languages like JavaScript and TypeScript. Still, you need an extension if you want to use any other programming language and include extra functionalities to improve your code. 

Python is one of the top computer languages used by developers worldwide for creating a variety of programs, from simple applications to scientific applications. But VScode does not directly support Python. Therefore, if you want to use Python in VScode, it is important to add good Python extensions to work with it. Fear not- there are many options available. However, the biggest challenge is to find the most complete and suitable ones for your requirements. 

Top 8 VScode Python Extensions

To ease your search for the most suitable Python extension for your needs, we put together a list of the top 8 VScode Python extensions available in the market:    

1. Python (Microsoft)

Microsoft Python

Python VScode extension developed by Microsoft is a feature-rich Python extension that is completely free. VScode will automatically suggest this extension when you start to create a .py file. Its IntelliSense feature allows useful functionalities like code auto-completion, navigation, and syntax checking. 

 

When you install it, it will automatically install the Pylance extension, which gives you rich language support, and the Jupyter extension for using Jupyter notebooks. To run tests, you can also use unittest or pytest through its Test Explorer feature. Other valuable capabilities include code debugging, formatting, refactoring, and automatic switching between various Python environments. 

 

2. Lightrun 

Lightrun Solution

Ligtrun is a real-time debugging platform that supports applications written in several languages, including Python. It consists of an intuitive interface for you to add logs, traces, and metrics in real-time for debugging the code in production. You can add Lightrun snapshots in real-time and on-demand so that you can debug by exploring your stack trace and variables. 

Also, you can add real-time performance metrics to measure your code’s performance and synchronization, which will allow you to find any performance bottlenecks for your system without impacting the application performance. The Lightrun tool also supports multi-instance such as microservices and big data workers with a tagging mechanism. There are two subscriptions to Lightrun: the Lightrun community edition is free, and its Professional edition provides more robust capabilities. 

 

3. Python Preview

Python Preview

This VScode extension is a simple but useful one you can use to debug Python code faster by previewing the debug. It includes animations and graphics, making visualizing the code easier. With this extension, you can do side-by-side debugging to debug your code easily. This Python extension is also 100% free to use. 

 

4. Better Comments

Better Comments

 

Comments are critical for any code as they help the developers understand the code better. The Better Comments extension is slightly different than the others. It focuses solely on making more human-friendly and readable comments for your Python code. With this extension, you can organize your annotation and improve the code clarity. You can use several categories and colors to categorize your annotations—for example, Alerts, Queries, TODOs, and Highlights. 

You can also mark the commented-out code in a different style and set various settings to the comments according to the way you want. This free extension also supports many other programming languages. 

 

5. Python Test Explorer 

Python Test Explorer 

When developing an application, testing is a must to preserve the code quality, and you will have to use different types of test frameworks. Python Test Explorer extension lets you execute Unittest, Pytest, or Testplan tests in VScode. There are several intuitive features of this free extension. 

A Test Explorer of VS Code’s sidebar can show a complete view of the tests and test suites with their state. Mainly, you can easily view which tests are failing so that you can work on failing code much quicker. In addition, it supports convenient error reporting. It will indicate tests having errors in an errored state, and you can see the complete error message by clicking on them. If you are working with multiple project folders in VScode, it enables you to run tests on such multi-root workspaces. 

 

6. Python Indent

Python Indent

Having the correct indentation is vital when developing with Python, but sometimes it will get hectic to keep adding closing brackets. Python indent extension helps you to maintain the proper Python indentation in VScode. This extension adds closing brackets automatically simply by pressing the Tab key, which can speed up the coding and enables you to save a lot of your valuable time. 

It can also indent keywords, extend comments and trim whitespace lines. This extension is free works by registering the Enter key as a keyboard shortcut, though sometimes it can unexpectedly override Enter behavior. 

 

7. Python Snippets

Python Snippets

Python snippets is a helpful extension that adds python snippets into your code while you are typing. Each method contains snippets like built-in strings, lists, sets, tuples, and dictionaries snippets and examples. There are other code snippets such as if/else, for, while, while/else, try/catch, etc. 

Also, there are Python snippets for Object-Oriented Programming concepts such as inheritance,  encapsulation, polymorphism, etc. Since this extension provides many Python code examples, it is helpful for beginners to learn it. However, note that this extension can sometimes add incorrect tab spaces.

 

8. Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 (CoenraadS)

Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 (CoenraadS)

Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 is another extension that lets developers quickly identify which brackets belong to each other and makes it easier to read the code. You can specify the matching bracket with colors and set the tokens and colors you want to use. This free extension can be helpful, especially if your code has nested conditions and loops.

Start Improving Code Accuracy

The VScode Python extensions we discussed here provide helpful features like automatic code completion, testing support, indentation, useful snippets to learn Python, and adding comments. These extensions help make code more accurate,  improve readability, and detect bugs in the system. If you are looking for a robust debugging experience, get started with Lightrun today.

Eyal Katz
Eyal is a digital marketing consultant at Lightrun and avid tandom bike rider.

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