Creating a VS Code Extension Pack: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a VS Code Extension Pack: A Step-by-Step Guide


4 min read

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a powerful and extensible code editor that supports a wide range of programming languages. One of the key features that makes VS Code so popular is its extensibility, allowing developers to enhance their coding experience by installing extensions. If you find yourself frequently using a specific set of extensions for your projects, creating a custom extension pack can be a convenient way to share your curated collection with others. In this guide, we'll walk through the process of creating a VS Code extension pack.

Step 1: Set Up Your Development Environment

Before you start creating your extension pack, ensure that you have the necessary tools installed:

  1. Visual Studio Code: Make sure you have the latest version of VS Code installed on your machine.

  2. Node.js and npm: Extension development for VS Code relies on Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager). Install them from

  3. Yeoman and the VS Code Extension Generator: Yeoman is a scaffolding tool, and the VS Code Extension Generator is a Yeoman generator that provides a template for creating VS Code extensions. Install them using the following command:

     npm install -g yo generator-code

Step 2: Create a New Extension Pack

  1. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where you want to create your extension pack.

  2. Run the following command to generate a new extension pack using Yeoman:

     yo code
  3. Choose the "New Extension Pack" option from the menu.

  4. Follow the prompts to provide information about your extension pack, such as the name, description, and publisher.

Step 3: Customize Your Extension Pack

Now that you have the basic structure of your extension pack, you can customize it by adding the extensions you want. Open the generated package.json file and locate the "extensionPack" field. This is where you'll list the extensions that should be included in your pack.

For example:

"extensionPack": [

Replace "author.extension1", "author.extension2", etc., with the actual identifiers of the extensions you want to include.

Step 4: Test Your Extension Pack Locally

Before publishing your extension pack, it's a good idea to test it locally to ensure everything works as expected. Open the command line, navigate to the extension pack directory, and run the following commands:

npm install
code .

This will open VS Code with your extension pack loaded. Make sure that all included extensions are functioning correctly together.

Step 5: Publish Your Extension Pack (Optional)

If you're satisfied with your extension pack and want to share it with the community, you can publish it to the Visual Studio Code Marketplace. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a Publisher Account: Visit the Visual Studio Code Marketplace and sign in with your Microsoft account. If you don't have one, you'll need to create a publisher account.

  2. Publish the Extension Pack:

  • Open the terminal in the extension pack directory.

  • Run the following command to publish your extension pack:

vsce publish

or you can do this for publish your extension pack

Create a publisher

A publisher is an identity that can publish extensions to the Visual Studio Code Marketplace. Every extension needs to include a publisher name in its package.json file.

To create a publisher:

  1. Go to the Visual Studio Marketplace publisher management page and Log in with Microsoft account.

  2. Click Create publisher in the pane on the left.

  3. In the new page, specify the mandatory parameters for a new publisher - identifier and name (ID and Name fields respectively):

  • ID: the unique identifier for your publisher in Marketplace that will be used in your extension URLs. ID cannot be changed once created.

  • Name: the unique name of your publisher that will be displayed in Marketplace with your extensions. This can be your company or brand name.

Manually, upload .vsix file to the Visual Studio Marketplace publisher management page:

Congratulations! You've successfully created and published your VS Code extension pack. Users can now install your extension pack from the Visual Studio Code Marketplace or directly from within the VS Code editor. Keep in mind that you can update your extension pack over time by adding or removing extensions in the package.json file and publishing the updated version.

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