Utilization of Visual Studio Code for PowerShell Development

Due to its adaptability and robust ecosystem, “Visual Studio Code (VSCode)” has become one of the most well-liked code editors for developers. While it is widely known as a tool for web and software development, it is also a powerful platform for “PowerShell development”.

This article aims to offer a thorough overview of “Visual Studio Code’s” usefulness in “PowerShell development.”

Visual Studio Code: What is it?

Microsoft created the “Visual Studio Code” code editor, which is open-source and free. It offers a wide range of features, including a highly customizable user interface, a powerful IntelliSense code suggestion system, integrated debugging tools, and support for various programming languages. It’s versatility and lightweight nature make it an ideal choice for “PowerShell development”.

Step 1: Installation and Configuration

Make sure the necessary extensions are installed before beginning “PowerShell development” in “Visual Studio Code”. The “PowerShell” extension, developed by Microsoft, provides language support and numerous additional features specifically tailored for PowerShell scripting. The steps to add PowerShell in VSCode are mentioned below:

Step 1: Open the VS Code. On the Side Bar, the “Extensions” view first appears:

Step 2: Choose the “PowerShell” extension by Microsoft and click the “Install” button:

You can begin editing after VS Code has been refreshed.

Next, to create a new file, select “File > New” and then enter a desired filename, with the extension as “.ps1”:

Step 2: Configuration Settings

You can access “settings.json” by “File>Preferences>Settings”:

Then, click on the file icon on the top right corner of the window:

In “settings.json”, these configuration parameters can be added:

    "editor.renderWhitespace": "all",
    "editor.renderControlCharacters": true,
    "files.trimTrailingWhitespace": true,
    "files.encoding": "utf8bom",
    "files.autoGuessEncoding": true

Step 3: Developing PowerShell Script on VSCode

The extensive support provided by “Visual Studio Code” for “PowerShell development” is one of its main features. For PowerShell scripts, VS Code offers syntax highlighting, code completion, and IntelliSense, making it simpler to write clear and error-free code. Consider this simple illustration:

$num1 = 10
$num2 = 21
$result = $num1 / $num2
Write-Host "Result: $result"

The following result will be displayed against the written code:

Integrated Terminal and Interactive Development

Visual Studio Code provides an integrated terminal window, allowing developers to execute PowerShell commands and scripts directly within the editor. This feature enables an interactive development process by quickly evaluating code snippets, running scripts, and testing functions. The ability to seamlessly switch between editing and executing commands greatly enhances productivity.

IntelliSense and Code Navigation

One of the most powerful features of Visual Studio Code is its “IntelliSense functionality”, which provides real-time code completion, parameter hints, and syntax highlighting specific to PowerShell. This feature greatly reduces manual typing errors, improves code quality, and facilitates the exploration of PowerShell modules and cmdlets. Additionally, the “Go to Definition” feature allows effortless navigation between functions, variables, and other elements within a script.

Debugging Capabilities

“Visual Studio Code” built-in debugging tools are another valuable asset for “PowerShell development”. Developers have access to breakpoints, code stepping, variable inspection, and execution flow monitoring. This enhances troubleshooting efficiency, accelerates bug fixing, and aids in gaining deeper insights into complex PowerShell scripts. Following is the demonstration:

$num1 = 10
$num2 = 0
$result = $num1 / $num2
Write-Host "Result: $result"

When running this code in “Visual Studio Code”, you can put a breakpoint at the line “$result = $num1 / $num2”, which will cause the execution to stop. The division by zero error can then be returned by looking at the values of $num1, $num2, and $result:

Git Integration and Version Control

As a widely used version control system, “Git integration” is an essential feature in any development environment. “Visual Studio Code” seamlessly integrates Git, enabling effortless management of version control operations without leaving the editor. This feature supports collaborative development, simplifies code review processes, and ensures efficient code management in PowerShell projects.


A strong and flexible code editor called “Visual Studio Code” offers a rich environment that is specially designed for “PowerShell development”. With its extensive features, such as integrated terminals, IntelliSense, debugging tools, Git integration, and an array of extensions, Visual Studio Code offers an impressive platform for efficient and effective PowerShell scripting.

About the author

Hiba Shafqat

I am a Computer Science student and a committed technical writer by choice. It is a great pleasure to share my knowledge with the world in which I have academic expertise.