HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft Focuses on UI Tools in New Visual Studio Code Update

Microsoft Focuses on UI Tools in New Visual Studio Code Update

With the release of Visual Studio Code version 1.8, Microsoft has made it possible to hide many screen options with Zen Mode, while also improving the Settings interface with a new search tool.


has revealed the latest update for Code. The release brings the company's open source text editor to version 1.8. In a blog post today, Microsoft announced that the new build brings with it a number of new features. Among the new additions for the cross-platform service have often been requested since launched in 2015.

Among those oft-requested features is a Zen Mode. This provides a UI change for the text editor, hiding the activity bar, panel, status bar, and the sidebar. Zen Mode also puts the app to full screen, but leaves open tabs visible to the user. The simple layout can be enabled by typing Ctrl-K-Z in Windows. Pressing escape twice will leave Zen and go back to the normal VS Code UI.

If going full Zen is not your thing, the ability to simply hide the activity bar has now been added. In the View dropdown menu, Microsoft has placed a Hide Activity Bar option. Alternatively, users can hide it by pressing Ctrl-Shift-P in the Command Palette. Once there, typing Toggle Activity Bar Visibility will hide the bar. Obviously, the first of those two options is easier.


In its blog post today, Microsoft also discusses a new feature called Hot Exit. When all windows are closed, Visual Studio Code will now remember unsaved changes. This feature is also available on Mac when a user quits the app. Luckily, Hot Exit works even it hasn't been enabled manually, which should prevent any lost workloads.

Visual Studio Code November Update

Visual Studio Code version 1.8 is the November release and also improves the settings interface. Opening the Workspace Settings or User Settings now leads to a new search bar at the top of the window. This new bar will filter searches and remove settings that do not match a search and present settings that match search criteria.

Microsoft has detailed all of the changes made in version 1.8, below is the full changelog:

  • Hot Exit – Switch context quickly and never lose your changes.
  • Focus on Your Code – Enhancements like Zen Mode, configurable Activity Bar, and more.
  • Settings improvements – New experience for configuring VS Code.
  • New Selection menu – Easily discover and use the editor selection commands.
  • Faster Text Search – Find the code you're looking for fast no matter how large your project.
  • Snippet authoring – Use variables in your code snippets.
  • Keyboard shortcuts – Create custom shortcuts with command arguments, find popular Keymaps.
  • JavaScript IntelliSense in HTML – Get full JavaScript support in HTML files.
  • UI for Multitarget Debugging – Launch simultaneous debug sessions.
  • TypeScript 2.1 – Improved language support with the latest TypeScript update.
  • JavaScript – Support for Object Rest/Spread.

Last month, Microsoft rolled out version 1.7 of VS Code for its October changes. That release brought with it improved Node.js debugging and a new horizontal layout for editor groups. In the update, VS also gained CSS auto-completion when embedded in HTML. Additionally, the ability to disable extensions in the editor was also introduced.

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 3:44 pm CEST

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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