⚡ VSCode Setup and Most Used Keystrokes for Turbocharged (Mostly Python) Development 🐍

My personal setup for maximal productivity and minimal keystrokes.

My favorite extensions

Visual Studio Code, or VSCode, has rapidly become one of the most popular code editors available today, and for good reason. With a vast amount of development activity behind it, VSCode is a powerful and extensible platform that allows users to customize it to their needs through a wide variety of extensions. As a long-time Sublime Text user, I was initially skeptical about making the switch due to concerns about performance. However, as I spent more time using VSCode, I became convinced of its many benefits and have since made it my go-to editor for all my development needs, particularly for Python.

In this blog post, I will share my personal setup for turbocharging Python development in VSCode, including my favorite extensions and most-used keystrokes. By tailoring your editor to your specific requirements and preferences, you can maximize productivity and minimize keystrokes, making your development experience as smooth and efficient as possible.

Table of Contents

My most common Shortcuts

Personally, I use the Sublime Keymap extension to add Sublime Text keybindings to VSCode.

It is a valuable extension for those who are transitioning from Sublime Text to Visual Studio Code or simply prefer Sublime Text’s keybindings. This extension replicates Sublime Text’s keyboard shortcuts in VSCode, allowing you to maintain your productivity and muscle memory.

Here are my commonly used shortcuts when using the Sublime Keymap extension:

Command + Shift + L (Mac) / Ctrl + Shift + L (Windows)Place a cursor at the end of all selected lines
Command + D (Mac) / Ctrl + D (Windows)Select the next occurrence of the current word
Command + U (Mac) / Ctrl + U (Windows)Undo the last “select next word” operation
Alt + up/down arrowMove the selected lines up or down
Alt + Shift + up/down arrowsDuplicate the selected lines above or below
Control + - (minus)Navigate to the previous location in the editor
Command + Shift + P (Mac) / Ctrl + Shift + P (Windows)Open the command palette
* Command + R (Mac) / Ctrl + R (Windows)Open the command palette and search for definitions in the file (bonus, add a :, to get @: to group by functions, methods, variables, etc.)
Command + T (Mac) / Ctrl + T (Windows)Browse files in the workspace
Command + B (Mac) / Ctrl + B (Windows)Toggle the visibility of the sidebar (explorer, search, etc.)
Command + Shift + F (Mac) / Ctrl + Shift + F (Windows)Search across all files in your workspace
Control + SpaceOpen the autocomplete menu
Command + Mouse clickGo to the definition of the selected word (when using the Python extension (see below))

My favorite extensions

I have ranked my top 8 extensions, which I would recommend to anyone who is looking to improve their productivity and efficiency in VSCode.

1. GitHub Copilot

GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered code completion extension that provides seamless integration with the Copilot service, helping you write code faster and smarter.

  • Use code --install-extension GitHub.copilot to install the GitHub Copilot extension (docs)

2. GitLens

GitLens supercharges the built-in Git support in VSCode, providing useful insights into your code history and changes, including advanced blame annotations, code lens, and more.

  • Use code --install-extension eamodio.gitlens to install the GitLens extension (docs)

3. Python and Pylance

These extensions offer comprehensive support for Python development, with features like IntelliSense, linting, debugging, and code navigation. Pylance enhances Python support with improved code completion, type checking, and language features.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-python.python to install the Python extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-python.vscode-pylance to install the Pylance extension (docs)

4. Jupyter

The Jupyter extensions enable you to work with Jupyter Notebooks in VSCode, with support for running cells, debugging, and more. Jupyter Keymap adds customizable keyboard shortcuts for Jupyter commands.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-toolsai.jupyter to install the Jupyter extension (docs)

5. Sublime Keybindings

Sublime Keybindings adds keybindings from Sublime Text to VSCode, making it easier for developers familiar with Sublime Text to transition to VSCode.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode.sublime-keybindings to install the Sublime Keybindings extension (docs)

6. Remote Containers, SSH, and Remote Extension Pack

These extensions provide support for working with remote development environments in VSCode, such as developing inside a container or connecting to remote machines via SSH. The Extension Pack bundles all the remote development extensions for convenience.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode-remote.remote-ssh-edit to install the Remote SSH Edit extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode-remote.vscode-remote-extensionpack to install the Remote Extension Pack (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode.remote-explorer to install the Remote Explorer extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode.remote-repositories to install the Remote Repositories extension (docs)

7. Indent Rainbow

Indent Rainbow is a VSCode extension that colorizes indentation levels in your code, making it easier to visualize and navigate complex code structures.

  • Use code --install-extension oderwat.indent-rainbow to install the Indent Rainbow extension (docs)

8. Code Spell Checker

Code Spell Checker is a helpful extension that checks your code and comments for spelling errors, helping you maintain clean and professional code.

  • Use code --install-extension streetsidesoftware.code-spell-checker to install the Code Spell Checker extension (docs)


Ruff is a Visual Studio Code extension that provides support for the Ruff linter, an extremely fast Python linter written in Rust. It offers numerous features such as built-in caching, autofix support, and a comprehensive set of built-in rules. Ruff aims to replace multiple tools like Flake8, isort, pydocstyle, yesqa, eradicate, pyupgrade, and autoflake, while executing much faster than any individual tool.

  • Use code --install-extension charliermarsh.ruff to install the Ruff extension (docs)

GitHub Copilot Labs

GitHub Copilot Labs is an extension that allows users to access experimental features for GitHub Copilot, an AI-powered code completion tool.

  • Use code --install-extension GitHub.copilot-labs to install the GitHub Copilot Labs extension (docs)

GitHub Codespaces, RemoteHub, and Pull Request

These GitHub extensions provide seamless integration with various GitHub services, including Codespaces (cloud-based development environments), RemoteHub (browse remote repositories), and Pull Request management.

  • Use code --install-extension GitHub.codespaces to install the GitHub Codespaces extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension GitHub.remotehub to install the GitHub RemoteHub extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension GitHub.vscode-pull-request-github to install the GitHub Pull Request extension (docs)

Rainbow CSV

Rainbow CSV adds syntax highlighting for CSV and TSV files in VSCode, making it easier to read and analyze data by color-coding columns.

  • Use code --install-extension mechatroner.rainbow-csv to install the Rainbow CSV extension (docs)

Better Comments

Better Comments is a VSCode extension that helps improve the readability of your code comments by adding color and style to different types of comments, such as TODOs, highlights, questions, and alerts.

  • Use code --install-extension aaron-bond.better-comments to install the Better Comments extension (docs)

Markdown Preview Enhanced

Markdown Preview Enhanced is a feature-rich extension that provides a real-time preview of your Markdown files, supporting various Markdown flavors, interactive diagrams, and more.

  • Use code --install-extension shd101wyy.markdown-preview-enhanced to install the Markdown Preview Enhanced extension (docs)

Markdown All in One

Markdown All in One is a comprehensive extension that provides a range of features for working with Markdown files in VSCode, including syntax highlighting, auto-completion, table of contents, and more.

  • Use code --install-extension yzhang.markdown-all-in-one to install the Markdown All in One extension (docs)


WakaTime is an open source VS Code plugin for metrics, insights, and time tracking automatically generated from your programming activity. This service will keep a summary of how much time you spend in which project and which programming language.

  • Use code --install-extension WakaTime.vscode-wakatime to install the WakaTime extension (docs)

Other extensions I use

The following extensions are not as essential as the ones listed above, but I still find them useful for various tasks.

LaTeX Workshop

LaTeX Workshop is a comprehensive extension for working with LaTeX documents in VSCode, featuring syntax highlighting, building and previewing, IntelliSense, and more.

  • Use code --install-extension James-Yu.latex-workshop to install the LaTeX Workshop extension (docs)

Live Share

Visual Studio Live Share is a real-time collaboration extension that allows you to share your workspace with others, enabling pair programming, code reviews, and collaborative debugging.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-vsliveshare.vsliveshare to install the Live Share extension (docs)

Azure Account and Repos

These extensions offer a range of Azure-related functionality, including managing your Azure account, working with Azure Repos, exploring remote resources, and browsing remote Git repositories.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode.azure-account to install the Azure Account extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-vscode.azure-repos to install the Azure Repos extension (docs)


CodeSnap is a handy extension for creating beautiful code screenshots directly from your editor, making it easier to share code snippets on social media, blog posts, or documentation.

  • Use code --install-extension adpyke.codesnap to install the CodeSnap extension (docs)


The Micromamba extension for VSCode integrates the Micromamba package manager, making it easier to manage Conda environments and packages within the editor.

  • Use code --install-extension corker.vscode-micromamba to install the Micromamba extension (docs)


Markdownlint is a VSCode extension that provides linting and style-checking for Markdown files, ensuring consistent and clean Markdown content.

  • Use code --install-extension DavidAnson.vscode-markdownlint to install the Markdownlint extension (docs)


Prettier is a powerful code formatter that supports multiple languages, including JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML, CSS, and more. It enforces a consistent code style across your project.

  • Use code --install-extension esbenp.prettier-vscode to install the Prettier extension (docs)

Code Runner

Code Runner is a versatile extension that enables you to quickly run code snippets or whole files for multiple programming languages within VSCode, without the need to switch to an external terminal.

  • Use code --install-extension formulahendry.code-runner to install the Code Runner extension (docs)


The Go extension by the Go team provides rich language support for the Go programming language, with features like IntelliSense, debugging, linting, and code navigation.

  • Use code --install-extension golang.go to install the Go extension (docs)

Home Assistant

The Home Assistant extension for VSCode provides integration with Home Assistant configuration files, offering syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and validation.

  • Use code --install-extension keesschollaart.vscode-home-assistant to install the Home Assistant extension (docs)

Azure Pipelines, Resource Groups, Storage, and Terraform

These Microsoft Azure extensions provide powerful integrations with various Azure services, allowing you to manage pipelines, resource groups, storage, and Terraform configurations directly within VSCode.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-azure-devops.azure-pipelines to install the Azure Pipelines extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-azuretools.vscode-azureresourcegroups to install the Azure Resource Groups extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-azuretools.vscode-azurestorage to install the Azure Storage extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension ms-azuretools.vscode-azureterraform to install the Azure Terraform extension (docs)


The Docker extension adds rich support for working with Docker containers and images in VSCode, including building, managing, and deploying containerized applications.

  • Use code --install-extension ms-azuretools.vscode-docker to install the Docker extension (docs)


AutoDocstring is a helpful extension that automatically generates docstrings for Python functions and classes, following popular docstring formats like Google, NumPy, and reStructuredText.

  • Use code --install-extension njpwerner.autodocstring to install the AutoDocstring extension (docs)


These extensions by Red Hat provide rich language support for XML and YAML, including syntax highlighting, validation, code navigation, and more.

  • Use code --install-extension redhat.vscode-xml to install the XML extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension redhat.vscode-yaml to install the YAML extension (docs)

Rust Analyzer

Rust Analyzer is a powerful language server for the Rust programming language, offering features like syntax highlighting, code navigation, and auto-completion.

  • Use code --install-extension rust-lang.rust-analyzer to install the Rust Analyzer extension (docs)

Even Better TOML

Even Better TOML is a VSCode extension that provides syntax highlighting, validation, and auto-completion for TOML (Tom’s Obvious, Minimal Language) configuration files.


Terrastruct is a VSCode extension that helps you visualize your Terraform dependency graphs as interactive diagrams, making it easier to understand complex infrastructure-as-code projects.

  • Use code --install-extension Terrastruct.d2 to install the Terrastruct extension (docs)


The PDF extension allows you to view and manage PDF files directly within VSCode, with support for zooming, rotating, and searching text.

  • Use code --install-extension tomoki1207.pdf to install the PDF extension (docs)


LTeX is a grammar and spell checker extension for LaTeX, Markdown, and other markup languages, with support for multiple languages and customizable rules.

  • Use code --install-extension valentjn.vscode-ltex to install the LTeX extension (docs)

IntelliCode API Usage Examples and IntelliCode

These extensions by the Visual Studio Expt Team provide AI-powered code completion and code examples, helping you write code faster and with fewer errors.

  • Use code --install-extension VisualStudioExptTeam.intellicode-api-usage-examples to install the IntelliCode API Usage Examples extension (docs)
  • Use code --install-extension VisualStudioExptTeam.vscodeintellicode to install the IntelliCode extension (docs)


vscode-icons is a popular extension that adds file icons to VSCode, making it easier to identify file types in the file explorer.

  • Use code --install-extension vscode-icons-team.vscode-icons to install the vscode-icons extension (docs)

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Bas Nijholt
Bas Nijholt
Quantum Software Development Engineer