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How to install Microsoft Visual Studio Code for macos

Visual Studio Code is a text editor that allows us to write code in a variety of computational languages such as python, HTML, javascript, among others.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use Visual Studio Code because it supports syntax highlighting, it is free and built on open source, and it is consistent across Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.

Step 1: Download Visual Studio Code Installer

Visit the Visual Studio Code website on your internet browser, such as Firefox or Safari, and click Download for Mac. Then click Save File in the dialogue box that asks if you would like to save the file

Screenshot showing the Visual Studio Code website with the link to download for Mac

Step 2: Run Visual Studio Code Installer

After the download has completed, double click on the file called VSCode-darwin-stable.zip in your Downloads folder.

Screenshot showing Visual Studio Code installer in the Downloads folder

Step 3: Move Visual Studio Code to Applications Folder

Drag the Visual Studio Code application (it will have a blue logo next to it) from your Downloads folder to Applications folder.

Screenshot showing Visual Studio Code application being moved from the Downloads folder to the Applications folder

Step 4: Start Visual Studio Code application

Double click the Visual Studio Code application in your Applications folder. The first time you open Visual Studio Code, you should receive a dialogue box that asks you if you are sure you would like to open it. Here you should click Open.

Screenshot showing Visual Studio Code in the Applications folder with a dialogue box asking if the app should be opened

Step 5: Configure Visual Studio Code I

Navigate to the View option in the topmost menu and click Command Palette. This will make a text bar appear.

Screenshot of Visual Studio Code's "View" menu option with the Command Palette highlighted

Step 6: Configure Visual Studio Code II

Type “shell” into the text bar that appears. Then choose Shell Command: Install code command in PATH. Click OK on the dialogue box that appears saying “Code will now prompt with ‘osascript’ for Administrator privileges to install the shell command.” You may also be asked to provide the password to your computer at this stage.

Screenshot showing textbox with "shell" typed in and the "Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH" option highlighted

Step 7: Complete

Congratulations, Visual Studio Code is now installed in your computer!

Screeshot showing Visual Studio Code running successfully