VS Code Snippet Extensions

Creating VS Code extensions is easier than one might think, navigating the docs is harder. Here is a short summary on how to provide snippets as a VS Code extensions.

The Docs

VS Code documentation regarding extensions is good with many examples. But there are a lot of extension points. Providing snippets works via the Declarative Language Features.

The extension point is called contributes.snippets and it is described here. An overview over all extension points can be found here.

They even have an example for this use case on github: https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode-extension-samples/tree/master/snippet-sample

The Implementation

You basically only need two files:

  • package.json
  • snippets.json

The snippets.json is a default snippet file that you can also use for local user defined snippets.

The package.json looks similar to this:

	"name": "rfluxx-code-snippets",
	"displayName": "Rfluxx VS code snippets",
	"description": "This package provides VS code snippets that make creating rfluxx components easier",
	"version": "1.0.0",
	"publisher": "JochenGruen",
	"repository": {
		"type": "git",
		"url": "https://github.com/Useurmind/RFluXX.git"
	"engines": {
		"vscode": "^1.37.0"
	"categories": [
	"contributes": {
		"snippets": [
				"language": "typescript",
				"path": "./snippets.json"

The publisher field needs to be configured to the id of the publisher you will create during setup of vsce (see below). The rest should be relative straight forward when you have read the documentation.


Publishing the package is done via the vsce cli tool which can be installed via npm. You will need an Azure DevOps account to publish your extension to the marketplace.

The details are documented here: https://code.visualstudio.com/api/working-with-extensions/publishing-extension

Once registered and setup publishing is as simple as executing vsce publish 1.0.0 in your extension folder.

Written on August 12, 2019