Tue May 31 2022

How to Create Boilerplate Code in the VS Code

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How to Create Boilerplate Code in the VS Code

If you're a programmer who likes to use VS code, then you know that creating the boilerplate code can be a big time-saver.

In this post, I'm going to show you how to create the boilerplate code in VS code using some of its best features. So whether you're just getting started with programming or you're an experienced coder, this post is for you!

What is Boilerplate Code

When it comes to programming, boilerplate code is a term you're likely to hear tossed around quite a bit. But what exactly is boilerplate code?

In a nutshell, it's code that can be reused over and over again without having to be changed. This is opposed to custom code, which is specific to a particular application or piece of software.

For example, let's say you're writing a program to calculate the area of a circle. Every time you need to calculate the area, you'll need to use the same formula: pi x radius squared.

Rather than typing out this formula every time, you can create a function that does it for you. This function is an example of boilerplate code.

Not only does it save you time, but it also helps to ensure that your calculations are always accurate. With just a few lines of code, you can create a powerful tool that can be used again and again. That's the beauty of boilerplate code!

Advantages of Boilerplate Code

  1. Saves a lot of Time: If you have a piece of code that you know you'll need to use in multiple places, there's no need to keep rewriting it from scratch each time. Simply copy and paste the boilerplate code into your new project and you're good to go.
    For example, let's say you need to create a login system for a website. This involves creating a database, setting up password encryption, and writing the code to handle all of the different input scenarios.
    If you were to do this from scratch every time, it would take a significant amount of time. However, if you have a set of boilerplate code that you can reuse, the process becomes much simpler.
  2. Ensure Consistent Code: Using boilerplate code can help to ensure that your code is consistent and reliable.
    By using the same set of code each time, you can avoid potential errors that could occur if you were to change things up each time you created a login system.
    This can be especially important if you're working with a team of developers who all need to be using the same coding standards.
  3. Increase Efficiency: Finally, boilerplate code can help make your life easier if you ever need to make changes to your code down the line.
    Rather than having to hunt through multiple files to find the right place to make your change, you can simply modify the boilerplate code once and have those changes propagate throughout your entire application.

Steps involved in Boilerplate Code Setup in VS Code

Visual Studio Code supports two different types of boilerplates or code snippets - System and User-defined.

System code snippets: System code snippets are snippets that come installed with visual studio code. These snippets are located in your installation directory under Code/resources/app/extensions/snippets.

User Defined code snippets: User-defined code snippets are those which you create yourself and can be located anywhere you want on your computer system.

To create a user-defined code snippet, all you need is a text editor and a JSON file. The JSON file contains the following information - name, prefix, body and description.

The name field is used to give the boilerplate a name while the prefix is used to trigger the template upon typing. The body contains the actual code for the template and finally, the description is used to describe what the boilerplate does.

You can use as many or as few fields as you want but at a minimum, you must have the prefix and body fields populated.

How to Create Boilerplate Code in the VS Code

  1. First, open Visual Studio Code and press Ctrl+p (Windows) or Cmd+p (macOS) to open the Command Palette. Type "snippets" into the palette and select Preferences: Configure User Snippets.
    This will open your user snippets file, which is where you can add your own snippets.
  2. To create a new snippet, simply add a new snippet entry to this file. Each entry must have a "prefix" property, which is the trigger for your snippet, and a "body" property, which is the actual content of the snippet.
    You can also specify other properties such as "description" and "scope". Once you have saved your changes, the new snippet will be available in your editor. Try typing the prefix for your snippet and see what happens!
    One of the most important things to remember when creating your own snippets is to use placeholder values.
    Placeholder values are special variables that will be replaced with actual values when the snippet is invoked. To create a placeholder value, simply surround the variable name with curly braces.
    For example, if you wanted to create a snippet for a for loop, you would use the following placeholder values: {variable}, {start}, and {end}.
    When the snippet is invoked, you will be prompted to enter values for each of these variables. This is a great way to create reusable snippets that can be used in many different situations.
  3. Finally, restart vs code and your new boilerplate code snippet will be ready for use. With just a few simple steps, you can make life a lot easier for yourself by creating custom boilerplate code snippets in vs code.


So there you have it - boilerplate code in a nutshell. It's an essential tool for any developer, and can really speed up the development process.

We've shown you how to set it up in VS Code, but the steps involved may vary depending on your editor of choice. Give boilerplate code a try, and see how it can help streamline your development process.

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