VS Code Extensions: Output Colorizer

VS Code Extensions: Output Colorizer

This post is more than 2 years old.

Back when I was a Brackets user and an Adobe employee, I used to do a review of interesting and useful extensions. This proved to be a pretty popular series so I thought it might be a good idea to do the same for my current favorite editor, Visual Studio Code. Right now I'm thinking I'll try for two reviews per month, but we'll see if they prove interesting enough for my readers. (So yes, consider this my plea to let me know in comments if this is useful or not.)

For my first review, I'm going to review one built by a good friend of mine, Andy Trice. I feel like I should warn folks before I review things built by my friends, but at the same time, if an extension sucks, I probably won't bother actually reviewing it!

The extension I'm covering today is an extremely simple one, but one that adds a really useful feature - Output Colorizer. This extension does two things: It colorizes output (duh) and .log files.

Like I said - simple. But when you compare a before and after views you'll see it's definitely worth adding to your VSCode install.

As an example, here is Git output without the extension installed:

Bland

Pretty boring, right? Like drinking a Michelob Ultra. Now here is Git output with the extension running:

Exciting!

Much nicer, right? That's like going from a Bud Light to a Stone Ruination Double! It's a small thing, but so darn useful. Anything that outputs down there will be updated, and that includes other extensions that send output there as well. As I said, log files are also updated:

Log files

In case it isn't obvious, the log on top shows the uncolorized output versus what you get with the extension.

So... yeah. Not exactly the most exciting extension, but as I've said a few times now, really darn useful. The extension is currently at over eleven thousand downloads which is pretty freaking amazing. If you want to see all of the above in video form, you can watch it below.

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Raymond is a developer advocate for HERE Technologies. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Jonathan Smith posted on 2/7/2017 at 8:40 PM

Would be good to get your thoughts on "docthis" (a JSDoc commenting plugin), or similar document-generating widgets. Was looking at using this in an API-documenting workflow.

Comment 2 (In reply to #1) by Raymond Camden posted on 2/7/2017 at 8:45 PM

I haven't used JSDoc in a long time - but as this is the first request I've gotten, I'll make it so for my next review. :)

Comment 3 by Carl Von Stetten posted on 2/14/2017 at 1:33 AM

+1 for the Stone Ruination reference!

Comment 4 by David McCan posted on 2/16/2017 at 1:30 PM

Hi Ray, It's nice to see you using and writing about VS Code. It seems more responsive than Brackets or Atom. I'm looking forward to more articles about it.

I've been keeping Notepad++ or UltraEdit around as a "Notepad replacement" because they are so fast to open and can be pretty minimalistic. Are you able to use Code for quick edits / viewing files? Or what do you use?

Comment 5 (In reply to #4) by Raymond Camden posted on 2/16/2017 at 2:54 PM

It depends really. Since I can open VSC from the command line doing "code .", I use that quite a bit. If I have a random text file in the Downloads folder and I'm not there in terminal, I'll just double click it and let Notepad++ open it.

Comment 6 (In reply to #1) by Raymond Camden posted on 2/17/2017 at 11:15 PM

So just FYI - I just published (well in the next 3 minutes) my latest review, and decided against this plugin. I really didn't like how it worked - especially they whole 'two click' approach. I found that to be really weird and not user-friendly. I guess you could say my review is that it is poorly implemented (imo) and I'm (mostly) planning on avoiding extensions I wouldn't actually recommend.