VSCode column rulers

Posted on September 8, 2022 by rainbyte
Tags: colors, customization, vscode

Today we will configure VSCode to add custom column rulers to measure text width. This feature doesn’t require any 3rd party extension. Rulers are useful to indicate us when a line of code is getting too large.

I recommend a width of maximum 74 or 80 columns for programming code. That setup is convenient to allow showing files side-by-side.

VSCode provides color and column attributes to customize each ruler. The colors are expressed by name or as hexadecimal values, and the columns are just numbers.

Configuration steps

Follow these steps to create as many column rulers as you want:

  1. Open VSCode

  2. Launch command palette (press ctrl+shift+p)

  3. Enter one of the following commands to edit config:

    • Open User Settings (JSON)
      • This one affects all VSCode instances (global config)
    • Open Workspace Settings (JSON)
      • This one affects only the current project (folder config)
      • Config will be saved in .vscode/settings.json
  4. To set 2 custom column rulers add a section similar to this:

    {
        "editor.rulers": [
            60,
            {
                "column": 80,
                "color": "#f008"
            },
        ],
    }

    Notes:

    • This config creates a 1st ruler at column 60 with default color, and a 2nd ruler with explicit column and color fields.
    • All the values can be changed as wanted, and even more rulers can be added.
  5. Save the config to apply the changes each time is modified.

Happy hacking 🐱

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