It provides steps required to install Visual Studio Code (vscode) for PHP development on Windows.

How To Install Visual Studio Code For PHP On Windows
How To Install Visual Studio Code For PHP On Windows
August 16, 2019

Visual Studio Code (vscode) is a cross-platform, lightweight editor and became popular in a very short span. It provides support for several programming languages. It also supports plugin development and there are several community-driven plugins available for it.

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to install Visual Studio Code on Windows and prepare it for PHP development. It provides several features for PHP development including IntelliSense, Syntax Highlighting, Bracket Matching, Snippets, Linting, etc.

It assumes that PHP is already installed on the system. You may also be interested in How To Install WampServer on Windows and How To Install PHP 7 On Windows

Step 1 - Download Visual Studio Code

We can download Visual Studio from the official download page. It provides options for Windows as shown in Fig 1.

Download Visual Studio Code

Fig 1

Click on the 64-bit installer option as highlighted in Fig 1. All the new systems support 64-bit. Choose your option according to system configuration. The version 1.37.1 gets downloaded while writing this tutorial.

Step 2 - Install Visual Studio Code

In this step, we will install the Visual Studio Code downloaded by us in the previous step. Double click the installer to execute it. It will ask to accept the License Agreement as shown in Fig 2.

Acccept License Agreement

Fig 2

Accept the agreement and click on the Next Button. It asks to choose the installation directory as shown in Fig 3.

Visual Studio Code Install Location

Fig 3

Choose your preferred location and click on the Next Button. The installer will ask to configure Start Menu as shown in Fig 4.

Configure Start Menu

Fig 4

Now click on the Next Button to continue with the installation. The next screen provides additional configuration options as shown in Fig 5.

Additional Configuration Options

Fig 5

Click on the Next Button after choosing appropriate options. The next screen shows the configurations selected by us in the previous screens.

Installation Configurations

Fig 6

Click on the Install Button to start the installation. The installer will show installation progress and success as shown in Fig 7 and Fig 8 respectively.

Installation Progress

Fig 7

Installed Visual Studio Code

Fig 8

This is how we can install Visual Studio Code. After completing the installation, the installer will launch Visual Studio Code and shows the Welcome Screen as shown in Fig 9.

Welcome Screen

Fig 9

The Customize Section on the right-hand side shows that support for JavaScript is installed by default and it shows options to install support for other languages and tools.

Step 3 - Marketplace

You can see all the available plugins on the Marketplace dedicated for Visual Studio Code. Type php in the search box and click on the Search Button. The results should be similar to one as shown in Fig 10.

PHP Extensions for Visual Studio Code

Fig 10

We can also browse the available extensions within the IDE by clicking on View -> Extensions or press Ctrl + Shift + x. Enter php on the Search Box and hit Enter Key. It will show the same extensions list within the IDE as we saw on the Marketplace Page as shown in Fig 11.

PHP Extensions for Visual Studio Code

Fig 11

Step 4 - Install Extensions

We will install the most important extensions as part of this tutorial. Also, make sure that you are using the most recent version of PHP. Your system should have at least PHP 7.2 to use the new features available in PHP 7.

PHP IntelliSense and PHP Debug are the most important extensions that every PHP developer must install for Visual Studio Code. The other extensions can be installed based on the requirements. Install both the extensions as shown in Fig 12 and Fig 13.

Visual Studio Code - PHPIntelliSense

Fig 12

Visual Studio Code - PHP Debug

Fig 13

Step 5 - Hello PHP

In this section, we will create our HelloPHP project and write and execute the first script using Visual Studio Code.

Click on File -> Open Folder or press Cntrl + K and Cntrl + O to open the File Chooser to select the project folder. It will open the selected folder as highlighted in Fig 14.

Visual Studio Code - Create Project

Fig 14

Now click on the New File Icon as highlighted in Fig 15.

Visual Studio Code - Add File

Fig 15

Enter the file name as index.php and hit the Enter Key. It will create the PHP file as shown in Fig 16.

Visual Studio Code - Index

Fig 16

Update the file and write the first program to print Hello PHP as shown in Fig 17.

Visual Studio Code - Hello PHP

Fig 17

Now right-click the file and choose the option Open In Terminal. It will open the terminal within the editor as shown in Fig 18.

Notes: You can also use the Code Runner extension to execute the code.

Visual Studio Code - Terminal

Fig 18

We can execute the PHP file on the terminal as we do on command prompt by giving the PHP command as highlighted in Fig 19. It also shows the output on the terminal.

Visual Studio Code - PHP Output

Fig 19

This is how we can install Visual Studio Code for PHP development. We have also written our first hello world program and executed it within the editor using the terminal.

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