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Visual Studio code and non-US keyboards

Last week, Microsoft released Visual Studio Code, a light-weight but powerful editor for all sorts of languages. It’s very similar to Atom or Sublime, or even Brackets.

I’ve used all four of these, and up until now, I like Visual Studio Code the most, although I can’t say this is based on a real study of these editors.

I found Brackets to be a little buggy, but that’s some months ago, so it may have improved by now. Sublime is not free, which I don’t mind, but there are free alternatives. And Atom is slow in startup on my machine, and speed is one of the reasons to use an editor instead of an IDE.

So, Visual Studio Code. If you’re not in the US, you might experience some trouble with certain keystrokes. I live in Belgium, and have a Belgian AZERTY keyboard. To type the [ character, I need to use AltGr+]:

However, there is a keybinding Ctrl+Alt+] that is bound to the jumpToBracket command. Because Ctrl+Alt effectively maps to AltGr, this means you can’t type ] on an AZERTY keyboard.

I reached out to the Visual Studio Code team and received a swift reply from Alexandru Duma:

Here’s how you can disable it: Go to File Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts.
Paste the following in your keybindings.json:

[    { "key": "ctrl+alt+]" }]

He also mentioned:

on Polish kb layouts the { "key": "ctrl+alt+o" } must also be removed to be able to input ó.

And this:

{ "key": "ctrl+alt+f" } must also be removed to be able to input [ on a Hungarian layout

It should be a temporary workaround as an update in the following weeks will fix this.

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