While VS Code itself does not have a built-in HTML preview feature, you can easily view HTML files in VS Code using extensions. This article will cover several methods to preview HTML in the VS Code editor.
Table of Contents
Why View HTML in VS Code
Here are some key reasons why you may want to view HTML files in VS Code:
- Live preview changes as you edit – See updates instantly without manually refreshing
- Visual feedback – Easily spot layout, styling, and rendering issues
- Identify problems early – Fix bugs and issues faster
- Improves workflow – Code and preview in one place
- Portability – Preview on any device running VS Code
Methods to View HTML in VS Code
There are several good extensions for previewing HTML in VS Code:
1. Live Server
The Live Server extension is one of the most popular options for viewing HTML pages.
- One-click local server launch
- Live reload on saves
- Support for CSS and JS files
- Customizable port, root directory, etc.
- Install the Live Server extension
- Open a HTML file in the editor
- Right click and select
Open with Live Server
- Your default browser will launch a preview
You can also click the
Go Live status bar button to launch or stop the server.
2. HTML Preview
The HTML Preview extension provides an in-editor preview.
- Preview directly inside VS Code
- Live updates as you edit
- Custom CSS support
- Clickable links
- Install HTML Preview
- Open a HTML file
- Click the preview icon in the editor title menu
You can toggle the preview pane visibility and resize it.
3. Open in Browser
You can also open HTML files directly in an external browser:
- Install the Open in Browser extension
- In VS Code, right click on a HTML file
Open in Browser> choose a browser
This doesn’t provide live reloading but allows quick one-off previews.
Tips for Viewing HTML in VS Code
Here are some additional tips:
- Use browser dev tools – Inspect elements, view the console, sources etc.
- Customize preview settings – Port, root folder, browser, CSS injection etc.
- Try different extensions – Find one that best fits your workflow
- Split editor layout – View code and preview side-by-side
- Use Emmet for fast HTML coding – Tab expansions, shortcuts, etc.
Previewing HTML files is easy in Visual Studio Code thanks to its extensions ecosystem. The Live Server and HTML Preview extensions provide the best live editing capabilities.
With its flexibility and customization options, VS Code can improve your web development productivity.