Sunday, May 7, 2023

Visual Studio Code: Disable Format on Save (settings.json: formatOnSave=true) per-File-Extension

I worked with two good engineers who loved auto format code (PowerShell) using Visual Studio Code's settings.json attribute. So I asked ChatGPT how to ignore the formatOnSave feature (trying out ChatGPT). Here is how to ignore Visual Studio Code's formatOnSave for a specific file extension. The steps to achieve presented.

If you want to exclude specific file types from being formatted on save, you need to configure Visual Studio Code to ignore those file extensions.

Step 1: Open the User Settings in VS Code

To configure the Format on Save feature, you need to edit the user settings in VS Code. To do this, open the Command Palette by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P (Windows) or Command+Shift+P (macOS), and type "Open User Settings". You should see "Preferences: Open User Settings" in the list of suggestions. Select it, and the settings.json file will open.

Step 2: Add the File Extensions to Ignore

In the settings.json file, you need to add the file extensions you want to exclude from the Format on Save feature. To do this, add the following code snippet:

"editor.formatOnSave": true,
"[md]": {
    "editor.formatOnSave": false

The code in boldface was added to the standard settings.json to ignore Markdown files. In this example, we're telling VS Code to enable the Format on Save feature globally ("editor.formatOnSave": true) and then disabling it for Markdown files ("[md]": {"editor.formatOnSave": false}).

Step 3: Save the User Settings

Once you've added the code snippet to the settings.json file, save the file, and you're done. The Format on Save feature will now be disabled for the file extension specified (the markdown extension, md).


In this blog post, we've seen how to configure Visual Studio Code to ignore specific file extensions when using the Format on Save feature. This can be useful if you want to exclude certain files from being automatically formatted when you save them. With just a few simple steps, you can customize this feature to suit your coding needs. 


I'd like to thank my high school typing teacher, Miss Joyce. I took one year of secretarial typing (on an IBM Selectric) and I type 120 WPM. I would like to think my mother for giving me the ability to write which I inherited from her. I would like that thank ChatGPT which wrote most of this blog. This is an experiment but ChatGPT is scary useful.

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