Web Essentials 2012


Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers.

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by Shreeharsh Ambli | April 17 2014

brings in new capabilities

by Ilya Galakhov | February 19 2014

Thank You!

by Jitbit1 | February 04 2014

No more LESS support in the latest version. But "LESS" is there on the product page, there's even a LESS-settings tab in the options. Thanks for ruining our work process.

This extension is #1 result in Google for "Visual Studio LESS".

PS. the new "ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2" only highlights LESS code, but does not compile it!! So your answer does not help!!

by Proco | January 27 2014

Amazing extension!

by Richard D | December 19 2013

Nice tools, but unfortunately Typescript is left out of the recent update. So a lot of the functionality I used is not available anymore.


by harwi | November 30 2013

Great tool!

by Breno Queiroz | November 27 2013

You Must Have It!

by Balaji M Kundalam | November 23 2013

Useful add on.

by GK Dev | November 20 2013

by TW Scannell | November 19 2013

This says is updated today.It fails to install in VS 2012 Express

Mads Kristensen November 20 2013
| Edit |

Unfortunately, VS Express doesn't support 3rd party extension. It's not a limitation of Web Essentials

by Eliezer Perlmutter | November 01 2013

by Leonardo Lourenço Silva | November 01 2013

Very USeful !!!

by Christiaan Rakowski | October 28 2013

by HiTech Magic | October 22 2013

Dropping support for TypeScript (without plastering that "little" detail all over the download page) has just cost me 4 wasted hours and sent me full circle back to the old Web Essentials.

1. Installed Web essential update
- lost TypeScript support

2. Installed separate TypeScript add-in from MS
- Does not build existing TypeScript files in project

3. Researched how to modify project to get it to build TypeScript files
- Still does not build existing TypeScript files in project

4. Created a new project minimal testbed to test TypeScript compiling
- ts files are added, with TypeScriptCompile option, but do not generate .js files at all. Tools | Options etc have no effect

5. Researched this new problem
- Gave up in disgust

6. Uninstalled TypeScript & latest Web Essentials

7. Installed old Web Essentials
- Luckily this was still in my download folder

8. Have now lost color-coding, intellisense and all those other features that made Web Essentials useful.
- Decide to write grumpy review :(

I have never had so much grief from one update. In future I will Google for problems with the updates before even thinking about pressing upgrade!

by Cattousa | October 15 2013

WebEssentials 2012 is a stellar extension. Being able to collapse JavaScript between {curly brackets} is very useful.

by Ytrog | October 15 2013

Good plugin although the CoffeeScript functionality doesn't compile the scripts and crashes vs2012 every time I try :(

by Aleksandar Totovic | October 08 2013

It's very nice

by Kijana Woodard | October 04 2013

Overall nice, but last update broke markdown support in VS2012. I can't edit the files anymore. Having to use npp++. :-[

Mads Kristensen October 05 2013
| Edit |

This is now fixed in version 3.2

by dirq | October 02 2013

Love it. All the things missing in Visual Studio are right here. You need this.

by rainbow_tj007 | September 19 2013

very nice

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  • WE Squiggles - version 1.9.1
    2 Posts | Last post November 29, 2012
    • With
        input:focus {
          outline: none;
      "outline" gets a squiggle with tooltip "Add missing vendor specific properties to 'outline' (-moz)"
      This turns it into
        input:focus {
          -moz-outline: none;
          outline: none;
      Now -moz-outline: none is squiggled, with a tooltip "-moz-outline is deprecated and is safe to remove".
      So, I delete it and we go back to the first situation (and squiggle).
    • That is very strange. I can't reproduce it. It sounds like a weird condition of mixed schema files being applied. Try go to this folder and delete the "css" folder.
      After restarting VS, Web Essentials should go out and retrieve the latest css schema files and recreate the "css" folder.
  • js.map files are generated for JS Bundle Files even when setting is set to False
    1 Posts | Last post November 29, 2012
    • I've set "Generate Source Map" set to False, yet when I build my VS Project, the js.map File is still generated for the JS Bundle File.  It does not generate for normal .ts Files.
  • Adding //@ sourceMappingUrl=xyz.min.js.map to min.js causes .NET Bundling to fail
    1 Posts | Last post November 29, 2012
    • It appears when I generated my Bundle JS File for a Folder (using Web Essentails), it's generates a min.js File (based on settings).  This is good.  But, it adds Mapping text at the end of the min.js File, which causes an issue when .NET bundles (via Release Mode = <compilation debug=false />. Everything works locally when running in Debug Mode.
      This is the tex added to each min.js File
      minified JS here
      //@ sourceMappingURL=someJSFile.min.js.map
      The issue is when I create a MVC .NET Bundle in "BundleConfig.cs" and I add the path to the "Bundle JS Files" to be bundled like so (each File was generated by Web Essentails):
                      new ScriptBundle("~/bundles/views/overrides")
      Once I removed the "Mapping" Text at the end of each min.js File, everything worked when I deployed.
  • Sorting is removing LESS functions
    2 Posts | Last post November 29, 2012
    • Everytime I do the 4th options named "Sort All Properties" my less functions are being removed. Am I missing something?
    • Does this still repro in the latest build? Get it here: http://madskristensen.net/custom/webessentials2012.vsix?
  • Zen Coding rule have some problem
    4 Posts | Last post November 29, 2012
    • Hi Mads, 
      I use Zen Coding, some rule have problem:
      1. "li*3+p" will 3 li elements and 3 p elements.
      2. "form>input:t" input tag is mistake.
    • Another:
      3. div>ul>li^p = div>ul>li^^p
    • Thanks for finding these. I've added unit tests for all 3 cases and a fix will be in the next release.
    • You can find the fix in the latest build: http://madskristensen.net/custom/webessentials2012.vsix?1.9.1
  • ITextDocument disposed when editing JS file
    3 Posts | Last post November 28, 2012
    • I installed the extension this week and a problem arose when editing JS files (I only worked on JS this week). Suddenly, after editing the file, a Save As dialog popped up, but when hitting "Save" the following message would appear: "Cannot access a disposed object. Object name: ITextDocument". After disabling the extension everything went back to normal.
    • I experienced this behavior as well, but...
      Sometimes I don't get the save dialog at all - the js file just stops being saved - I can still edit, Ctrl+S and get no errors but after closing and reopening the file my changes are gone - so frustrating..
      my workaround is to open the file in notepad++ and check frequently if it detects file changes, and if it stops to do so I copy code from vs to n++, save file, close and reopen it in vs.
      tedious but I can't live without this extension any more :|
    • I reported this too,
      didn't get any response yet. I hope this gets fixed soon, as it is pretty annoying.
  • ZenCoding - custom tags for winforms dev
    1 Posts | Last post November 28, 2012
    • Hi Mads,
      I would like to have more control over ZenCoding. Most of my work is based on server tags (ASP.NET WinForms). Can you open source ZenCoding library?
      I would use it for grids with columns, but maybe it can be usefull as the replacement for parametrized snippets.
  • TypeScript references generate full javascript file
    15 Posts | Last post November 27, 2012
    • Hi Mads,
      The latest Web Essentials seems to generate a single Javascript file with all the references inclusive of the content in the reference.
      So create multiple TypeScript files, include them as references in the main Typescript file and have WebEssentials generate the file for you. It will include the content from the other 3 files in the main typescript file also.
      Doing a compilation via 0.8.0 tsc compiler does not exhibit this behaviour, have you changed the way references in tsc are handled in the latest 1.8.5 release?
      Thanks again for your efforts on Web Essentials :-)
    • Check this beta update which should take care of that issue http://madskristensen.net/custom/webessentials2012.vsix 
    • I have tried this new beta, but it's still compile all references into one file.
    • Hi Mads,
      I just tried the 1.8.6 from your site and it's still putting all references into a single file for me as well.
    • Ditto - same thing here. Thank you for the amazing tool.  It's getting close...
    • Thank you for this awesome tool! I tried the custom version but it's not compiling when you add a jquery reference? I addded: /// <reference path="jquery.d.ts"/>; and added the jquery.d.ts file in the same dir. I looked at the jquery file and it seems to break on the [key: any].
    • It sounds like the reference files are being concatenated by using an --out parameter when calling the TypeScript compiler.
      Any chance that we could have Web Essentials first try to pull it's compilation settings from the <Target Name="BeforeBuild"> element before defaulting to some hard-coded parameters?
    • I just uploaded a new fix for the issue. The fix removes the -out parameter and uses some other tricks to control the generated files. 
      Get it here: http://madskristensen.net/custom/webessentials2012.vsix
      Btw, installing .vsix from other locations doesn't effect the way it updates when new versions are released to the VS Gallery
    • Thanks for the quick update, Mads! Though, with that latest vsix, the auto-compile on save feature appears to not be working at all. The preview pane just grays out.
    • Ok, I think my project just has something weird going on. New files seem to auto-compile fine, but my existing files don't, but no syntax errors are present. I'm going to mess around with it and see if I can figure anything out.
    • Simple reproducible test case:
      --- delcare.d.ts ---
      interface MadsStatic {
          Kristensen: string;
      declare var Mads: MadsStatic;
      --- test.ts ---
      /// <reference path="declare.d.ts" />
      module Mads.Module {
          'use strict';
          Mads.Kristensen = 'Kristensen';
      Auto-compile fails when saving test.ts. This scenario used to build fine prior to Web Essentials 1.8.7, and the typescript extension does not display any errors with the syntax.
    • I think that now, there is a problem with references. This simple example fails to compile when saving A.ts:
      -- B.ts --
      var k = 0;
      -- A.ts --
      /// <reference path="B.ts" />
      But when I try command line compiler, everything works great.
    • This is now fixed in the latest nightly: http://madskristensen.net/custom/webessentials2012.vsix?
    • The latest build ( is showing me "Compile Error. See error list for details".  I don't see any errors like I used to in the past however.
      Is this a possible bug in the latest build (error output?).
    • I fixed my issue by recompiling some of the base classes I was extending.  I think I was in a bad state from compiles with an earlier build.  I started at my base class level and recompiled all the way down the inheritance chain.  Now it works. Thank you!
  • Add region to .css and .less files
    2 Posts | Last post November 24, 2012
    • Hi Mads,
      There's two issues relating to regions I've stubled upon:
      Firstly, according to the description of the plugin it is possible to add a region to a css (or less) file by typing "add" and choosing "Add Region..." from the intellisense.
      Doing this in version 1.8.8 doesn't seem to work though. Instead of the /*#region ... */ snippet all that is inserted is the word "region".
      Secondly, I noticed is that when selecting some text in a .less file and choosing "Surround with..." from the context menu, the intellisense menu that comes up is wrong. It's the intellisense menu for "insert snippet".
      Choosing the "Surround with..." option in a .css file (which has to be done using the shortcut key CTRL+K, S because it's not in the context menu) will bring up the correct intellisense menu that contains the "region" value.
      Am I doing it wrong or is there a bug in there somewhere?
      Thanks in advance,
    • Both issues are due to the fact that the current version of the LESS editor doesn't understand CSS snippets. It's a limitation in VS that we are trying to get around.
  • colorpicker in CSS not working anymore
    1 Posts | Last post November 22, 2012
    • I have mainly two problem with the newest 1.8.5 version:
      Colorpicker in css doesn't show up for me. I see the color squares, but clicking on them doesn't help.. seems independent of CSS file. I also find no shortcut or menu item for it.. ?
      Also, I got several total UI freezes because of the ts editor (had to restart VS2012 several times now) :/ 
      That was when I mistyped a <reference... path, could you make sure the compilation really is disjunct from the UI thread? I have almost no other plugins loaded (Resharper is suspended, only VsCommands and Chutzpah), so I assume it's WebEssentials.
      Anyway, great plugin, just keep it coming! :-)
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