Web Essentials 2012


Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers.

(188) Review
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by sjnaughton | June 20 2013

Love it can't live without it now

by LEllingsen | June 18 2013

Most valuable extension I have for VS2012. Excellent additions for CSS, HTML and JavaScript, as well as LESS and TypeScript

by KatarzynaBP | June 05 2013

Pointless...wanted to check reviews to decide if I want to install it, but you need to leave review first to view other reviews!!!

by Jacco M | May 18 2013

Great tool. Esspecialy Less support! Thanks!

by D. Chatterjee | May 17 2013

I try to download this but an error shows "The extension manifest is Invalid"

by Fduch | May 14 2013

This "thing" pollutes the context menu for the non-web projects by adding a top menu item where the "Build" item used to be.

Why do some developers think that their shiny gizmo needs to jump at the user at every click?


by christensen.rob | May 10 2013

Love this extension!

by Allco | May 07 2013

GREAT, simplesmente, GREAT!!!!!

by EdSF1 | May 01 2013

Pretty awesome! Particularly cool with TypeScript!

by casper_wilkes | April 21 2013

Love this extension!

by Sebastian Hösl | April 18 2013

Absolutely essential for web-development in Visual Studio!

by WPCoder | April 07 2013

Unfortunately, it causes crashes nearly every time I start to debug the web project. I've tried the latest version and have the latest update to VS 2012. (When this is installed, can't debug, and VS2012 crashes, when it's not, everything works smoothly).

by Marcel Raad | April 05 2013

by GlobeCoder | March 31 2013

In theory this plugin would easily earn 5 stars, but it seems there are some issues with the js bundle plugin/minifier and JSHint.
Two things:
1.) The minified version doesn't seem to work all the time (I mean it might be something I could fix if I would "optimize" the JS code a bit more, but for small web project I just want something that works out of the box). One thing it "broke", e.g. was the jQuery plugin jTruncate.
2.) While it seem to compress better than YUI, Google Closure Compiler seems to make a better job even with the Simple optimzations. So maybe Web Essentials could use GCC and allow a new preference, something like "advanced=true" to achieve even better minification.
3.) And possibly the most important thing: JSHint should become more customizable. E.g. there is this other VS Extension JSLint that imo does a much better job (though I don't really want another VS extension installed): You can set your custom namespaces, it is possible to check a single file on save (much better than checking all files on build, which can get really annoying if you work on big JS projects).
Anyway, thanks for this quite helpful extension and up the good work.

by Altuğ Duygulu | March 27 2013

Good extension. Thanks.

by Lyamine | March 14 2013

so nice

by RichardKeller | March 08 2013

Very useful extension!
It helps productivity a lot and turn viable to use LESS in Visual Studio.
I'm looking forward for sass full integration too.

by Anita Malmö | March 07 2013

I've installed Web Essentials 2012 and Web Tools 2012.2 Update.

In my VS2k12, I don't see Web Essentials as in this picture

What gives? Can anybody advise?

by Jafin | March 06 2013

Thank you for elevating Visual Studio from out of the dark ages!! Awesome stuff.

by Tarek Ayna - appSmarts.com | March 01 2013

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  • compatibility with MSBuild?
    3 Posts | Last post Fri 4:09 PM
    • Can LESS files be compiled while building with MSBuild on the command line?
    • ~~ I send this question...... Can everything is great but can I do this from the command prompt? (I'm sure there's a way but is there doc's anywhere?)
    • ~~ Typo: I second this***
  • Crash on build - Conflict with TypeScript?
    1 Posts | Last post March 17, 2014
    • This has been happen for a while, but happens more with TS0.9.5 (we haven't upgraded to 1.0 yet).  I am not sure why by it appears WebEssentails is still trying to process TypeScript files?
      Application: devenv.exe
      Framework Version: v4.0.30319
      Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.
      Exception Info: System.IO.IOException
         at System.IO.__Error.WinIOError(Int32, System.String)
         at System.IO.FileStream.Init(System.String, System.IO.FileMode, System.IO.FileAccess, Int32, Boolean, System.IO.FileShare, Int32, System.IO.FileOptions, SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES, System.String, Boolean, Boolean, Boolean)
         at System.IO.FileStream..ctor(System.String, System.IO.FileMode, System.IO.FileAccess, System.IO.FileShare, Int32, System.IO.FileOptions, System.String, Boolean, Boolean, Boolean)
         at System.IO.StreamReader..ctor(System.String, System.Text.Encoding, Boolean, Int32, Boolean)
         at System.IO.File.InternalReadAllText(System.String, System.Text.Encoding, Boolean)
         at System.IO.File.ReadAllText(System.String)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.TypeScriptMargin+<>c__DisplayClass12.<UpdateMargin>b__10()
         at System.Windows.Threading.ExceptionWrapper.InternalRealCall(System.Delegate, System.Object, Int32)
         at MS.Internal.Threading.ExceptionFilterHelper.TryCatchWhen(System.Object, System.Delegate, System.Object, Int32, System.Delegate)
         at System.Windows.Threading.DispatcherOperation.InvokeImpl()
         at System.Windows.Threading.DispatcherOperation.InvokeInSecurityContext(System.Object)
         at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)
         at ... more
  • LessHat Issues.
    1 Posts | Last post January 31, 2014
    • I cannot get my LESS to compile when including the LESSHAT mixins (http://lesshat.com/). These mixins use javascript in them but I would have thought that the version of LESS included in Web Essentials would have evaluated it. There isn't even any errors created to indicate what might be failing. It would be such a shame to not have access to this great set of mixins.
  • JSHint: indent option not working
    1 Posts | Last post January 13, 2014
    • If I enable JSHint and set the indent option to 2 (or any other number), I don't get any JSHint errors. Other options seem to work fine.
      If I enable the option by adding the following to the .js file: /*jshint indent:2 */, then it works, but this is not the solution we want as options should be set in one place, not each JS file. Is there a way to get this indent option working without having to set it in each JS file?
      Also it reports errors for switch case indentation, which I believe have been fixed in a newer version of JSHint (2.2.0). Are there any plans to update the version of JSHint used by Web Essentials 2012?
      Finally Web Essentials 2013 was updated to use the .jshintrc options file, are there any plans of including this in 2012?
  • Build | Web Essentials | Update All Bundles
    6 Posts | Last post December 03, 2013
    • When I select Build | Web Essentials | Update All Bundles I receive an error:
      The parameter is incorrect. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070057 (E_INVALIDARG))
      I just updated to version 3.3.5 today.  Prior to this, the bundles were not updating when a source file changed.  They are still not updating and I receive the above error.
    • same error here :(
    • I receive the same issue, updating a file does not update the bundled files. This seems to get worse after install update 4 for VS2012. Also, selecting Update All Bundles generates the same error referenced by @jdubsmith
    • Where can I find older versions of Web Essentials? It seems like people are down grading to v3.2 to fix the JS bundling issue. 
    • See:
      for more details. Downgrading to v3.2 fixes the issue for me as well.
    • older versions here, must guess the version number :)
  • JS bundles broken in 3.3
    5 Posts | Last post December 03, 2013
    • JS bundles seem to be broken in 3.3. Once I downgraded to 3.2, they started working again.
    • Yeh, same problem here!
    • same
    • +1
    • same here. 3.3.5 broke the bundle updates. going to 3.2.0 seems to solve the issue.
  • JavaScript XMLDoc comment scaffolding Stopped Working
    1 Posts | Last post December 02, 2013
    • JavaScript XMLDoc comment scaffolding has stopped working for me
      I am using VS 2012 and WE 2012 v3.3.5
      I installed visual studio update 4 to see if that would fix it but no luck
      I also tried VS 2013 with WE 2013 but it doesnt work there either
  • no automatic minification in typescript project
    2 Posts | Last post November 30, 2013
    • It's a great tool, however the current version (3.3.5 with VS2012 update 4 and typescript ) does not created minified js automatically in typescript projects.
      I have tried many previous versions of webessentials back to 2.9 and different ways of including the ts and js files into the project, either as DependentUpon liek this
      <TypeScriptCompile Include="app.ts" />
      <Content Include="Scripts\app.js">
      or as included on the folder level.
      <TypeScriptCompile Include="app.ts" />
      <Content Include="app.js" />
      When typescript compiles the ts to js, webessentials does not trigger the minification; when I then open the js file and save it manually at some point webesssentials might build the min.js version (eratic as far as I can see), but this will also add the new file to the project tree, from then on webessentials will not update the min.js again. Doing a project rebuild will not automatically minify.
      I can reproduce this with the standard typescipt project template.
    • I just realized, that when manually saving the js file, webessentials will (!) create/update the minified version. But this does not happen when the typscript compiler updates the js file. 
      This makes it necessary to go manually through all your compiled js files and save them before publishing a release (bundled) project. 
      Also the js files are not by default included in the typescript project so one first has to include these js files to be able to create the minified versions.
  • LESS minification to css and min.css not working in 1.3.1
    1 Posts | Last post November 27, 2013
    • I cannot get a LESS file to minify to .css (and .min.css) in Visual Studio 2013 Premium. I'm using Web Essentials 1.3.1. This was working fine in Visual Studio 2012? Is this a bug? (Note: When I right-click a less file, I see a "Minify CSS file(s)" option, but it's grayed out.)
  • circular compiling
    2 Posts | Last post November 20, 2013
    • Having saved ONE FILE (inside of .bundle) WebEssentials saves/updates all other bundles.
      The log:
      11/20/2013 4:23:46 PM: Updating bundle: 1.js
      11/20/2013 4:23:47 PM: Updating bundle: 2.js
      <here pops an error window about script not found, starting with "/">
      11/20/2013 4:23:52 PM: Updating bundle: 1.css
      11/20/2013 4:24:16 PM: Updating bundle: 1.js
      11/20/2013 4:24:20 PM: Updating bundle: 1.css
      If one have over 9000 bundles it will crash everything. Is there a setting to update only *currently* saved bundle-file?
      Could be "/" at the beginning of the path related (version 1.3.1 16.11.2013)
    • Sorry ignore, that concerns VS2013
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