Web Essentials 2012


Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers.

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by grundt | January 16 2013

by cyoung4213 | January 15 2013

Helped me a ton with a lot of things. I am looking forward to how far this can help my day to day tasks with CSS to be more streamline and simplified coding. In the past CSS has been daunting, web essentials is helping things be more fluid in my process.

by Matt Lavallee | January 12 2013

by AlanCai | January 11 2013

The less files save as UTF-8 with BOM will got "LESS: Syntax Error on line 1" error.
The less files save as UTF-8 without BOM is OK.

Mads Kristensen January 11 2013
| Edit |

You can save any .LESS file without the BOM by doing File -> Save foo.less As... -> Save with Encoding...

by johnlouros | January 11 2013

Awesome extension for Web Developers. Finally Visual Studio have something to pair up with the competition regarding Web Development.

A must have!

by Bahtiyar Özdere | January 11 2013

Firstly thanks for great extension.

In last upadate (v 2.3) I had an issue on less file compiling.
When I use this @import url('../../../../../Content/dizayn/css/i.less');
in my less file it gives an error that it cannot find the file. In earlier version (2.0) it compiles successfully. So I have installed 2.0 back again.

best regards

by Cruentus | January 11 2013

Great tool!
Finally good support to Zen Conding in Visual Studio. Though it would be nice to update it to use the lastest version, which was renamed to Emmet: http://emmet.io


by PB-Dev | January 09 2013

Absolutley fantastic!

by Mark Broadhurst | January 02 2013

Excellent tool set which keeps getting better and better.

by patryk.golus | December 30 2012

by AndreyVeselov | December 27 2012

Great tool. Waiting for full Sass support :)

by Peter87 | December 25 2012

When this extension isn't installed I'm constantly wondering, 'Now isn't it supposed to do...'
JavaScript regions are fantastic.

by mangran | December 24 2012


Mads Kristensen December 24 2012
| Edit |


You don't have to install every update. Just take the ones with features you like

by Ivan Stus | December 19 2012

Really great extension, but after the latest update I got the following error when trying to sort properties:

Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Web.Languages, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=24771839d8d21066' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Mads Kristensen December 23 2012
| Edit |

This is fixed in version 2.2

by Tiscs | December 19 2012

A very usefull extension, like it very much.

by z1c0 | December 15 2012

by massive-geek | December 15 2012

I'm getting exactly the same issue as samuel.milton.

Using VS2012 and getting his same issue

I'm getting "Undeclared variable" and "Undeclared mixins" when I edit the Bootstrap LESS-files which results in "Compile error" in the preview window...

Can you help me pls?

Mixins and variables on another sheet should they be available from another within importing the sheet? e.g. if I have colors.less and then layout.less should it fetch the vars/mixins from colors.less without importing it?
I'm quite new to less but seeing other projects that's what they don't usually import and import only to combine

P.S. really great extension!

by samuel.milton | December 13 2012

I'm trying to get my site going with VS2012 and Twitter Bootstrap (LESS).

But i'm getting "Undeclared variable" and "Undeclared mixins" when I edit the Bootstrap LESS-files which results in "Compile error" in the preview window... Ideas?

Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/DfydD.png

Edit two: Thanks Mads for the reply. Clearly a five star addon!

by DanglingPointer | December 13 2012

Are you using latest version of Microsoft Ajax Minifier (http://ajaxmin.codeplex.com/) to minify the JavaScript? If you are then would it be updated automagically? And If not, then how would you compare these two?

Update: After running couple of tests, I have observed that the latest release of Microsoft Ajax Minifier (4.78, released 12/07/12) outperforms Web Essentials' JavaScript minification by 3.5%.

Mads Kristensen December 23 2012
| Edit |

Yes, 2.2 uses AjaxMin 4.78

by Saeid Pournejati | December 08 2012

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  • compatibility with MSBuild?
    3 Posts | Last post April 11, 2014
    • 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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