Web Essentials 2012


Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers.

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by Jony Green | September 06 2015

I'm not a developer, i always use free online js minifier(http://www.online-code.net/minify-js.html) and css compressor(http://www.online-code.net/minify-css.html).

by Dan Randolph | May 01 2015

I love the css help.

by Ammar.Zaied | February 13 2015

nice !

by Gene Kohli | January 21 2015

Sweet Suite!

by Bob Blork | May 30 2014


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.

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  • Absolute urls for @import
    2 Posts | Last post December 06, 2012
    • Hi Mads,
      We've tried using an absolute url for a .less file import, but that doesn't seem to work. For example using:
      @import "http://some.url.here/includes/generated.less?some=parameter";
      Yields an error in the error list along the lines of 'file not found (404)'. 
      Is this something you can do something about? I'm not familiar with the internal workings of the less generator, but it'd be awesome if you could somehow fix it so it doesn't produce this error anymore but just fetches the less file from the given url.
      Thanks in advance,
    • Oops, my colleague David apparently also decided to ask this question (see below).
      Just ignore his post (my longer post totally kicks his post's ass!)
  • Support for Typescript
    3 Posts | Last post December 06, 2012
    • Hi is supported.  After installing that update I'm getting: 
      "The TypeScript compiler can't be found"
    • Did you upgrade Web Essentials to version 2.0? It has the support
    • Will do so now - I had subscribed to the nightly build feed.  Maybe that did not update correctly...Thanks!
  • Defining Output-Folder for css files
    2 Posts | Last post December 06, 2012
    • Hi!
      Is there a way to define an output-folder for the generated .css files? (relative to its original .less file) 
      If not, will Web Essentials support that feature?
    • Actually, the update that was just released supports this option.  Go to Tools > Options > Web Essentials > LESS and choose the Compile to 'css' folder.
  • import less files from a url
    1 Posts | Last post December 06, 2012
    • Hi,
      It would be cool if you could import less files from a url, like so:
      @import "http://www.domain.com/icon-handler.less?icons=x|y|z";
      Now it just gives a 404 in the error list.
  • CssEnableSelectorHighligting type-o
    2 Posts | Last post December 05, 2012
    • Just noticed there's a type-o in the generated WE-settings.xml if you care:
      (missing the h - Highlig*h*ting)        
      Might be more trouble than its worth to fix though-                 
    • Thanks, must have missed that one. Changing it will actually reset the setting for people who've changed it. I think I'll leave the typo in for now
  • Typescript bug
    3 Posts | Last post December 05, 2012
    • If you happen to have a function and a variable with same name in a typescript class, Visual Studio hangs for ever. This is not valid for typescript, but until you correct it Visual Studio should just display the error...
      class Test{
    • I'm pretty sure this is a bug in the VS TypeScript add-in, not in WebEssentials, as the same thing happens even if WE isn't installed. See https://typescript.codeplex.com/workitem/479.
    • This is a bug in the TS compiler. An update is being released very soon. Stay tuned...
  • Code Behind Rename Bug
    2 Posts | Last post December 05, 2012
    • I have noticed that when I rename an aspx file, if this extension is installed, the code behind drops the .aspx part and visual studio does not nest the file. For example, if I have a file named file.aspx with a code behind of file.aspx.cs, if I rename it to file2.aspx the code behind becomes file2.cs. I thought it was a VS bug at first, then disabled the web essentials extension and things went back to normal.
    • Thanks for reporting this. WE 1.9 does set some registry keys for nesting files differently. I'll correct this behavior for version 2.1.
  • Add support for webresource server side tags
    1 Posts | Last post December 05, 2012
    • If you create a .less file, you can escape webresource tags using the following syntax:
      url(~'<%= WebResource("Resources.Image.png") %>')
      But then later that line is changed in de minified file to:
      WebResource("Resources.Image.png") %>)
      I think this is a bug.
  • Intellisense/Auto-Complete for nested selectors in LESS files?
    7 Posts | Last post December 03, 2012
    • Am I correct in seeing that the intellisense/auto-complete list only shows CSS attributes when inside the curly braces for a selector and not additional selectors (e.g. HTML tags)? For example:
      .myclass {
         font-family: ...;
      Typing that "p" results in an auto-complete list of CSS selectors so it is keyboard cumbersome to get it to just be "p" or "ul" or other HTML tags (for creating a nested selector).
      Yes, you can just press "ESC," but when you're in the habit of pressing "p" and then SPACE or "ul" and then TAB, it gets frustrating to have to remember to do it differently when creating nested selectors of HTML tags.
      It's almost as if the possible list of items for the auto-complete should be the CSS attributes *and* the HTML tags. Not sure if that's possible...
    • I'm having the same issue and posted it here about a month ago.  It seems like it might be slightly related to the "Comments in nested LESS blocks" discussion right below this one at the moment.
    • Tobias, they are actually not related but the comment bug is fixed and will make the next release.
      I'll try to find a solution to having the HTML element names appear in the same statement completion list as property names.
    • Thanks for the additional feedback - I looked through the list of posts here, hoping to find something similar, but without search, it's tough.
      I notice that if you put the curly braces in, e.g. you type "{}" first and then put the cursor in front of that, the HTML tags kick in (and not CSS attributes), the problem is that without doing that, both the CSS attributes and the HTML tags are "valid" as the editor doesn't know if you intend to create a nested selector or define a CSS attribute and so both would/should appropriately show up on the list.
      Sounds like this is either a "something prevents it from working that way" or a "never realized it should work that way" sort of issue. The list of valid "CSS attributes" for LESS (from an Intellisense perspective, anyway) really is the superset of all CSS attributes plus the all HTML elements.
    • Ah - Mads - you replied just as I was. Thanks for your amazing speed and attention to all of the work on this extension.
    • Thanks a lot, Mads!
    • Mads - I'll add this to UserVoice so you don't have to track separately.
  • SASS support
    2 Posts | Last post November 30, 2012
    • While LESS support is great, I personally prefer to use SASS. Do you think you could add support for SASS as well?
      Already using your extension for TypeScript and can't live without it anymore. Having SASS support would make it awesome.
    • I'm prototyping it right now. If things go according to plan, then I hope to have preview bits during this weekend.
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