Web Essentials 2012


Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers.

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by coderbd | Thu 8:01 AM

As a front end developer. I'm very much exited about minification process of this.

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!

1 - 20 of 195 Items   
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  • Coffee Compiler Not Up To Date
    3 Posts | Last post November 19, 2013
    • It seems as if the version of the coffee compiler included with Essentials is not current. I notice this because up until now we've been using node.js to compile our files. The compiled output of WE seems to include more "safe" local variables and extra spaces you saw from previous coffee versions.
      We'd really like to start using WE for compilation but we have a number of users who will still be using node.js on their Macs to compile files. We don't want to have them constantly switching back and forth. Would it be possible to update the version of the included coffee compiler? Better yet, would it be possible to make the compile command an option? This would allow us to specify compilation with node and worry about the coffee version on our own.
    • We're slowly moving over to use NodeJS for compiling LESS and CoffeeScript, but only in WE 2013. Right now, only LESS uses NodeJS for compiling, but we're moving CoffeeScript to nodejs soon as well
    • Thanks for the update. Is it possible we can manually update the coffee.js file in our local installations?
  • LESS Not Generating CSS
    9 Posts | Last post November 19, 2013
    • After updating to 2.9, changes to the LESS file are NOT updating the corresponding .css nor the .min.css files.  This is a critical bug and needs to be fixed quick please.
    • I forgot to ask, where can I get version 2.7?  That one worked and right now I'm in the tank with 2.9.
    • I wanted to report that this is still broken in 3.0.  Also, if anyone else needs 2.7, I finally found a link to it, so here you go:
    • It works for me with VS2012 Ultimate with update 3 and v3.0 of web essentials. Initially, it looked like VS wasn't even recognizing the .less file, however, on closing and reopening the file, I got the split view and the generation of the .css and .min.css files also started working. 
    • This is still broken with v3. The LESS "Compile on build" does not work. And does not compile all the less files, still only does the current one I am viewing.
    • This isn't working on my machine either. I have Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate. When will this be fixed? This is the main reason I'm using this plugin (which is very helpful btw). -Chris
    • I just confirmed WHY this is not working.  This is also broken with Web Essentials 2013.  Our LESS files use the import to import general configuration styles, e.g.,
      @import-once "styles.variables.less";
      And then use them later, e.g.,
      .group-label {
         clear: both;
      I commented out all the .mix... imported/pre-configured styles and the CSS file was then updated upon saving the LESS file.  Once I re-enabled the .mix... styles, then it hosed again.
      Please fix this ASAP as it's a huge hassle.  Thanks a lot.
    • I reported it as a bug in the bug system here:
      Hopefully it'll get fixed soon in both WE 2012 and 2013.
    • Okay, found more info on this and it looks like it's NOT a WE 2012 or 2013 bug but a change in LESS starting with 1.4.0.  Here's the blurb from the 1.4.0 release notes found at http://lesscss.org/#changes
      @import-once is removed and is now default behaviour for @import.
  • Bug in version 3.2
    3 Posts | Last post November 06, 2013
    • The following is showing up in the Output, after the final results line (i.e. "========== Rebuild All: 2 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped ==========") when building (Rebuild or Build):
      10/21/2013 03:52:37 PM: The parameter is incorrect. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070057 (E_INVALIDARG))
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
    • This doesn't look right:
      if (dte.Solution.Projects.Count == 1 && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(dte.Solution.Projects.Item(1).FullName))
          return dte.Solution.Projects.Item(1).Properties.Item("FullPath").Value.ToString();
      Should it be:
      if (dte.Solution.Projects.Count == 1 && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(dte.Solution.Projects.Item(0).FullName))
          return dte.Solution.Projects.Item(0).Properties.Item("FullPath").Value.ToString();
    • I appear to be getting one exception for each C/C++ project (managed or not) in the solution.  This happens in both the VS 2012 and VS 2013 versions.
  • vs2012 crashes with Compile on Build
    1 Posts | Last post November 01, 2013
    • When I turn on Compile on Build my new install of vs2012 and fresh install of Web Essentials crashes my dev environment.  I tried reinstalling Web Essentials.
      Here's the error in my app log if that helps
      Application: devenv.exe
      Framework Version: v4.0.30319
      Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.
      Exception Info: System.IO.FileNotFoundException
         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.LessProjectCompiler.MinifyFile(System.String, System.String)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.LessProjectCompiler.Completed(MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.CompilerResult)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.LessCompiler.ProcessExited(System.Object, System.EventArgs)
         at System.Diagnostics.Process.OnExited()
         at System.Diagnostics.Process.RaiseOnExited()
         at System.Diagnostics.Process.CompletionCallback(System.Object, Boolean)
         at System.Threading._ThreadPoolWaitOrTimerCallback.WaitOrTimerCallback_Context(System.Object, Boolean)
         at ...
  • Build LESS on Demand
    3 Posts | Last post November 01, 2013
    • Would it be possible to add an option to the context menu to allow me to rebuild my less files into css? The problem is, right now using the "generate css file on save" option makes it hard to use with a LESS framework like Bootstrap. I import the main bootstrap.less into my site.less. But if I need to make a change to any of the bootstrap files, I will get css files (or errors) each time I save one of the bootstrap files. So that means I needed to turn of the generation of files on save. But now I don't have an easy way to update my site.css file with the changes I've made to some of the bootstrap files. So I have to rebuild my whole project. It'd be great to have an option on the context menu to just regenerate the css files based on my less files. Is this possible? It'd might also be great to have the generate on save option work like the compile on build option, where it only generates files that already have a .css file. Or, to have a way to exlcude certain .less files from regenerating on save.
    • That would be great. I have exactly the same problem. Is there any solution for this?
    • As a Workaround you can use the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Y this compiles all less files which have a css file. Works at least that way in VS2013.
  • Errors after build from WebEssentials
    1 Posts | Last post October 25, 2013
    • I get the following errors from the WebEssentials extension after building my solution:
      10/25/2013 10:26:36 AM: The parameter is incorrect. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070057 (E_INVALIDARG))
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
      10/25/2013 10:26:37 AM: The parameter is incorrect. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070057 (E_INVALIDARG))
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
      10/25/2013 10:26:37 AM: The parameter is incorrect. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070057 (E_INVALIDARG))
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
         at EnvDTE.Properties.Item(Object index)
         at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.ProjectHelpers.GetRootFolder()
      I'd be happy to provide more info or logs, I just don't know where to start looking for them.
  • Option to not add files generated from .bundle to project?
    1 Posts | Last post October 25, 2013
    • Hi Mads,
      Would it be possible to add a feature to not have the files generated from a .bundle file automatically added to the VS project, but for them to exist "behind the scenes"?  
      The reason for this is that we don't want TFS to find and try to check-in the generated files as we also bundle / minify on the server.  This is because we can't assume that the last person on the team to check-in got all of the necessary changes into their files being bundled.  
      Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the TFS .tfignore file won't work once a file is marked as part of the project.
      Thoughts? And thanks!
  • ZenCoding > Emmet
    3 Posts | Last post October 25, 2013
    • not sure if it matters but will the Zen coding feature be replaced with Emmet?
      Does Web Essentials have any conflicts or cause any problems is I also have the
      Visual Studio Emmet 2012 - installed with Web Essentials 2012 http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/a5142ff5-fd09-4e07-8ec9-dae75d6a49a1 
      Thanks for the great plugin.
    • I would imaging they would conflict, but I haven't tried the Emmet extension. What features of Web Essentials ZenCoding are you missing from Emmet?
    • for me, the most important part in html is "ul>.item$*6" should create <li> inside <ul> and not <div>
  • Bug compiling LESS single line comments in 3.2
    1 Posts | Last post October 23, 2013
    • Looks like there is a bug when compiling single line comments in the last release:
      .table {
        //&.table-hover tbody tr:hover td{
      	//background-color: #F1F1F1;
      using block comments, no problem, it's not a LESSCSS problem, using node compiler I don't have the issue.
  • Wrong minification of value 0px with calc()
    2 Posts | Last post October 09, 2013
    • If you provide "calc(50% + 0px)" minification will strip "px" making it an invalid value. I know it seems that this "0px" has no particular meaning in declaration but it' later being manipulated in Javascript, so it needs to be there.
      Minification shouldn't touch expression within "calc()" regardless of anything.
    • Agreed - it also changes "calc(100% - 90px)" into "calc(100%- 90px)", which breaks the CSS spec in a different way.
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