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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  • LESS Document outline not working
    2 Posts | Last post October 09, 2013
    • I'm using VS 2012 and it looks like the document outline feature is not working, unless I am missing something.
    • Document outline was never implemented for LESS, so that's probably why :)
  • Can't start LESS file from variable declaration
    2 Posts | Last post October 09, 2013
    • version 3.0, when I start LESS file from "@base: #f938ab;" I will get compilation error, but it works fine in other (Not Visual Studio) less compilers
    • WE uses LESS 1.4.2, so it might be a compiler issue. Perhaps the LESS project broke a use case in 1.4.2
  • Unable to edit Markdown files (*.md) using v3.1
    4 Posts | Last post October 09, 2013
    • I just upgraded to v3.1 and I'm seeing bizarre behavior when I open Markdown files (*.md). I can't select text with the mouse and I can't type any characters, but I can move the cursor with the arrow keys and the Enter key will add a new line. It's basically unusable on my machine right now.
    • I'm seeing similar issues.  Also noticed that there is no scrollbar for the editor side (only for the preview window).
    • Motion Seconded. - Normal extension update, .md editiing broken.
    • This was fixed in the latest update. Sorry about this
  • LESS mixins marked as !important not supported?
    3 Posts | Last post October 09, 2013
    • Hi!
      Web Essentials 2012 doesn't seem to handle the LESS concept of marking mixins an important.
      Doing something like this:
      .input-validation-error {
      	.inputHighlight(@red) !important;
      Gives the following warning:
      Missing a property name before the colon (':') in the "(property) : (value)" declaration.
      And when I compile the following error:
      LESS: 'undefined' is null or not an object
      I'm using version 2.6.
    • Same experience. 
    • If the compiler gives an error, then it must be an error since it's the official LESS compiler being used by Web Essentials. Are you sure this is valid LESS?
  • How to report bugs for this tool?
    2 Posts | Last post October 09, 2013
    • The link to report bugs for this extension is unavailable.
    • Sorry about that. It has now been fixed
  • Cannot Access Disposed Object error after installing this extension
    1 Posts | Last post October 04, 2013
    • After this extension was installed, I started receiving the following errors from Visual Studio:
      Microsoft Visual Studio
      Cannot access a disposed object.
      Object name: 'MarshalingWindowFrame'.
      Does anyone knows how to fix it? Is this a known issue?
  • Can we put TypeScript support back in please???
    2 Posts | Last post September 27, 2013
    • We can't use Web Essentials 3 because the TypeScript support in VS2012 is worse than useless.
      Bug 1
      VS2012 TypeScript Compile-on-Save feature does not work. If you create a new TypeScript file and save it, VS does not compile on save.
      Bug 2
      No side-by-side JS window - now you've got to go hunting for the JS file to figure out if the file got compiled or not
      Bug 3
      No longer creates both .min.js and .js files - VS2012 just creates a .js file with no option for a .min.js file
      Bug 4
      Created .js files don't get added to the solution. We check in our compiled .js/.min.js files, which WE 2.x did automatically. VS2012 does not do this.
      Bug 5
      Compiling a web project tries to recompile .TS files - and there is no option to turn this off. See also bug 1.
      Bug 6
      Compiling a web project tries to write to .js file (see bug 5). If the .js file is checked in using TFS, it generates a write error as the files are read-only, whereas WE 2.x will check out the file (ie. it is TFS-aware). The only workaround I have found is to check out ALL files in the web project (AAARGH!)
      PLEASE put TypeScript support back in! We are reverting to version 2.
    • I have to agree: the TypeScript move in 3.0 was really terrible. I don't quite see how I'm going to be able to keep using TypeScript with 3.0. It seems as though the integration of the new TS version with VS is just half assed :(
      Switching back to 2.7, fingers crossed I haven't permanently messed things up now.
  • LESS Compiling great but minification breaks CSS
    1 Posts | Last post September 03, 2013
    • I'm being using Web Essentials 2012 now for a couple of months and it has been great. I recently started using LESS and am having  strange issue.
      The LESS file complies great on save and if I used this compiled .css file my site works as intended. I also have it set to minify on save. If I use this .min.css file the whole site breaks. It appears more than half of the file is ignored in all browsers. I don't see anything odd in the output. Looking in Chrome developer tools and looking at the loaded resource, about 1/8th of the way through, the syntax highlighting turns off, anything that isn't highlighted (plain black text) does not work on the site.
      Has anyone experienced this type of behavior before?
  • Command line tool for script bundling?
    1 Posts | Last post September 03, 2013
    • Web Essentials works great locally for bundling and minification, but I need to ensure that the bundle is generated on the server build rather than locally (I'd rather not check in a generated file).  Is there an associated tool I can run to generate the bundle on the server build?
  • LESS Compiler crashes Visual Studio
    1 Posts | Last post September 01, 2013
    • Using Visual Studio 2012.3 and Web Essentials 2010 3.0 my Visual Studio crashes every time at try to save a .less file.
      I guess it is the less compiler that causes this - anyone knows a fix for that ?
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