Web Essentials 2013 for Update 4

Free

Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers. Requires VS2013 Update 4

(178) Review
Visual Studio
2013
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1/21/2015
2.5.4
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Reviews (178)
Q and A (133)
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by Ammar.Zaied | February 13 2015

simple and free,thanks.

by Miro Jeliaskoff | February 04 2015

Simply the best. Never crashes as others say.

by Dio Phung | February 03 2015

Pros: support a bunch of essential features such as minifying resources, bundle and etc.

Cons:
- crash casually (VS2013 + Web Essentials 2013 for Update 2 RC)
- the minify feature do not work well: .min.js file change the order of the javascript function, thus cause runtime error (some variable declarations were pushed to the end)

by Arafat Tehsin | January 31 2015

Extremely disappointed with the release management for this extension. There should have been a proper QA for that. It never works for me. Does not even deserve a 1 star.

by Vladimir Gofaizen | January 26 2015

People typically use less or sass, but not both at the same time. People typically use JavaScript, TypeScript, or Coffee Script, but not all three at the same time. People typically compile style sheets or minify them, but not both. Stuffing all of this into 1 overloaded plugin that does not provide granularity to turn off noisy messages, unused features, or 100s of default settings that get reset with version upgrades defeats the purpose of using this plugin: making web development faster and/or more reliable.

Here is a thought: Allow developers to only turn on the languages they use like JavaScript and Less and hide the rest. Hide the junk messages that make Error List screen useless. Hide unneeded settings. Do not generate any files by default. Stop resetting settings on version upgrades. Dev estimate for this work: 4-8 hours.

P.S. I used this plugin for 3 years on 2 version of VS in 4 locations before uninstalling it. Let me know if you improve the plugin.

by BillyNguyen | January 25 2015

Stay away from this release. Crashed my VS2013 Ultimate...

by RobbieBakkie | January 23 2015

Since I installed this to Visual Studio Professional, I could not open any project anymore. Everytime when I opened a project VS crashed.

by KiwiPiet3 | January 22 2015

Must have extension

by Jiří Zídek | January 20 2015

VS2013 U4, WE 2.5.3 (but any 2.5.x has the same problem), clasical webproject on IIS express, .NET4, build completely fails.

An exception was thrown when Web Essentials: Updating Bundles...: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.BundleFilesMenu.<UpdateAllBundlesAsync>d__12.MoveNext()
An exception was thrown when Web Essentials: Updating Sprites...: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at MadsKristensen.EditorExtensions.Images.SpriteImageMenu.<UpdateAllSpritesAsync>d__f.MoveNext()

by Scaramoosh | January 13 2015

Killed my Ethernet port and makes my PC crash if I plug the cable in.

by Dragerfroe | January 13 2015

Great Tool! I use it all the time!

by Yatajga | January 02 2015

Very powerful tool!

by Sinzfriend | December 30 2014

Pretty much all of the useful features you've removed.. Awesome

by Hedgic | December 30 2014

by dhill11 | December 18 2014

Awesome extension! Great work :)

by PINK_FL0YD | December 15 2014

旗舰版的VS2013表示安装不

by XercesFailed | December 08 2014

Buggy and will break VS 2013 causing you to do a repair. STAY AWAY. The developer, while a great concept, needs to go back to the books.

--NOTE: Installed on VS 2013 Community Edition--

by Rob Prouse | December 03 2014

Reading the other reviews, I guess I am just lucky. I haven't had any problems and couldn't imagine doing web development without it.

by HiTech Magic | December 03 2014

The latest 2.5.3 release (26 Nov 2014) reports LESS compile errors again (hooray!). Note: it has been intermittently not "auto-building on save" for a few versions. It says it is compiling on save, but the output file is not changing.

There is an issue of it not recognizing changes, so I had to empty the css files first before it would compile them again. This may relate to problems in the previous release e.g. The previous release for VS 2013 Update 4 gave no error details for compile problems (VS 2013 Ultimate with Update 4).

by DaveR77 | December 02 2014

2.5.3 does not auto compile LESS files on save anymore

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  • LESS file not compiling (update 4 for VS 2013)
    5 Posts | Last post February 14, 2015
    • I have a LESS file and when I modified the variable values and saves, changes are not shown in the preview window. Tried event restarting visual studio, not working.
    • I had the same issue. I clicked the Web Essentials menu and selected crate solution settings.
      
      This created a Solution Items folder and then a JSON file with the settings.
      
      Now my LESS compile options work and the preview window works.
      
      If you already have a settings file, maybe delete it and re-add it.
    • I also have problems with less files not compiling, even if I recreate json settings file or explicitly force recompilation... Why does Recompile all less files does not do what it says ? Stability of this plugin is not so good lately... Mads? please respond!!!
    • Changed to compiling less files with extensions nodetools for VS2013 && Task Runner Explorer, using Gulp. Using this, less always compiles on save. Continue using web essentials for code completion!
    • I followed the tip from Tipflare, but also updated my less syntax, which has changed, and it worked.
      
      Variables now start with @ and mixins with "." instead of "@". Update your syntax and it should be OK: http://lesscss.org/features/
  • Installation fails VS2013 - Update 5 ctp
    1 Posts | Last post February 13, 2015
    • Hello,
      this is not clear at all.
      I've Visual Studio 2013, but "Update 5 ctp".
      
      If I try to install the Web Essentials 2013 I get: "This extension is not installable on any currently installed products";
      and if I try to install the Web Essentials 2015 I get: "This extension is not installable on any currently installed products";
      
      So... how am I supposed to install this Web Essentials?!?!?!?!?
      
  • Intellisense
    1 Posts | Last post February 11, 2015
    • I have my mixins/placeholders/variables in a separate SASS partial and want them available to the rest of my SASS partials through intellisense.
      
      I've tried using an @import at the top of each partial but it doesn't pick up anything.
  • less? where is some doc?
    1 Posts | Last post January 27, 2015
    • I have WE 2013 Updt 4 installed. I have bootstrap less files in my project. right clicking on any of them:  entire WE context menu is greyed out. nuts. on VS Menu bar is WE, I select "Re-compile LESS files"  nothing happens.  What the heck is going on?  Does this thing require node to be running? does it require a sacrificial virgin? is there any documentation anywhere?
      
      hours of frustration, and one p*ssed client waiting for me. Help?
      rick.
  • Latest update crashes every time
    16 Posts | Last post January 19, 2015
    • Update 4 for Visual Studio 2013 and the latest update for Web Essentials 2013 is broken.  Every time I try and open a project it crashes.  I've disabled the addon and now I can open the project.
    • I have the same problem :(
      
      I tried several different projects, but they all make VS crash.
      After disabling WE they open just fine.
    • Can someone tell me how to disable it? I tried reinstalling VS 2013 Update 3 and wasted an hour.
    • Tools->Extensions and updates. Then find Web Essentials under the installed extensions and click "Disable".
    • Also having this issue even after the update on 11/17/2014.
    • Same here. According to the log, I am missing Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.Project.dll. I looked and it's not where it's looking for it.
    • This is the last line in the log:
      
        <entry>
          <record>1177</record>
          <time>2014/11/19 03:23:43.849</time>
          <type>Error</type>
          <source>VisualStudio</source>
          <description>End package load [Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.Project.WebProjectPackage, Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.Project]</description>
          <guid>{AAB75614-2F8F-4DA6-B0A6-763C6DBB2969}</guid>
          <hr>80004005 - E_FAIL</hr>
          <errorinfo>Could not load file or assembly 'file:///C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Microsoft\Web Tools\Project\Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.Project.dll' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.</errorinfo>
        </entry>
      
    • Mine is working now. I just ran the VS update 4 installer again and selected repair.
      It took a while to run the repair (45 minutes or so), but it seems it solved my problems.
    • Had the same problem as many when I first installed the extension, however running the VS2013.4.exe as Administrator and choosing Repair fixed the problem. So all is good again.
    • Repairing update 4 isn't doing it for me.
    • Clearing the component model cache directory has not fixed my issues compiling scss files.  Any other ideas?  This is a pretty big problem for me at the moment.
    • If Web Essentials crashes Visual Studio 2013 you can fix it by deleting the contents of ComponentModelCache folder
      
      C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\ComponentModelCache
    • I stuck in the same problem. The following steps did not help:
      (1)	Uninstall Web Essentials 
      (2)	Clear component cache as Jonathan recommended
      (3)	Repair VS 2013.4
      (4)	Reinstall Web Essentials
      As Michael mentioned the following file is missing on my machine: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Microsoft\Web Tools\Project\Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.Project.dll. Copying this file in doesn’t help.
      
      Any further suggestions?
      
      Deactivating Web Essentials solves the issue but WE is really ESSENTIAL!
      
    • I solved the Problem performing the following procedure:
      (1) Uninstall Web Essentials 
      (2) Delete C:\Users\hs\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0
      (3) Delete C:\Users\hs\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0
      (4) Repair VS 2013.4
      (5) Reinstall Web Essentials
      
      
    • I wasted some hours with the same problem.
      I tried many approaches, but only the solution from herbstein worked!
      Thanks herbstein for sharing.
    • to everyone still facing this problem, i solved it this way:
      control panel -> Uninstall a program -> right click on your VS version and Alter.
      Cick Modify on the VS that has just popped up and select 'Tools for web development' or something along those lines.
      wait for everything to install and that should be it.
      hope it helps someone!
  • Change Markdown to HTML to CSHTML
    1 Posts | Last post January 12, 2015
    • Hey,
      
      Is there any way to change the file extension of Compile To Html from .html to .cshtml?
      
      Then I could include it as a partial view. Working with HTML files within Razor syntax is not as straight forward as I would have hoped.
      
      Thanks,
  • Parent.scss won't compile, but all children will just fine...
    10 Posts | Last post January 06, 2015
    • So I've got a bit of a doozy. I was editing and updating my scss project just fine. when suddenly my parent scss file stopped compiling. All the children elements compile individually just fine, but when I go to compile the css file I get the following error:
      
      8/15/2014 9:27:12 AM: SCSS: Compiling bootstrap.scss
      
      8/15/2014 9:27:14 AM: Something went wrong reaching: http://127.0.0.1:56538/?service=SCSS&sourceFileName=C:%5CProject%20Builds%5CCFIT_Styleguide%5CDev%5Cmain%5CMS.IT.UXDI%5CUX%20Styles%5Cbootstrap.scss&targetFileName=C:%5CProject%20Builds%5CCFIT_Styleguide%5CDev%5Cmain%5CMS.IT.UXDI%5CUX%20Styles%5Cbootstrap.css&mapFileName=C:%5CProject%20Builds%5CCFIT_Styleguide%5CDev%5Cmain%5CMS.IT.UXDI%5CUX%20Styles%5Cbootstrap.css.map&precision=5&outputStyle=expanded&sourceMapURL&
      
      8/15/2014 9:27:18 AM: Something went wrong reaching: http://127.0.0.1:54932/?service=SCSS&sourceFileName=C:%5CProject%20Builds%5CCFIT_Styleguide%5CDev%5Cmain%5CMS.IT.UXDI%5CUX%20Styles%5Cbootstrap.scss&targetFileName=C:%5CProject%20Builds%5CCFIT_Styleguide%5CDev%5Cmain%5CMS.IT.UXDI%5CUX%20Styles%5Cbootstrap.css&mapFileName=C:%5CProject%20Builds%5CCFIT_Styleguide%5CDev%5Cmain%5CMS.IT.UXDI%5CUX%20Styles%5Cbootstrap.css.map&precision=5&outputStyle=expanded&sourceMapURL&
      
      8/15/2014 9:27:18 AM: SCSS: bootstrap.scss compilation failed: The service failed to respond to this request
      
      			Possible cause: Syntax Error!
      
      The same code compiles just fine on my coworker's machines. For some reason it claims it can't find/access the mapping file, so I'm not sure what's going on here. I've done everything from rolling back, to reinstalling Web Essentials (and updating to the nightly build).  
      
    • Having almost the same issue, except I can't compile anything. Rolling back to Update 2 RTM and WE 2.2 for now...
    • Same problem here too. VS2013-update 3, Windows 7 64-bit, update to date...
      
      8/20/2014 2:59:32 PM: SCSS: Compiling piledriver.scss
      8/20/2014 2:59:34 PM: Something went wrong reaching: http://127.0.0.1:37570/?service=SCSS&sourceFileName=C:%5Cgit%5CShowOps-App%5COps.ShowOps.Web%5CContent%5Cpiledriver%5Cpiledriver.scss&targetFileName=C:%5Cgit%5CShowOps-App%5COps.ShowOps.Web%5CContent%5Cpiledriver%5Cpiledriver.css&mapFileName=C:%5Cgit%5CShowOps-App%5COps.ShowOps.Web%5CContent%5Cpiledriver%5Cpiledriver.css.map&precision=5&outputStyle=expanded&sourceMapURL&
      8/20/2014 2:59:38 PM: Something went wrong reaching: http://127.0.0.1:54728/?service=SCSS&sourceFileName=C:%5Cgit%5CShowOps-App%5COps.ShowOps.Web%5CContent%5Cpiledriver%5Cpiledriver.scss&targetFileName=C:%5Cgit%5CShowOps-App%5COps.ShowOps.Web%5CContent%5Cpiledriver%5Cpiledriver.css&mapFileName=C:%5Cgit%5CShowOps-App%5COps.ShowOps.Web%5CContent%5Cpiledriver%5Cpiledriver.css.map&precision=5&outputStyle=expanded&sourceMapURL&
      8/20/2014 2:59:38 PM: SCSS: piledriver.scss compilation failed: The service failed to respond to this request
      			Possible cause: Syntax Error!
    • +1 Can't compile my SCSS files
    • Same for me...
    • I have no SCSS support, period.  Won't compile on save (no css preview, either), no syntax highlighting.
      
      I've been seeing crass messages from WE Update 2 for the last week or so, but my scss pages were compiling.  Today I noticed I had nothing.  I've tried updating to Update 3.  I then tried uninstalling and reinstalling with VS close and restarts in-between, but to no avail.
      
    • Clearing the component model cache folder then restarting VS is what cleared this up for me.
      %AppData%\..\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\ComponentModelCache
      
    • The same problem happens to me with my LESS files
    • The solution by Orrin.MZ worked for me and my files compile again. Thanks.
    • I had this same problem and it turned out to be an actual syntax error. I had put an @include at the property level instead of the selector level, and the mixin already had a property in it.
      
      You might try a process of elimination to see if something in your parent file is causing the issue. Remove everything but keep all the imports, then remove just the first half, then just the last half, and keep whittling down based on what compiles and what doesn't.
  • Less compilation fails with empty errors list
    1 Posts | Last post December 30, 2014
    • Just created new less with only 
      
      body {}
      
      but compilation fails with empty errors list. 
      
      /*
      
      Compilation Error occurred (see error list to navigate to the error location):
      Error found:
      
      
      *
  • Web Essentials Compilation Error using VS2013 Update 4
    1 Posts | Last post November 27, 2014
    • I have get error:
      Compilation Error occurred (see error list to navigate to the error location):
      
      When I created a .less file. I already installed WebEssentials2013.vsix version 2.5.3 updated on 27/11/2014.
      
      Please help me.
  • Compilation Error occurred
    21 Posts | Last post November 27, 2014
    • Getting a "Compilation Error occurred" message when trying to compile LESS. Happens in existing projects and in a brand new project. Was working just fine prior to these updates.
    • I should also note that there are no actual errors output to the Error List.
    • Same thing happened to me. It only occurs after I updated web essentials. Are there updates re this issue?
    • Same thing here but with SCSS files. So frustrating.
    • Is there a way to revert to previous build/release?
    • I have the same problem.I just reported it here:
      https://github.com/madskristensen/WebEssentials2013/issues/1665
    • Changing the "Use Ruby Runtime" option to "True" in Options -> Web Essentials -> SASS fixed this for me.
    • Compilation error for any ".LESS" files.
      This is the output:
      ` Compilation Error occurred (see error list to navigate to the error location): `
      
      Nothing else.
    • Uninstalling 2.5.2 and going back to the 2.5 release gets it working again. 2.5 is available here: https://github.com/madskristensen/WebEssentials2013/releases/tag/v2.5
    • Rolling back fixed my issues. 2.5.2 isn't working for me when trying to compile SASS. This is with or without "Use Ruby Runtime" set.
    • Just adding I've the same problem with 2.5.2 - no less compilation. Same error as reported below...
      
      /*
      
      Compilation Error occurred (see error list to navigate to the error location):
      
      
      */
    • Thanks RyanFisher1, setting Use Ruby Runtime to True under Tools > Options > Web Essentials > SASS was the answer.  This is the only place on the entire internety superhighway of information that has the solution.  Time to set gassy, er, I mean, get sassy.
    • re: ver 2.5.2: The switch to Ruby runtime for SASS compilation works for some but not all SASS files.  Foundation SASS won't compile; it is mysteriously unhappy with some of the partials.
      
      LESS appears completely busted.
    • Reverting to 2.5 fixes LESS for me but Foundation SCSS files still won't compile.
    • I can confirm that reverting to 2.5.0 (2.5) solves the LESS not compiling problem for me as well.
    • Compilation error without apparent reason on all .LESS files after updating to v2.5.2
    • same trouble here. Unable to compile less on new or existing projects.
    • I got the same "Compilation Error occurred" for less after update VS2013 update4 + webessential 2.5.2 
      I have tried: 
      1. uninstall web essential 2.5.2, re-install web essential 2.5 : web essential won't run
      2. uninstall both and re-install web essential 2.5 : web essential disabled by vs
      3. re-install both and do a repair as other suggested: same compile error on less
      
      Finally I restore my machine to 10 days ago and re-install web essential 2.5 and it worked. what a waste of time...
    • Same problem here, fixed by uninstalling 2.5.2 and installing 2.5.0 from here: https://github.com/madskristensen/WebEssentials2013/releases/tag/v2.5 . 
      
      Also, I noticed below that people are also having problems with VS crashing on opening projects. And since the same has been happening to me on a project I'm working on, I tried to open the project while having WE uninstalled and voila, it does not crash anymore! So there is clearly a problem in WE that also needs to be fixed as this is very annoying.
      
      My solution to that problem up till now was to open another project first, which does not crash VS and then open the one I want to work on over it, which then avoids crashing VS even when opening the problematic project. When chose to debug the crash previously it was saying that the problem occurred in mscorelib while running Newtonsoft JSON reader so I thought the problem was with that dll, but it seems it is really the work of WE. 
      
      Opening a solution I don't need first and only then the one I need to work on is very annoying, especially when combined with a fact that any edits to a class in App_Code make the solution not compile until after VS is restarted. That problem, too, may be caused by WE when I think about it now. I'm going to test that next.
    • I have the same problem with less file:  Compilation Error occurred (see error list to navigate to the error location).
      
      Some solution??? U_U
    • Same issue here.
      Thanks @tgadsden https://github.com/madskristensen/WebEssentials2013/issues/1665
      suggested uninstalling
      I installed 2.5.3 and LESS is now compiling
      
      If only there was a easier way to configure the Node LESS complier logs!
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