Web Essentials 2013 for Update 4


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

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by Helladen | Tue 4:12 AM

Works good for what I use it for.

by IronToby | April 15 2015

Same as others, getting .scss SASS files to compile correctly is a nightmare. Just get a bunch of opaque "SCSS: YourFile.scss compilation failed: The service failed to respond to this request, Possible cause: Syntax Error!"

A bit more info would be nice. Files that worked yesterday are broken today. Very frustrating!

Other than that, it's a great tool, but it's very difficult to rely on it.

by RJTSolutions | April 13 2015

by Loni Huff | April 10 2015

Chronically plagued by SASS compilation errors which provide no information about their cause and are impossible to correct, forcing you to revert changes back to a state where they did not occur (despite the fact that other SASS compilers have no issues processing the same changes). A source of endless frustration.

by webprogrammierer | April 08 2015

The last update broke my Visual Studio 2013. With the AddOn disabled - VS runs perfectly.

Please fix that.

by WisdomGuidedByExperience | April 04 2015

Update 2015-04-04
Web Essential 2.5.4 breaks our large Visual Studio 2013 project when we try to use it with VS 2013 Update 4, so we are continuing to use a much older version of both Visual Studio 2013 and Web Essentials. We've pretty much given up hope of ever using Web Essentials 2.5.4 or newer which means we cannot also upgrade everyone on the team to VS 2013 Update 4. We are very disappointed in the pattern of good vs. bug-filled releases because you cannot reliably upgrade a large team to a new version which in turn prevents using the latest VS 2013 update (4 in this case).

Update 2014-11-26
Web Essentials 2.5.3 fixes the issue of not recompiling .less files for me in Visual Studio 2013 Update 4. Small existing project, added two small .js, multi-selected them, WE/Create Bundle, which worked.

Update 2014-11-23
Web Essentials 2.5.2 causes Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 to crash with a null object reference during New/Project/Web/Empty. Even uninstalling WE 2.5.2 doesn't fix the problem. To fix, you also need to run a Repair operation on VS 2013 Update 4.

Web Essentials is getting worse with each new release/patch.

by Omar Elabd | March 25 2015

by pilly9 | March 24 2015


by Tanielian V. Barreira | March 12 2015

Mutito bom.

by Laurentiu32 | March 12 2015

by Alex-z11 | March 01 2015

The latest version 2.5.4 does not compile .less files.
Every time I open less file I get this error:

Compilation Error occurred (see error list to navigate to the error location):
Error found:


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.

- 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()

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  • Inconsistent errors when recompiling all SASS files
    2 Posts | Last post Fri 2:47 PM
    • When re-compiling all SCSS files in our project (277 files), some will always report errors (with the Something went wrong reaching: syntax). Compiling them by hand will then success or fail inconsistently. Killing all node.exe processes and then compiling by hand will succeed. 
      This way there is no way, except by compiling 277 files by hand, to check if all the scss files are still correct. Is there a way around this?
    • We are having the same issue and it is very frustrating.  We can no longer trust if our changes to SCSS files are being compiled to CSS files, causing major headaches for developers and testers.  Even when opening the file and pressing Save, it is inconsistent.  Some developers have gotten into the habit of just pressing Save 10+ times because it may sometimes work.  
  • not compiling typescript on save anymore
    2 Posts | Last post Thu 2:49 PM
    • i'm not sure what happened but it is no longer compiling typescript to javascript on save - only on build. i've also lost.
      i believe what happened is i accidentally installed typescript 1.4 as a separate install and this messed it up. i then uninstalled this and rebooted several times, as well as uninstalled and reinstalled web essentials. 
      any ideas? maybe there's a cache that needs to be cleared somewhere?
      been struggling with this all week. any help is appreciated!
    • i figured out how to fix this. i just reinstalled visual studio 2013 update 4 and it's back to working order. hope this helps someone since it seems nobody's really monitoring this Q&A section.
  • Problem with Asp.Net Scriptlet
    1 Posts | Last post April 15, 2015
    • Hello, 
      The region for js works flowless when no scriptlet is in function, but breaks when it is present. 
      //#region Region1
      function myFunction(){
      //#region Region2
      function myFunction2(){
         var x = "<%  %>";
      Thank you.
  • Zen Coding not works
    1 Posts | Last post April 09, 2015
    • After update4, seems Zen Coding not works very well...
      Tpye: a => works<a></a>
      Type: a*3 => not work
      All complex code not works
  • @import (optional)
    1 Posts | Last post April 01, 2015
    • In less.js version 2.3.0 https://github.com/less/less.js/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md was added functionality @import (optional) - add optional import option, causing less to not fail if file not found. Is there a way to make it work in Web Essentials? Thanks.
  • JS Bundle breaks Angular (twice)
    1 Posts | Last post March 26, 2015
    • I use bower to install some JS in my project. Those projects have a dev javascript (non-minified) and also a minified version (with map).
      If I use the non-minified version, Angular breaks because of variable names (the dependency inject fails). I know I can send a array with dependency names, but those libs are not mine (and I can't change the source).
      If I use the minified version of those libs, the mapping comments points to the original folder (and thus, chrome won't find the .js.map file because the bundle is in another place). This happens because Web Essentials will only concatenate those .min.js, but those files points to some .js.map and Web Essentials doesn't fix those paths!
      So my questions are:
      1) There is some way to config Web Essentials minification process to not change arguments names?
      2) There is some way to fix the map for existing files?
  • Permission Denied
    2 Posts | Last post March 12, 2015
    • I work in an environment where we have very limited permissions on my computer. I installed Web Essentials 2012 and created a blank .less file. The preview window is showing
      Compile Error.  See error list for details
      I pulled up the error list and it's showing
      LESS: Permission denied
      I can't find the error in any log or the event viewer so I don't know which account needs permissions to what folder. I tried giving everyone all permissions to the folder that contains the .less file just to see if that was where the error is, but that didn't do it. Does anybody know which folder it writes to? The temp asp.net folder maybe? Do you also know what account needs permissions? I don't have rights to modify the temp asp folder, so I'd have to put in a request with my IT department, so I can't really just play around and figure it out via trial and error.
      I've spent a few days trying to find an answer to this, but I'm not getting anywhere. If someone could point me in the right direction, that would be awesome.
    • Sorry, just realized I posted on the 2013 web essentials....
  • path format exception
    2 Posts | Last post March 12, 2015
    • Hi,
      Having this main.less file with only one line of import:
      @import (inline) '../../Content/bootstrap.css';
      cause an exception:
      3/12/2015 13:51:28: LESS: Compiling main.less
      3/12/2015 13:51:28: LESS: main.less compiled.
      3/12/2015 13:51:28: An exception was thrown when updating TextView property: System.NotSupportedException: The given path's format is not supported.
         at System.Security.Util.StringExpressionSet.CanonicalizePath(String path, Boolean needFullPath)...
    • Forgot to mention: 
      Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013
      Version 12.0.31101.00 Update 4
      Microsoft .NET Framework
      Version 4.5.51641
  • Kills my intellisense?
    1 Posts | Last post March 08, 2015
    • The moment I installed it, VS stopped recognizing any and all of my custom classes. None of the models in my MVC project would work anymore and the editor considered them broken references. It would still compile, strangely enough, but it would get the little red squiggly lines and none of the menus that pop up every time I hit the "." key anymore.
      If I disable the extension, everything works just fine again.
  • JSCS preventing me from working
    2 Posts | Last post March 08, 2015
    • I've been working on a problem all day.  I'm close to the answer.
      Suddenly I start getting JSCS errors that prevent my project from running.
      I'm happy to go back and make all the little changes JSCS seems to want but I don't think I should be making so many changes when I'm troubleshooting.  I need to fix the problem I started working on and then go back and try to satisfy JSCS.
      I'm searched all over the internet and found ways to make JSCS ignore all my JS files but these options don't seem to work.  IE: "excludeFiles": ["/**"],
      I just want to run my project so I can fix my problems.  I'm ok with the 23 Messages I'm getting from JSCS and I appreciate it.  What I don't appreciate is my project not running because these message are interpreted as build errors.
      How do I turn this off so that message are only messages or treated like warnings and not build errors?
    • This is not Web Essentials stopping me.  It was Resharper.  I'm sorry I didn't find that sooner...
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