Set up VS Code as your default code editor

By default SystemLab|Design runs the Scintilla/SciTE script editor when viewing and editing your project’s Python scripts, however you can set up other Python-compatible script editors to view and edit your project models. This procedure describes how to install and set up Microsoft Visual Studio (VS) Code as your default project script editor.

To install Visual Studio (VS) Code on your computer, complete the following steps:

  1. On your web browser, go to the Visual Studio home page (VS Code Home Page) and select Download for Windows

  2. Select the “Save file” option when prompted.

  3. Once downloaded, double left-click on VSCodeUserSetup-x64-1.50.1.exe (or more recent version) to initiate the installation process.

  4. After accepting the license agreement, select Next.

  1. You will be prompted to select the destination folder where VS Code will be installed. It is recommended to use the suggested folder location. Select Next to continue.

  2. You will be prompted to select where Setup should place the program short-cut. Select Next to continue.

  3. Under the Select Additional Tasks it is recommended to check the box: Add “Open with Code” action to Windows Explorer file context menu. Note: The check box for Add to PATH should already be checked. If not, please make sure to check this box too! Select Next to continue and then select the Install button.

  4. After the installation is complete select Finish to exit the setup process.


To set up VS Code as the default script editor for SystemLab|Design, complete the following steps:

  1. Open a new session of SystemLab|Design and select the Settings action button on the tool bar.

  2. Under the Advanced settings tab, delete the current text in the Code/Script editor command line path value field and replace with the text ‘code -r’ as follows:



    The ‘-r’ argument is used to force new files to be opened in the same VS Code session or window. To open a new session/window each time VS Code is called, remove this argument.

  3. Select OK to apply the settings.

  4. From the Menu bar, select Edit/Open code/script editor. A command prompt followed by a new session of VS Code should appear as follows


VS Code has now been setup as the default script editor for your project!


The script editor command line path settings are specific to a project. To enable VS Code as the default editor for any new or existing projects, steps 1-3 must be repeated (and the project saved to file) for each applicable project.

Please note that when working on a specific project, its project settings will also be used to define the script editor command line path for opening configuration files under the Edit menu (e.g. Port viewers config file, Functional block library config file, etc.).