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When I started coding, Sublime was the editor of choice. It was lightweight, fast and ... drum rolls ... had the minimap™. The minimap made the editor look fancy. I loved it. I kinda still love it because it looks cool.

VS Code, my main driver these days, supports it, too.

Yet, I switched it off years ago because I didn't use it. I just wouldn't interact with it, and if something blocks 10% of my horizontal editor window, it would better be worth it.

I found that it's hard to navigate or see anything in the minimap unless I put huge comment blocks into my files.

 * --------------------------------------------------------------
 * --------------------------------------------------------------

And if I have these huge blocks in my code, I can spot them by scrolling in the real editor window. I don't need the minimap to find my way around then.

But the new minimap section headers might make me give the minimap another try. Put // MARK: comments in your files and voilà — the minimap starts showing something valuable.

VSCode showing bold marks in the minimap that are defined via code comments.

And if these section headings aren't big enough, you can change their size. Me likey!

VS Code settings: section header font size

It's also nice, that this neat feature was a community contribution. For now, I set some marks for a project and turned on the map. Let's see if the old'n'fancy friend will stick around this time...

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About Stefan Judis

Frontend nerd with over ten years of experience, freelance dev, "Today I Learned" blogger, conference speaker, and Open Source maintainer.

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