- Install ChatGPT extensions for VS Code to access AI assistance within your programming environment. It covers various coding needs like unit testing, debugging, documentation, code explanation, and code generation.
- Different extensions like EasyCode, CodeGPT, and Code GPT offer ChatGPT functionality with varying features and model choices. Some require an OpenAI API key and offer code indexing and customization options.
- Genie AI and ChatGPT Helper are other extensions that provide a user-friendly interface and features like customizable precision temperatures and prompt saving. The ChatGPT VS Code Plugin by Jay Barnes allows free usage of ChatGPT but requires a ChatGPT web session token.
ChatGPT can help you solve many programming problems via its web chat interface. But jumping in and out of VS Code can be distracting. Remember, every second counts when you’re in the programming zone.
The good news is that you can ask ChatGPT anything from within VS Code using a ChatGPT extension. ChatGPT covers a vast amount of coding needs, including unit testing, debugging, documentation, code explanation, and code generation.
Here are the handiest ChatGPT extensions you can install for VS Code today.
The ChatGPT extension by EasyCode is a readily available way to get AI assistance via different language models. It supports ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4, with the option to switch between them easily. The extension also supports Claude AI an alternative to ChatGPT. If your OpenAI account includes premium features from GPT-4, you can also add your API key for extended use.
Although its developer recommends that you sign up or sign in after installation, you can still use ChatGPT without an account. While seeking assistance, you can ask ChatGPT questions about parts of your code or allow it to scan your entire codebase for broader uses.
The EasyCode ChatGPT extension also features a follow-up option if your previous prompt needs further explanations. In addition to inline code autocompletion, it features single-click built-in prompts to generate responses on the go.
The CodeGPT extension by Tim Kmcel uses ChatGPT-3 models. So it may be less resourceful than other extensions that use GPT-3.5 and GPT-4. It features built-in prompts that generate responses with a single click. You can also write custom prompts via the chat box if you have a more specific request.
Although it features many GPT-3 models—including ChatGPT, text-curie-001, text-davinci-003, code-davinci-002, and code-cushman-002—text-davinci-003 is the only model that works with the extension by default. You might want to review your model selection and set it to text-davinci-003 in the extension settings if the extension throws an error.
Another valuable feature is code indexing, allowing you to highlight your code and seek help in navigating complex situations. This extension requires an OpenAI API key, which you’ll set in its settings menu after installation. However, the extension may fail if you’ve exhausted your free OpenAI credit.
Code GPT offers a more inclusive AI service for VS Code. Although its default AI model choice comes from OpenAI’s ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4, it also features ChatGPT alternatives, including Cohere, AI21, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic, among others.
The Code GPT extension requires your OpenAI API key, which you can set up by pressing VS Code command palette shortcuts (CMD+Shift+P for Mac or Ctrl+Shift+P for Windows). However, ensure you have enough free credit or a premium plan to enjoy this VS Code AI service. A valuable feature of Code GPT is its ability to take prompts from code comments and insert the generated code into a usable code file (in the target programming language).
It features built-in and custom prompts. A small setback is that it only allows a maximum of 800 tokens per request, so it supports less text than some other providers.
The ChatGPT Helper VS Code extension is a simple AI assistant you can add to VS Code if you only need to solve programming problems quickly. This extension is straightforward to use and only designed for accepting a limited number of built-in prompts.
The ChatGPT Helper extension supports GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 with the option to switch between them. It requires an OpenAI API key, which the extension prompts you to include as soon as you send your first prompt after installation.
However, unlike other ChatGPT extensions, it doesn’t have a chat feature. But you can send custom and built-in prompts via VS Code’s command palette. It writes responses in separate text files, allowing you to save prompt replies for later.
The ChatGPT extension by Genie AI has a better aesthetic, featuring built-in prompts in a more relatable interface. It supports GPT-3, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4. And like many ChatGPT extensions mentioned previously, it also requires an OpenAI API key.
It allows you to select different precision temperatures tailored to your requirements; you can choose between a precise, balanced, or creative response. In addition to built-in clickable prompts, you can engage ChatGPT via the Genei AI VS Code extension’s Ad-hoc prompt box to send more specific queries.
While using the extension, you don’t need to manually copy and paste the code it generates. Genie AI will automatically write responses into relevant code files, which you can use directly in your app. You can also save your conversations locally and resume them later.
If you want to use ChatGPT for free, the ChatGPT VS Code extension by Jay Barnes comes in handy. It operates on a different level and requires your ChatGPT web session token and user agent rather than your OpenAI API key. So it’s invariably free since it extends your interaction with ChatGPT from the web.
While it allows you to use ChatGPT for free in VS Code, it’s technical to set up and can be tardy with occasional failures. Additionally, you’ll periodically reset your access tokens since these expire with your ChatGPT web session.
Like other ChatGPT extensions, it features built-in prompts and accepts custom ones via the chat menu. Overall, this extension wouldn’t have made our list of the best ChatGPT extensions for VS Code. But it’s free and may be handy when you exhaust your free credit. However, be careful to prevent your session from getting hijacked.
Use ChatGPT Productively in VS Code
ChatGPT and other generative AI models have found valuable uses in our daily lives. Whether we accept them or not, they’re here to stay. These AI tools are more helpful than they are threatening if you use them productively.
Using these ChatGPT extensions for programming doesn’t guarantee a smooth run. You’ll still need a combination of these AI tools with human input and some internet search skills to solve programming problems. You might want to see how to use ChatGPT in VS Code, for a practical sense of how these extensions work.