Tech Tools to Make Life Easier Part 2: Embrace the Rainbow
Extensions aren't just shortcuts...
Never underestimate the power of a good extension. Sure, some flashy ones make your workspace look pretty and unique, but some extensions are so incredibly useful if you have a wandering mind like mine.
Eyes drift away when trying to read big sections of code? Struggle to picture line length in Python?
I got you covered. These extensions are easy to install and make navigating larger projects a breeze. Let me introduce you to the first extension on the list:
This one might seem like one of those flashy extensions I mentioned but oh my god, this extension makes such a difference to me. Unfortunately, if you have colour blindness, this is probably an extension to give a miss.
As someone who massively struggles with Python, indentation drove me bananas when I first started. Unless you've got a good linter enabled, it probably won't be obvious that the reason your big chunk of code that you're sure has no typos isn't working is because there is an indentation error.
Indentation errors are genuinely one of my most hated issues with code, and indent-rainbow perfectly helps me avoid this issue.
Before applying the rainbow
Gone are the days of having to imagine how many spaces I've used to indent each line; indent-rainbow assigns a colour to each line that clearly shows where your current line is regarding previous ones.
Yea, dots are handy, but colours are so much easier to use when you're tired and you start seeing dots everywhere.
After applying the rainbow
Just look at that. It makes the structure so much clearer and easier on the eyes. Even code that looks like Greek to me seems less intimidating and easier to understand!
If you've noticed how the brackets are different colours as well, that's another extension I intend on talking about.
And if just the colours aren't enough for you, there are ways of configuring the extension so it can look like this!
The default settings are more than enough for me, but the official documentation lays out nicely and simply how to change things to your liking.
You can find the install page for this extension and its documentation here.
Thankfully, like so many other great extensions, indent-rainbow is free, but you can support the creator by buying them a coffee here.
This extension might seem like a silly add-on to some people, but believe me when I say I could not live without it while coding now. Whether you're neurodivergent or just like a bit of colour coding (pun unintended) organisation, this extension is a definite must-have for your toolbox.