Using the VS Code plugin

In this article, you'll learn how to access all the features the VS Code plugin has to offer.


The only prerequisites are that you have Kite Engine running and the VS Code plugin installed. If you don't have the VS Code plugin installed, you can learn how to do so here.

Note: If you installed the VS Code plugin while VS Code was already running, you'll need to restart VS Code for the plugin to activate

Checking the status of Kite

If Kite is installed properly, you should see a text indicator at the bottom left corner of the VS Code window.

There are a handful of possible states Kite can be in, as described in the following table:

Message Description
Kite: Not Installed Kite Engine is not installed.
Kite: Not running Kite Engine is not running.
Kite: Not logged in Kite Engine is running, but you need to log in.
Kite: Syncing Kite Engine is syncing your files to the cloud.
Kite: Indexing The Kite backend is analyzing your uploaded code.
Kite: Ready Kite is ready to go - start coding!
Note: If you're running Kite for the first time, it may take several minutes for Kite to finish syncing and indexing your codebase.

For the first three (red) states, the VS Code plugin will generally allow you take action to get out of the invalid state. For example, the plugin will allow you to start Kite Engine from VS Code directly.

Clicking on the indicator will open a tab that will allow you to access your settings or get information about your account.


If you start writing code in an un-whitelisted directory, the plugin will prompt you to whitelist the directory so that Kite can work properly.

The left button will whitelist the suggested directory. In this example, the root / directory would be whitelisted. Clicking on “Close” will mute the current file. In this example, the file / would be muted.

Writing code and accessing features


To start, open a Python file in a whitelisted directory. Make sure that this file has been saved with a .py extension. Now type the following code:

import j # Cursor stops behind the "j"

A list of suggested completions should automatically appear.

Kite can provide autocompletions for Python keywords, name expressions or attribute expressions. The example above illustrates a name expression completion. An example of an attribute completion would be:

import json
json.d # Cursor stops behind the "d"

In the case of name and attribute completions, Kite will also provide the type of value represented by the completion (e.g. module or function) as well as documentation if available. To toggle the documentation for json.dumps, click on the “i” next to the function indicator.

Function signatures

Continuing with the example code above, complete the function call to by typing the opening and closing parentheses.

import json
json.dumps() # Cursor is in between "(" and ")"

Kite should show you information about how to call json.dumps.

As you type, Kite will show you which argument you are currently focused on.

Expanding information

Kite also provides a UI to view more information about a Python identifier. There are a number of ways to access this UI. By default, if you hover your mouse over the identifier, you can click on the “more” link to get more information.

When triggered, the expanded information shows up in a separate tab.

The information shown contains:

  • Information about the value
    • In this case, the panel shows information about the function signature for json.dumps
    • However, the information here varies depending on what the value is e.g. module, type, instance, etc.
  • Description
    • This is the documentation for the value
  • Usages from your code (Kite Pro subscribers only)
    • This shows you where else in your codebase you have used this value
  • How to
    • Curated code examples that show you how to use the value

Jump to definition

You can also jump to the definition of a module, class or function from your local codebase using Kite. The hover UI provides a deflink to do so.

The tab with expanded information also contains a link to the definition.

Search (Kite Pro subscribers only)

You can access Kite's search UI using the command palette.

You can search for both identifiers in your own codebase and identifiers in 3rd party packages.