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: indexing The Kite Engine is analyzing your code.
Kite 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 indexing your codebase.

For the first two (red) states, you'll need to take manual action to install and/or run Kite.

Writing code and accessing features


To start, open a Python file. 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's completions are all marked with the symbol.

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"

Note: The screenshots above show completions with their corresponding documentation. You can toggle documentation by using the control + space keyboard shortcut.

Function signatures

Continuing with the example code above, complete the function call 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. Kite's signatures are also all marked with the symbol.

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

Note: If you have the official Microsoft Python extension installed, Kite will not be able to show you help for function signatures.

Viewing documentation

Kite can also quickly retrieve documentation for the code you are working with. If you hover your mouse over an identifier, you can click on the “Docs” link to open the documentation in the Copilot.

You may also select the Kite: Docs At Cursor command from the command palette.

When triggered, the documentation shows up in the Copilot.

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 "Def" link to do so.