What is Zen Coding Visual Studio plugin?

Zen Coding is a Visual Studio plugin for a fast writing HTML (using CSS-like selector syntax) and CSS (using short versions of CSS properties).
Web developers Sergey Chikuyonok and Vadim Makeev have built a set of plugins called 'zen-coding' that works across a range of IDE's.
(Official zen-coding project is hosted on Google Code. Note that official project doesn't support Visual Studio IDE.)

How to use it?

After you have installed the plugin you just need to set a keyboard shortcuts and you are ready to code!
Nice tutorial with zen-coding introduction and explanation how to use it in Visual Studio can be found at Sten Hougaard' blog


To demonstrate just a subset of plugin's capabilities we can type:
and if you invoke zen-coding it will generate:
<div id="header">
    <img src="" alt="image" class="logo"/>
    <ul id="nav">
            <a href="http://"></a>
            <a href="http://"></a>

About the code

This plugin in current state is basically a merge of two projects:
  1. obsolete Einar Egilsson's project "ZenCoding Visual Studio AddIn"
  2. original zen-coding project which doesn't have support for Visual Studio
Because original author of the Visual Studio plugin (Einar Egilsson) doesn't have plans to improve his work, new project is created and it will be improved with a new features.
The code is written in IronPython.

Last edited Feb 25, 2010 at 7:40 AM by bsevo, version 9