Note status: :herb:

In Brief

How to change the color of all those squiggly lines under all those mispelled words.

There are a number of spellchecking extensions available for VS Code. I realized recently that I’d disabled the spellcheck I installed because of how distracting I found VS Code’s default squiggly lines.

So I set about making them less intrusive, but still easily perceptible.

Step 1: Check the Notification Class

Step 1 is to check the settings of whatever spell check extension you use to learn the notification class it applies.

I use Bartosz Antosik’s Spell Right, which works offline and allows for multiple languages. You can find the right setting by clicking on the “settings” gear icon, then searching for “Notification Class.”

Default with distracting color
Default spellcheck line color, which I find distracting.

I knew I was on the right track when I set the notification class to “warning” rather than “error” and saw the color of the squiggly lines change. But I didn’t love that color.

I liked the default “hint” option better, but suspected that I wouldn’t notice the indicators reliably.

Hint otion with grey ellipses under first characters of an error instead of full underline
Hint option, which I don’t find readily perceptible.

Step 2: Indicate Your Preferred Color

Step 2 is to open your settings.json file, then add your preferred color’s hex code… and do so in the right place.

Squiggly underline in my preferred color
Here’s my preference, noticeable but not distracting in multiples.

You have to add "editorWarning.foreground": "#(your color hex here w/o parentheses)", in the “workbench.colorCustomizations” section. Not in the “editor.tokenColorCustomizations” section! (Which is the mistake that took me a while to find.)

Step 3: Determine Your Preferred Color

But what if you don’t love your theme’s default colors?

Step 3 is to learn that ColorHexa exists. You can use that site’s color blend tool to combine your theme’s colors into one that is perceptible, jibes with your aesthetics, but isn’t jarring. Then add that new, less jarring color to your "editorWarning.foreground" setting as mentioned above.

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  • :herb: = established note
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  • general web link = general web link

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