Pylance Documentation and Feedback

This repository is for providing feedback and documentation on the Pylance language server extension in Visual Studio Code. You can use the repository to report issues or submit feature requests. The Pylance codebase is not open-source but you can contribute to Pyright to make improvements to the core typing engine that powers the Pylance experience.

Pylance is the default language support for Python in Visual Studio Code and is shipped as part of that extension as an optional dependency.

Quick Start

  1. Install the Python extension from the marketplace. Pylance will be installed as an optional extension.
  2. Open a Python (.py) file and the Pylance extension will activate.

Note: If you've previously set a language server and want to try Pylance, make sure you've set "python.languageServer": "Default" or "Pylance" in your settings.json file using the text editor, or using the Settings Editor UI.


Pylance provides some awesome features for Python 3, including:

  • Docstrings
  • Signature help, with type information
  • Parameter suggestions
  • Code completion
  • Auto-imports (as well as add and remove import code actions)
  • As-you-type reporting of code errors and warnings (diagnostics)
  • Code outline
  • Code navigation
  • Type checking mode
  • Native multi-root workspace support
  • IntelliCode compatibility
  • Jupyter Notebooks compatibility
  • Semantic highlighting

See the changelog for the latest release.

Settings and Customization

Pylance provides users with the ability to customize their Python language support via a host of settings which can either be placed in the settings.json file in your workspace, or edited through the Settings Editor UI.


  • Used to specify the level of type checking analysis performed.
  • Default: off
  • Available values:
    • off: No type checking analysis is conducted; unresolved imports/variables diagnostics are produced
    • basic: Non-type checking-related rules (all rules in off) + basic type checking rules
    • strict: All type checking rules at the highest severity of error (includes all rules in off and basic categories)


  • Used to allow a user to specify what files they want the language server to analyze to get problems flagged in their code.
  • Available values:
    • workspace
    • openFilesOnly (default)


  • Paths of directories or files that should be included. If no paths are specified, Pylance defaults to the directory that contains workspace root. Paths may contain wildcard characters ** (a directory or multiple levels of directories), * (a sequence of zero or more characters), or ? (a single character).
  • Default value: empty array


  • Paths of directories or files that should not be included. These override the include directories, allowing specific subdirectories to be excluded. Note that files in the exclude paths may still be included in the analysis if they are referenced (imported) by source files that are not excluded. Paths may contain wildcard characters ** (a directory or multiple levels of directories), * (a sequence of zero or more characters), or ? (a single character). If no exclude paths are specified, Pylance automatically excludes the following: **/node_modules, **/__pycache__, .git and any virtual environment directories.
  • Default value: empty array


  • Paths of directories or files whose diagnostic output (errors and warnings) should be suppressed even if they are an included file or within the transitive closure of an included file. Paths may contain wildcard characters ** (a directory or multiple levels of directories), * (a sequence of zero or more characters), or ? (a single character).
  • Default value: empty array


  • Used to allow a user to specify a path to a directory that contains custom type stubs. Each package's type stub file(s) are expected to be in its own subdirectory.
  • Default value: ./typings


  • Used to automatically add search paths based on some predefined names (like src).
  • Available values:
    • true (default)
    • false


  • Used to specify extra search paths for import resolution. This replaces the old python.autoComplete.extraPaths setting.
  • Default value: empty array


Used to allow a user to override the severity levels for individual diagnostics should they desire.

Accepted severity values:

  • error (red squiggle)
  • warning (yellow squiggle)
  • information (blue squiggle)
  • none (disables the rule)

Available rule to use as keys can be found here


    "python.analysis.diagnosticSeverityOverrides": {
        "reportUnboundVariable": "information",
        "reportImplicitStringConcatenation": "warning"


  • Used to parse the source code for a package when a typestub is not found.
  • Accepted values:
    • true (default)
    • false


  • Used to specify whether Pylance should index installed third party libraries and user files to provide features such as auto-import, add import, workspace symbols, etc.
  • Accepted values:
    • true (default)
    • false


  • Maximum number of user files to index in the workspace. Indexing files is a performance-intensive task. Please use this setting to limit the number of files you want us to index. If you enter -1, we will index all files.
  • Default value: 2000


Used to override how many levels under installed packages to index on a per package basis. By default, only top-level modules are indexed (depth = 1). To index submodules, increase depth by 1 for each level of submodule you want to index.

Accepted values:

If include all symbols is set to false, only symbols in each package's __all__ are included. When it's set to true, Pylance will index every module/top level symbol declarations in the file.


    { "name": "sklearn", "depth": 2, "includeAllSymbols": true },
    { "name": "matplotlib", "depth": 3, "includeAllSymbols": false }
    "name": "package name (str)",
    "depth": "depth to scan (int)",
    "includeAllSymbols": "whether to include all symbols (bool)"


  • Used to control the offering of auto-imports in completions. This will impact number of items shown in the completion and performance.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)


  • Used to control the offering of user symbols in auto-import completions. This will impact number of items shown in the completion and performance.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)


  • Defines the default format for import module.
  • Accepted values:
    • absolute (default)
    • relative


  • Add parentheses to function completions.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)


  • Enable/disable inlay hints for variable types.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)


  • Enable/disable inlay hints for function return types.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)


  • Enable/disable inlay hints for call argument names.
  • Accepted values:
    • off (default)
    • partial
    • all


  • Enable/disable inlay hints for pytest function parameters.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)
def my_fixture() -> str:
    return "foo"

def test_foo(my_fixture):...
  • becomes
def my_fixture() -> str:
    return "foo"

def test_foo(my_fixture: str):...


  • The set of code actions to run when running the Fix All command.
  • Accepted values:
    • source.unusedImports
    • source.convertImportFormat


  • Enable pytest goto def and inlay hint support for fixtures.
  • Accepted values:
    • true (default)
    • false


  • When typing a { in a string, automatically puts an f on the front of the string.
  • Accepted values:
    • true
    • false (default)

Semantic highlighting

Visual Studio Code uses TextMate grammars as the main tokenization engine. TextMate grammars work on a single file as input and break it up based on lexical rules expressed in regular expressions.

Semantic tokenization allows language servers to provide additional token information based on the language server's knowledge on how to resolve symbols in the context of a project. Themes can opt-in to use semantic tokens to improve and refine the syntax highlighting from grammars. The editor applies the highlighting from semantic tokens on top of the highlighting from grammars.

Here's an example of what semantic highlighting can add:

Without semantic highlighting:

semantic highlighting disabled

With semantic highlighting:

semantic highlighting enabled

Semantic colors can be customized in settings.json by associating the Pylance semantic token types and modifiers with the desired colors.

Semantic token types

  • class, enum
  • parameter, variable, property, enumMember
  • function, member
  • module
  • intrinsic
  • magicFunction (dunder methods)
  • selfParameter, clsParameter

Semantic token modifiers

  • declaration
  • readonly, static, abstract
  • async
  • typeHint, typeHintComment
  • decorator
  • builtin

The scope inspector tool allows you to explore what semantic tokens are present in a source file and what theme rules they match to.

Example of customizing semantic colors in settings.json:

    "editor.semanticTokenColorCustomizations": {
        "[One Dark Pro]": {
            // Apply to this theme only
            "enabled": true,
            "rules": {
                "magicFunction:python": "#ee0000",
                "function.declaration:python": "#990000",
                "*.decorator:python": "#0000dd",
                "*.typeHint:python": "#5500aa",
                "*.typeHintComment:python": "#aaaaaa"

Source Code Actions


  • Remove all unused imports in a file


  • Convert import format according to python.analysis.importFormat.


  • Apply the commands listed in the python.analysis.fixall setting


Known issues are documented in TROUBLESHOOTING.


Pylance leverages Microsoft's open-source static type checking tool, Pyright, to provide performant language support for Python.

Code contributions are welcomed via the Pyright repo.

Pylance ships with a collection of type stubs for popular modules to provide fast and accurate auto-completions and type checking. Our type stubs are sourced from typeshed and our work-in-progress stub repository, microsoft/python-type-stubs. Type stubs in microsoft/python-type-stubs will be contributed back to typeshed or added inline to source packages once they are of high enough quality.

For information on getting started, refer to the CONTRIBUTING instructions.


  • File a bug in GitHub Issues
  • Tweet us with other feedback

Download Details:

Author: Microsoft

Official Github: 

License: MIT

#microsoft   #data   #data-analysis #data-science 

Pylance Documentation and Feedback
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