Enhancing Code Consistency with EditorConfig

Enhancing Code Consistency with EditorConfig


Maintaining consistency in code style and conventions across large teams and diverse projects is a significant challenge. This is where an EditorConfig file becomes an indispensable tool in a developer’s arsenal.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to add an EditorConfig file to a Visual Studio 2022 solution and the benefits it brings to your coding environment.

What is EditorConfig?

EditorConfig is an open-source file format designed for maintaining consistent coding styles across various editors and IDEs. It helps developers define and maintain consistent coding styles between different editors and IDEs. The key advantage of EditorConfig is its simplicity and ease of use, coupled with its support across various development environments, including Visual Studio 2022.

Below is an example of a basic .editorconfig file tailored for a C# project. This configuration sets some common coding style preferences, like indentation, charset, and the use of var in declarations.

# Top-most EditorConfig file
root = true

# C# files
indent_style = space        # Use spaces for indentation
indent_size = 4             # Set the size of the indentation to 4 spaces
charset = utf-8             # File character encoding set to UTF-8
trim_trailing_whitespace = true  # Remove trailing white spaces
insert_final_newline = true # Ensure file ends with a newline
dotnet_style_require_accessibility_modifiers = for_non_interface_members # Accessibility modifiers required for non-interface members
csharp_style_var_for_built_in_types = false   # Avoid 'var' for built-in types
csharp_style_var_when_type_is_apparent = true # Use 'var' when the type is apparent
csharp_style_var_elsewhere = false            # Don't use 'var' elsewhere
csharp_new_line_before_open_brace = all       # New line before open braces
csharp_new_line_before_else = true            # New line before 'else'
csharp_new_line_before_catch = true           # New line before 'catch'
csharp_new_line_before_finally = true         # New line before 'finally'
csharp_new_line_before_members_in_object_initializers = true # New line before members in object initializers
csharp_new_line_before_members_in_anonymous_types = true     # New line before members in anonymous types
csharp_new_line_between_query_expression_clauses = true      # New line between query expression clauses

This file defines rules for C# source files only. It sets the coding style to use spaces for indentation, a size of 4 spaces for each indentation level, and UTF-8 charset. It also includes some C# specific styles like the use of var for variable declarations and styling rules for new lines in various scenarios.

You can extend and customise this file according to your team’s coding standards and preferences. EditorConfig supports a wide range of properties that can be tailored to match your specific requirements.

Benefits of Using EditorConfig in Visual Studio 2022

  1. Consistent Coding Styles: Ensures that everyone in the team adheres to the same coding conventions, regardless of their preferred editor or IDE.
  2. Easy Integration: Seamlessly integrates with Visual Studio 2022 without the need for additional plugins or software.
  3. Customisable Rules: Allows for the definition of various coding styles and rules that suit your project’s needs.
  4. Time Saving: Reduces the time spent on code reviews and correcting style inconsistencies.

Adding EditorConfig to Your Visual Studio 2022 Solution

  1. Create the EditorConfig File:
    • Right-click on your solution in the Solution Explorer.
    • Select ‘Add’ and then choose ‘New Item’.
    • In the search box, type “EditorConfig” and select ‘EditorConfig File’ from the list.
    • Name the file (typically .editorconfig) and click ‘Add’.
  2. Configure Your Coding Styles and Conventions:
    • The EditorConfig file will open in the editor. Here, you can define the coding styles and rules.
    • Example rules include indent style (tabs or spaces), indent size, line endings, charset, and more.
    • For a comprehensive list of properties you can set, visit the EditorConfig documentation.
  3. Apply EditorConfig Settings Across the Team:
    • Once your .editorconfig file is set up, commit it to your version control system.
    • This ensures that anyone who checks out the codebase will have the same coding styles applied automatically in Visual Studio 2022.

Tips for Effective EditorConfig Files

  • Start with a Basic Set of Rules: Begin with a few essential rules and gradually expand as needed.
  • Comment Your Rules: Explain why certain rules are in place, especially if they’re unique to your project.
  • Review and Update Regularly: As your project evolves, so should your EditorConfig file to accommodate new practices or languages.


Integrating an EditorConfig file into your Visual Studio 2022 solution is a straightforward yet powerful way to ensure coding consistency across your team.

By defining clear coding standards and automating their enforcement, you not only enhance code quality but also facilitate smoother collaboration among team members.

Embrace them in your next project and experience the difference in your coding workflow!

P.S. There are loads of great editorconfig files available on GitHub where others have laid the groundwork for you. Have a look at those for ideas and / or use and edit them over time to make them your own.



Hi, my name is Stephen Finchett. I have been a software engineer for over 30 years and worked on complex, business critical, multi-user systems for all of my career. For the last 15 years, I have been concentrating on web based solutions using the Microsoft Stack including ASP.Net, C#, TypeScript, SQL Server and running everything at scale within Kubernetes.