VS Code Tip Of The Day - Selectively Adding Files To A Git Commit

Posted on Sat 03 April 2021 in Posts

Small tip: sometimes when working on something I find myself making changes to many files. I then only want to include a few of those files in my next Git commit. To date I've always just manually done a git add <file> in the terminal for each file I want to add, but this is tedious if there's many of them.

Turns out there's an easy way to do this in VS Code. If you go to the Source Control item on the left nav (the icon that looks like a branch), you’ll see a list of all untracked and modified files. For example:

Showing Modified Files in the Source Control View

In this screenshot you can see I have a number of files that have been modified (the ones with the "M" beside them) and two new (untracked) files (the ones with the "U" beside them).

If you want to see what's changed in any of the modified files, clicking the item will bring up a diff window. If you then want to include (or "stage") this file for the next commit, right-click it and pick "Stage Changes":

Selecting Stage Changes

Repeat for each file you want to include, and then do a git commit to complete the commit. Alternatively if you're anti-terminal you can click the checkmark on this same view to complete the commit.