Configuring Visual Studio Code for using with Manim

Published on March 18, 2022 · Updated on September 30, 2022Configuring Visual Studio Code for using with Manim image

Installing Manim

Follow the instruction in the Installation Page on the official documentation. After installing Manim get back here for configuring the virtual environment. In my case, I use Windows; I used chocolatey to install Manim (choco install manimce).

Configuring the Virtual Environment

  1. Open a Terminal (say cmd on Windows) on the project directory. The project directory can be anywhere including a folder on your desktop. For me it’s C:\dev\manim-project. I opened a PowerShell window by doing Shift+Right Click and then clicked on Open PowerShell window here. (On windows 11 you would need to click Show more options)

    powershell screen C:\dev\manim-project
  2. Create a new virtual environment

    python -m venv .venv
  3. Activate the Virtual Environment.

    1. On Windows: .venv\Scripts\activate (should work on cmd, also)
    2. On macOS/Linux/WSL: source .venv/bin/activate (this will include Git Bash users on Windows also). powershell screen create venv


On powershell, you may see an error like below when activating the virtual environment.

In which case, you can run the command

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope CurrentUser

Also doing so could introduce security issues, have a look at the docs before running this command.

  1. Install Manim using pip:

    python -m pip install manim
    powershell pip install manim

If you followed the steps correctly you should see the version of manim when running manim --version in that terminal. Just don’t close the terminal yet, that will be used in the next steps.

Initializing a Manim project

To initialize a manim project run:

manim init project <project-name>

where <project-name> should be replaced by the directory where you need to create a project (introduced in manim v0.16.0). Manim asks for some questions and creates the project accordingly with configuration files.

powershell manim init

This should create 2 files and manim.cfg inside the <project-name> folder.

file explorer manim init output

manim.cfg contains the configuration files necessary for Manim. They can be overridden by command line flags. See the documentation for a tutorial on using them.

You would need to cd into <project-name> directory before continuing next steps.

cd <project-name>

Configuring Visual Studio Code

  1. Open VSCode. Typing code . in the same terminal should do the trick.

  2. Click “Yes” in the dialog box. (This is needed so that other extensions work correctly) code manim workspace confirmation

  3. Install the following extensions.

  4. Select the Python interpreter by clicking F1 and searching for Python: Select Interpreter. Select the virtual environment previously created. vscode select python interpreter manim

  5. If everything is configured correctly pressing Ctrl + Click should get to the corresponding definition of that class. Also, there would be no yellow swiggly lines. vscode manim show definition hover

  6. If you want to use Jupyter for working with Manim, then open the same terminal and run

    python -m pip install manim[jupyterlab]
  7. You can open a terminal in VSCode Ctrl + ` and run manim commands there.

Hope this helps you in configuring Visual Studio Code to work with Manim. If you have an error, or found something to difficult to understand, jump over to #help-form on Manim’s Discord server.