Editor panel


The Front Matter panel allows you to perform most of the extension actions by just a click on the button, and it shows the SEO statuses of your title, description, and more.

Info: Initially, this panel was created to add tags and categories easily to your articles, as currently, VS Code multi-select is not optimal to use when having a lot of tags/categories.

To leverage most of the capabilities of the extension. SEO information and everyday actions like slug optimization, updating the date, and publish/drafting the article.

Using the panel

Once you installed the extension, you will notice a Front Matter icon on the activity bar (by default on the left side). Clicking this icon will open the Front Matter panel.

Activity bar action

Global settings

In this section of the panel, you can modify a couple of the useful settings to have close to hand.

Global settings

Info: The global settings section will also be shown when you have the panel open on other types of files.

Local server command: If you already defined your framework or SSG via the frontMatter.framework.id setting, we provide a default start command for you. You can override this by providing your own start command.

SEO status

Search Engine Optimization or simply SEO is very important to any site. The extension shows you more information about how well your article is written.

Supports the following:

  • Title and description length validation
  • Article length recommendation
  • Keyword validation on title, description, slug, and content
  • More content details



In case you want to change the SEO settings, you can use the following settings:

  • frontMatter.taxonomy.seoSlugLength: Specifies the optimal title length for SEO (set to -1 to turn it off).
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.seoTitleLength: Specifies the optimal title length for SEO (set to -1 to turn it off).
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.seoDescriptionLength: Specifies the optimal description length for SEO (set to -1 to turn it off).
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.seoContentLengh: Specifies the optimal minimum length for your articles. Between 1,760 words – 2,400 is the absolute ideal article length for SEO in 2021. (set to -1 to turn it off).
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.seoDescriptionField: Specifies the name of the SEO description field for your page. Default is 'description'.

To discover your internal links, you can specify your base URL with the frontMatter.site.baseURL setting.


When writing articles, there are always a couple of actions you need/want to perform. In this section, we provide you the most used/requested actions like:

  • Optimizing the slug
  • Setting the publishing date
  • Setting the modified date
  • Publish or revert to draft


Important: You are able to add your own actions, more information about this you can read in our custom actions section.

Info: In version 3.2.0 a couple of actions were moved to the metadata section like changing the draft state and date time properties.


The following settings are related to these actions:

  • frontMatter.preview.host: Specify the host URL (example: http://localhost:1313) to be used when opening the preview.
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.slugPrefix: Specify a prefix for the slug.
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.slugSuffix: Specify a suffix for the slug.
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.alignFilename: Align the filename with the new slug when it gets generated.


In the metadata section, you can manage the front matter of your Markdown file. This section is fully customizable to your needs with our content type support.

Metadata section

Info: More information about content creation/content types/fields can be read at content creation section.

The tags and categories inputs allow you to insert known and unknown tags/categories. When an unknown tag/category gets added, it will show a + sign that allows you to add it to your configuration so that it will appear in the known tags/categories next time.

Content type actions

When Front Matter notices a difference between your content and the content type defined, it will show you a list of actions.

Content type actions

  • Create content type: This will generate a new content type based on the fields in your front matter.
  • Update missing fields: Adds the fields that are missing in your content type.
  • Set content type: Allows you to set a content type (which you already defined) for your content.


  • frontMatter.panel.freeform: Specifies if you want to allow yourself from entering unknown tags/categories in the tag picker (when enabled, you will have the option to store them afterwards). Default: true.
  • frontMatter.taxonomy.frontMatterType: Specify which Front Matter language you want to use. The extension supports YAML (default), TOML, and JSON. ## Recently modified

Navigate quickly to a recently modified file. In the recently modified section, the latest 10 modified files get shown.

Recently modified

Important: In order to use this functionality, a registered content folder needs to be present. More information in our getting started section.

Info: The recently modified section will also be shown when you have the panel open on other types of files.

Other actions

This section provides a couple of other useful actions, like opening the current project in your explorer/finder.

Other actions

Info: The writing settings enabled / enable write settings action allows you to make Markdown specific changes to optimize the writing of your articles. It will change settings like the fontSize, lineHeight, wordWrap, lineNumbers and more.

Info: The other actions section will also be shown when you have the panel open on other types of files.

View modes

By default, Front Matter will show all its potential and functionalities to the end-user. As you do not always require all functionality, Front Matter allows you to create view modes.

You can define what functionality you want to show and use in a view mode.

The creation of a view mode can be done in the frontMatter.global.modes setting and the by default activated mode, can be set in the frontMatter.global.activeMode setting.

You define a mode with an id and a set of features. The allowed features are the following:


  • panel.globalSettings: Show the global settings section.
  • panel.seo: Show the SEO status section.
  • panel.actions: Show the actions section.
  • panel.metadata: Show the metadata section.
  • panel.contentType: Show the content type create, update, and set actions underneath the metadata panel section.
  • panel.recentlyModified: Show the recently modified files section.
  • panel.otherActions: Show the other actions section.


  • dashboard.snippets.view: Show the snippets dashboard.
  • dashboard.snippets.manage: Show the snippets management actions.
  • dashboard.data.view: Show the data dashboard.
  • dashboard.taxonomy.view: Show the taxonomy dashboard.

Here is an example of a custom view mode:

Once you created a new view mode, you can change between the default and custom ones. You find the mode switch in the panel:

Switch view mode

Or in the status bar:

Status bar mode switch


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