Missing Left icons means I can't change editor settings

In VS Code, there are icons running down the left side of the editor. In Cursor, there are none.
That means lost functionality. For example, there seems to be no access to Settings, as in the settings I use in VS Code for extensions and general functionality. It also means I can’t even debug.

I don’t know the vocubulary to describe these buttons, but they are missing.

[Not an official reply]

It sounds like you’re talking about the Activity Bar, which in VS Code you can toggle on and off from View > Appearance > Activity Bar?

In the Cursor IDE you don’t need to because those icons are always there, at least for me. You might find them in a slightly different position, horizontally rather than vertically. Check out the top left corner of the window, first item in the view:

Does that help?

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If you prefer the vertical activity bar, you can go to settings, set ‘workbench.activityBar.orientation’ to ‘vertical’, and restart Cursor. Then, you’ll see the vertical activity bar that you’re used to from VSC.

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Ok, but since Settings wasn’t available, that was tricky.
I went back to VS-Code and noticed that the shortcut for Settings is Ctrl+,
Using that keystroke, I was able to set the activity bar to vertical.

But, notice that the original design was faulty because you removed access to the Settings feature completely, and the workaround is to use Settings. It seems funny to hide the Settings feature and then use the same icon and name for a different feature.

I recommend a design change:
While it does save real estate to make the activity bar horizontal, it hides the Editor and Extension settings feature. Somehow make these settings available through the Settings icon at the top of the screen. If there had been a button called “Editor and Extension Settings” inside your own settings, i would have been fine. However, I do prefer the vertical layout because I can more quickly access everything that way.

Makes sense. And making the VSC settings available through Cursor’s settings icon is a good idea. We’ll consider it.

Not sure why Cursor has changed the default of VSCode here. I was getting frustrated with the Horizontal activity Bar of Cursor as I was mostly used to vertical one of vscode. Only now I realised that it’s just a setting. It was same for few other colleagues of mine until I saw this. Is there any particular reason to switch to Horizontal as the default?

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You replied to me directly saying I removed it - I didn’t! I don’t work for Cursor :slight_smile:

But do you not have a File menu visible? File > Preferences ought to get you access to all the settings you need, no keyboard shortcut hacks required.

Speaking personally I can’t answer the ‘why’, I’m just an end user. But I can see the rationale, in that it saves valuable screen width; I prefer it that way now.

More generally though, if you’re a heavy VS Code user but you’re not familiar with how much of it is settings controlled, it’s worth taking some quality time to explore. You’ll find almost everything is a setting, it’s extremely configurable!

Valid point, I am a heavy VS Code user and I wasn’t aware of this :slight_smile:

Looking at release notes, I only can see that this feature is mentioned in last month’s VS Code Release. (maybe it was there as a setting even before, even-though there was no any UI menu to do that)

Change of Activity Bar placement was frustrating for me after switching to Cursor.
By default it showed only four activities for me in Horizontal mode, I could pin a few others but not all. I had to click show all button quite frequently in Horizontal mode to find the activity I want to switch to.

IMHO, if it’s the extra width gain that the team is targeting by doing this, its not worth changing the default experience of such a critical UI element.

Me and a few others in my team started using Cursor a couple of weeks back and we love the experience Cursor provides.
I started using and developing extensions for VS Code since 2016 and never changed the IDE until now. Same goes for my other team mates.
But some how we missed the fact that this is changeable via a setting and I guess it can be same for most of others.

Just wanted to provide feedback to the team and cheers to the amazing work you have done with Cursor!


I toggled workbench.activityBar.orientation before but I didn’t realize it was the correct setting because the layout didn’t change until I reloaded the window.

This was literally going to be a deal breaker for me because it is so much more difficult to click those small tabs on my mac. Especially since if I overshoot the window title bar covers the tabs in fullscreen and there is no way that I can see to turn that off.