PowerShell Editors

​One of the things to consider when working with PowerShell is what editor do you want to use?

Since I spend a fair amount of time in a script editor on a day to day basis, I have definitely found some things that I prefer.  Here are a few things that I really want in any script editor:

  • Color coding (this is a requirement, but really, any script editor includes this).
  • Auto-complete – this is when it will auto complete something you are typing with the correct information.  Usually using a tab or some other method, it will finish the code properly.
  • Quick and easy commenting – I often play around with different things in my scripts. This means that I may want to quickly select a number of lines and comment them out for testing purposes.
  • Open the editor and have the last scripts I was working on open automatically.  This is really just a convenience for me as I often return to the same scripts and want to keep editing them between sessions.
  • Auto signing of scripts.  I feel it is important to have all of my scripts signed automatically when I save them.  This gives me the ability to make sure that scripts aren’t modified by someone else before running them.  I am in and out of various scripts all the time and don’t want to have to think about the signing process.

These are just a few of the things that are important to me when it comes to an editor.  I have tried out a number of editors over the years.  My primary one has been PrimalScript 2011 by Sapien Technologies.  I have really loved using it, but upgrading to the latest version is very expensive. 

I am now starting to play with PowerShell ISE (which comes free from MS and is “in the box”).  Unfortunately, it doesn’t do everything on my must have list for script editors.  This has started me on a quest to see if I can get it to do everything I need.  The nice thing about PowerShell ISE is that it allows you to have Add-Ins to fill missing gaps.  One of the first Add-Ins I am using allows multi-line comment and uncomment and the ability to save state and exit. 


Another piece of the puzzle for me is signing the scripts automatically.  It isn’t quite the built-in ability that I like with PrimalScript, but I think it will do the job for me.