A brief introduction to what I consider to be the best editor for PowerShell.
I have been managing Windows Server and Exchange using PowerShell for years, but it wasn't until recently that I started using the built-in ISE during day to day PowerShell use. I like the flexibility to copy/paste as I normally would with any other Windows application, and the option to run selected sections of the script pane has proven to be a huge time saver. Naturally after officially switching to ISE, I began playing with some of the customization features...one of which lead me to the add-on PowerShell website:
I began reading through the list of add-ons and even tried a few that sounded helpful. I made it about half way down the list and wasn't just blown away by anything I had seen up to that point. I ended up reverting to the default ISE config before getting back to work. A few days later I decided to give the last half of the add-on list a day in court, and that is when I discovered ISE Steroids. The name was the first thing that caught my eye, and after using the add-on for several weeks now I can attest that it is an accurate description.
A little more about me, I have one C++ class in college as a foundation, and with that I have taught myself PowerShell scripting on an as needed basis. I would classify myself as an advanced beginner. My rookie year is under my belt, and I've graduated to a sophomore. Think The Karate Kid just after defeating Johnny in the All Valley Karate Tournament. I've had a few big wins, but there's still four installments left in the movie franchise. If I'm Daniel LaRusso, ISE Steroids is my Mr. Miyagi providing wisdom and guidance on the path to Powershell enlightenment.
After using strictly one-liners for years, I've picked up many bad habits, and one of my goals is to make my scripts more readable and polished. Here's an example:
Here you can see ISE Steroids showing me the error of my ways by underlining the deviations from best practice with a blue squiggle line (wax on!) and offering an automatic fix with the yellow light bulb on the left. After clicking the light bulb, the fix is applied, and the code instantly looks more professional:
The alias was automatically replaced by it's associated cmdlet, and the unnecessary double quotes were replaced by single quotes.
Another extremely useful feature beginners will appreciate is the Context Sensitive Help Add-On. This feature displays context sensitive help information on the fly. Just by clicking on a test variable I created, the following information is shown automatically (wax off!):
Let's talk about my new friend Snippets. Snippets are a native feature of the ISE, and they are a great way to remember syntax. For instance, I've started to build a nice PowerShell profile through the use of functions with parameters that tab complete, but I can never remember the exact structure of a function. Enter Snippets. Simply press Control+J and a list of common PowerShell templates is displayed including functions:
ISE Steroids allows you to create and edit your own custom Snippets:
And these are but a few of the helpful features of ISE Steroids, and it doesn’t even scratch the surface of the more advanced functions. For a complete list you can visit the ISE Steroids homepage at:
That’s all for now. Until next time, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.