Script Tips

Yearly Checkup

With a solid year of scripting tips, how about I show you three ways to improve your scripting prowess?

This column has been running for about a year now, I thought it’d be fun to run through some free and useful tools that can make scripting easier.

First, Microsoft’s own Scripting Guys have a plethora of free tools at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/createit.mspx, including the WMI Scriptomatic, the ADSI Scriptomatic, the registry-hacking Tweakomatic, a Portable Script Center (full of samples), and an HTA Helpomatic to get you started on creating HTAs. All of these tools are built as HTAs, meaning you can tweak and modify them to your heart’s content.

Speaking of "full of samples," I’ve launched a free ScriptVault tool at www.ScriptingAnswers.com. It requires no installation and no registration and provides access to over 200 community-submitted administrative scripts, plus the ability to submit your own creations.

And you can’t do without a script editor. While commercial editors offer a bevy of desirable features, the totally free Programmer’s File Editor provides line numbering, multilevel undo, automatic indenting, and other useful, basic features. Crimson Editor is also a great free editor with basic features, and it can be set up to provide syntax coloring for VBScript.

With the right tool, scripting can be faster, more efficient, and even — dare I say it? — fun, so start by downloading these freebies and seeing how they can help your next script come together more quickly.

About the Author

Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is an Author/Evangelist for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of PowerShell.org, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ConcentratedDon.

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