How to Write and Run Scripts in the Windows PowerShell ISE

This article describes how to create, edit, run, and save scripts in the Script Pane.

How to create and run scripts

You can open and edit Windows PowerShell files in the Script Pane. Specific file types of interest in Windows PowerShell are script files (.ps1), script data files (.psd1), and script module files (.psm1). These file types are syntax colored in the Script Pane editor. Other common file types you may open in the Script Pane are configuration files (.ps1xml), XML files, and text files.

Note

The Windows PowerShell execution policy determines whether you can run scripts and load Windows PowerShell profiles and configuration files. The default execution policy, Restricted, prevents all scripts from running, and prevents loading profiles. To change the execution policy to allow profiles to load and be used, see Set-ExecutionPolicy and about_Signing.

To create a new script file

On the toolbar, click New, or on the File menu, click New. The created file appears in a new file tab under the current PowerShell tab. Remember that the PowerShell tabs are only visible when there are more than one. By default a file of type script (.ps1) is created, but it can be saved with a new name and extension. Multiple script files can be created in the same PowerShell tab.

To open an existing script

On the toolbar, click Open, or on the File menu, click Open. In the Open dialog box, select the file you want to open. The opened file appears in a new tab.

To close a script tab

Click the Close icon (X) of the file tab you want to close or select the File menu and click Close.

If the file has been altered since it was last saved, you're prompted to save or discard it.

To display the file path

On the file tab, point to the file name. The fully qualified path to the script file appears in a tooltip.

To run a script

On the toolbar, click Run Script, or on the File menu, click Run.

To run a portion of a script

  1. In the Script Pane, select a portion of a script.
  2. On the File menu, click Run Selection, or on the toolbar, click Run Selection.

To stop a running script

There are several ways to stop a running script.

  • Click Stop Operation on the toolbar
  • Press CTRL+BREAK
  • Select the File menu and click Stop Operation.

Pressing CTRL+C also works unless some text is currently selected, in which case CTRL+C maps to the copy function for the selected text.

How to write and edit text in the Script Pane

You can copy, cut, paste, find, and replace text in the Script Pane. You can also undo and redo the last action you just performed. The keyboard shortcuts for these actions are the same shortcuts used for all Windows applications.

To enter text in the Script Pane

  1. Move the cursor to the Script Pane by clicking anywhere in the Script Pane, or by clicking Go to Script Pane in the View menu.
  2. Create a script. Syntax coloring and tab completion provide a richer editing experience in Windows PowerShell ISE.
  3. See How to Use Tab Completion in the Script Pane and Console Pane for details about using the tab completion feature to help in typing.

To find text in the Script Pane

  1. To find text anywhere, press CTRL+F or, on the Edit menu, click Find in Script.
  2. To find text after the cursor, press F3 or, on the Edit menu, click Find Next in Script.
  3. To find text before the cursor, press SHIFT+F3 or, on the Edit menu, click Find Previous in Script.

To find and replace text in the Script Pane

Press CTRL+H or, on the Edit menu, click Replace in Script. Enter the text you want to find and the replacement text, then press ENTER.

To go to a particular line of text in the Script Pane

  1. In the Script Pane, press CTRL+G or, on the Edit menu, click Go to Line.

  2. Enter a line number.

To copy text in the Script Pane

  1. In the Script Pane, select the text that you want to copy.

  2. Press CTRL+C or, on the toolbar, click the Copy icon, or on the Edit menu, click Copy.

To cut text in the Script Pane

  1. In the Script Pane, select the text that you want to cut.
  2. Press CTRL+X or, on the toolbar, click the Cut icon, or on the Edit menu, click Cut.

To paste text into the Script Pane

Press CTRL+V or, on the toolbar, click the Paste icon, or on the Edit menu, click Paste.

To undo an action in the Script Pane

Press CTRL+Z or, on the toolbar, click the Undo icon, or on the Edit menu, click Undo.

To redo an action in the Script Pane

Press CTRL+Y or, on the toolbar, click the Redo icon, or on the Edit menu, click Redo.

How to save a script

An asterisk appears next to the script name to mark a file that hasn't been saved since it was changed. The asterisk disappears when the file is saved.

To save a script

Press CTRL+S or, on the toolbar, click the Save icon, or on the File menu, click Save.

To save and name a script

  1. On the File menu, click Save As. The Save As dialog box will appear.
  2. In the File name box, enter a name for the file.
  3. In the Save as type box, select a file type. For example, in the Save as type box, select 'PowerShell Scripts (*.ps1)'.
  4. Click Save.

To save a script in ASCII encoding

By default, Windows PowerShell ISE saves new script files (.ps1), script data files (.psd1), and script module files (.psm1) as Unicode (BigEndianUnicode) by default. To save a script in another encoding, such as ASCII (ANSI), use the Save or SaveAs methods on the $psISE.CurrentFile object.

The following command saves a new script as MyScript.ps1 with ASCII encoding.

$psISE.CurrentFile.SaveAs("MyScript.ps1", [System.Text.Encoding]::ASCII)

The following command replaces the current script file with a file with the same name, but with ASCII encoding.

$psISE.CurrentFile.Save([System.Text.Encoding]::ASCII)

The following command gets the encoding of the current file.

$psISE.CurrentFile.encoding

Windows PowerShell ISE supports the following encoding options: ASCII, BigEndianUnicode, Unicode, UTF32, UTF7, UTF8, and Default. The value of the Default option varies with the system.

Windows PowerShell ISE doesn't change the encoding of script files when you use the Save or Save As commands.

See Also