Tools of the Trade

Alex Angelopoulos (aka at mvps dot org)

Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the earth.

Golf is a game in which one endeavors to control a ball with implements ill adapted for the purpose.
- Woodrow Wilson

Text Editors

This is the primary tool of a scripter.

If you run into occasional problems with Windows spontaneously resetting your preferred editor for script documents, Jim Warrington wrote a very nice mini-solution: a script to change the default vbs/js/wsc/wsf editor.

Measures of a Scripting Text Editor

Deciding what "goodness" in a text editor means is difficult, even if we narrow it down to "a text editor used for assisting writing and viewing of VBScript code ".

The problem is not in finding metrics; the problem is in the variations in what different people find to be useful in a text editing tool.  All people have different strengths and weaknesses; thus, the needs of everyone will vary.  On top of that, relative use of a text editor for different roles is also a key factor which may influence this decision; in my case, I have a "preferred" text editor for VBScript but occasionally use another one for special tasks.

Line Numbering

Syntax Highlighting

Error Flagging

Integrated Execution/Capture

Tool Integration

Search and Replace


Comment Spellchecking


Special Build Assistance



PrimalScript comes first because it is the Cadillac of script editors - although perhaps "Cadillac" is the wrong concept- it isn't a baroque luxury tool, it's more of a well-outfitted Range Rover.






It's everywhere and it is indeed a text editor.  If you're going this low-tech though, I would recommend using "edit".  With edit, you can at least control tab stop size and window colors.

COM Browsers

Extension Tools

Visual Basic 5/6

Visual Studio.NET