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How do I Choose the Best VBScript Editor?

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  • Written By: Page Coleman
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Scripting languages are lightweight and easy to learn computer programming languages. VBScript is a Microsoft® scripting language that is related to Visual Basic™ and Active Scripting, which was formerly known as ActiveX scripting. If a programmer chooses to use VBScript and is looking for a VBScript editor, the programmer should consider her scripting skill level, needs, and budget.

VBScript programs can be written using a simple, no-frills text editor, such as Windows Notepad. Nevertheless, many specialized editors offer features that can enhance productivity. These editors often are free or inexpensive, and it may be well worth the programmer’s time to evaluate VBScript editor options.

One popular feature is line numbering the code. If a script does generate an error message, the error message may reference a line number. This can help the programmer locate the lines of code that may be causing the error. An editor with debugging features can also make locating and correcting any coding errors easier.

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Syntax error notification can highlight typos as they happen, allowing the programmer to correct the typos immediately, and more easily generating error-free code. If the VBScript editor offers a syntax coloring feature, the different types of elements are displayed in different colors, making them easier to locate. Another helpful feature is autocomplete. This feature allows the programmer to easily select a full code element after just typing in the first few characters. Programmers who are working on more complex sites may appreciate an editor that allows them to open multiple files, enhancing the ability to move back and forth between files more easily.

There are other features that factor into choosing a VBScript editor. Novice VBScript programmers may appreciate integrated help files which allow for quick access to help when needed. Novice and experienced programmers may find a code snippets feature useful. Code snippets are bits of prepackaged code, and using snippets can speed development and reduce errors. Many programmers need to script in languages other than VBScript and in these situations, the programmer may wish to choose an editor that supports multiple scripting languages.

Though scripts by definition are translated at run time, a particular VBScript editor may have the ability to compile the code. This prevents savvy users from being able to view the code, and so it is more secure. The code cannot be stolen and if resources, such as databases, are called in the script, this information will not be viewable. In some situations, the programmer may find this feature valuable, and so will want a VBScript editor that offers it.

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