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Supercharged Windows Scripting Editors

Blow away Notepad with one of these products

In "Just Say No to Notepad," September 2004, InstantDoc ID 43573, I reviewed four popular editors that administrators use to develop scripts for Windows. Soon after, many readers wrote to ask why I hadn't included their favorite scripting editor. So, in this month's Top 10, I point you to the 10 best scripting editors for Windows. This compilation includes not just my favorites, but also the editors most popular with readers.

10. Notepad++—Available at, the free, open source Notepad++ has a small footprint and customizable GUI. Although developed primarily for program editing, it's fully capable of editing scripts and provides syntax highlighting for VBScript and Perl.

9. Microsoft Script Editor—Included with Microsoft Office 2003 and Office XP, Microsoft Script Editor is intended for use primarily with the HTML files that Office produces, but it can also edit standalone scripts. It provides syntax highlighting for HTML, VBScript, and JScript and supports debugging. To open the editor, from an Office application click Tools, Macro, Microsoft Script Editor.

8. Admin Script Editor (ASE)— iTripoli's ASE is optimized for Windows administrative scripting. In addition to providing support for VBScript and .bat files, it supports some Windows script languages that most other editors don't, such as KixTart and AutoIt. ASE includes an IntelliSense option and a WMI Code Wizard and supports code folding. It costs $99 and is available at

7. OnScript—Targeted expressly at Windows script writers, XLNow's OnScript provides syntax highlighting for VBScript, JScript, and other popular script types, including .bat, .cmd, .hta, and Perl files. This product also provides statement completion and debugging support. Available at, OnScript costs $75 and has an unusual licensing scheme that lets you to run it on your desktop, notebook, and home systems.

6. Adersoft VbsEdit—Specialized for VBScript, Adersoft VbsEdit provides syntax highlighting for VBScript files. It also provides VBScript debugging and IntelliSense support for COM objects. VbsEdit is priced at $30; you can download a copy of it from

5. EditPad Pro—A highly configurable editor that's oriented toward programming, JGsoft's EditPad Pro is also a capable scripting and text editor. EditPad Pro uses a tabbed editor interface and provides syntax highlighting for most programming languages. (VBScript syntax highlighting is available as a custom syntax download.) EditPad Pro costs $39.95; you can download it (and a freeware version called EditPad Lite) at

4. EditPlus—ES-Computing's capable EditPlus targets Web developers more than administrators and has a built-in Web browser. The product uses a tabbed interface and provides syntax highlighting for JavaScript and VBScript. Priced at $30, EditPlus is available at

3. UltraEdit-32—Many readers recommended IDM Computer Solutions' UltraEdit-32, a powerful, full-featured programming editor that supports syntax highlighting, code folding, and column- and block-mode editing. Syntax highlighting for VBScript is available as a downloadable wordfile. UltraEdit costs $39.95 and can be downloaded from

2. TextPad—Helios Software Solutions' TextPad provides a lot a scripting power for just $31. This full-featured product has a tabbed editing window and supports block- and column-mode editing and line numbering. A template is available that adds color coding for VBScript. You can download TextPad at

1. PrimalScript—SAPIEN Technologies' PrimalScript ( is a good example of the maxim that you get what you pay for. At $179, it's not free or even cheap, but its multitude of scripting tools will easily convince serious script writers that it's worth the price. In addition to IntelliSense and debugging support, PrimalScript offers line numbering and code highlighting for all major scripting languages.

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