Have you ever thought of a feature that you wished was included as part of the PowerGUI Script Editor? When thinking about features you would like to see, did you realize that you can create many features yourself and share them with others? The rich Add-on SDK that is included in the PowerGUI Script Editor allows you to do just that. This SDK allows you to customize the Script Editor to your hearts content, adding, modifying or removing menus, submenus, menu items, toolbar, toolbar buttons, editor commands, or dockable windows. It also allows you to work directly with the contents of documents that are open in the editor, or use events to control editor behaviour.
Today Add-on creation with the PowerGUI Script Editor SDK just got even easier. I just published version 2.0 of the Authoring Toolkit Add-on on PowerGUI.org. This Add-on adds a File | New | Add-on… menu item as well as a toolbar button to facilitate the creation of the Add-on itself, just like it did before. What it also includes now though is a set of 49 snippets that facilitate working with the Script Editor SDK. Want to create a new menu item? There’s a snippet for that. How about a toolbar button? Or a dockable window? There are snippets for those too. There are even snippets for adding invoking and invoked events to commands included in the editor, allowing you to override or extend the behaviour of commands that are included in the Script Editor by default. Some of these snippets were previously published as a separate download that you had to manually install on your system. In the new 2.0 release, there are about 50% more snippets than in the past, the existing snippets have been updated to support new features added to PowerGUI 2.4, and these snippets are automatically installed with the Authoring Toolkit Add-on so that you can get started with your own Add-ons much more quickly.
To experiment with Add-on creation, all you need to do is follow four easy steps:
1. Open the PowerGUI Script Editor and select Tools | Find Add-ons Online… in the menu.
2. In the dialog that appears, enter “Authoring Toolkit” into the text box and click on the Search button.
3. Once the Authoring Toolkit Add-on shows up in the results, click on the Add-on to select it and then click on the Install button to install the Add-on.
4. Wait a moment while the Add-on downloads, unblocks, installs and loads in the Script Editor. Now select File | New | Add-on… to start creating an Add-on and then with your Add-on psm1 file open, select Edit | Insert Snippet… to start inserting Add-on snippets in your Add-on.
Once you have the Authoring Toolkit Add-on installed, I recommend watching the “Create an Add-on in 10 Minutes” screencast to see how you can create your own Add-on. Fast forward the parts that show you how to set-up the Add-on and the snippets because you just did that, and watch the rest of the demo showing how you can create your own Add-on in only 10 minutes.
At this point you should be pretty much ready to get started with your first Add-on, but extra documentation never hurts. If you would like to read more about Add-on creation, I recommend the Add-on SDK documentation and the Building Your First PowerGUI Script Editor Add-on tutorial. Both of these resources may come in handy as you experiment with the Add-on SDK.
Thanks for listening, and if you have any feedback or suggestions that you would like to share, or questions you would like to ask about Add-on creation or anything else PowerShell or PowerGUI related, I’m always listening.