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Windows PowerShell Cookbook, 3rd Edition by Lee Holmes

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Chapter 19. Integrated Scripting Environment

Introduction

While text-mode PowerShell is great for its efficiency and automation, there’s not much to be said for its user interface. Most Windows key combinations don’t work. Text selection and editing don’t work. Rectangular text selection is strange, as is the lack of support for freely resizing the console window.

All of these are simple side effects of PowerShell.exe being a console application. These problems impact every console application in Windows and likely always will.

Aside from the user interface oddities, the fatal flaw with console applications comes from their lack of support for the Unicode standard: the way that most international languages represent their alphabets. While the Windows console supports a few basic non-English characters (such as accented letters), it provides full support for very little else.

This proves to be quite a problem for worldwide administrators! Since typing international characters directly at the command line was so difficult, administrators in many countries were forced to write scripts in Notepad in order to get full Unicode support, and then use PowerShell to run the scripts, even if the command was ultimately only a single line.

PowerShell resolves these issues by introducing the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE).

The ISE gives PowerShell the user interface you expect from a modern application, supports full Unicode input and multiple tabbed sessions, and provides a great experience ...

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