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Extending the Host Editor

PowerShell Editor Services exposes a common extensibility model which allows you to write extension code in PowerShell that works across any editor that uses PowerShell Editor Services.

API Overview

Introducing $psEditor

The entry point for the PowerShell Editor Services extensibility model is the $psEditor object of the type EditorObject. For those familiar with the PowerShell ISE's $psISE object, the $psEditor object is very similar. The primary difference is that this model has been generalized to work against any editor which leverages PowerShell Editor Services for its PowerShell editing experience.

NOTE: For now the $psEditor object is limited as it has just been introduced. If you have ideas for other useful APIs it could expose please file an issue on our GitHub page.

This object gives access to all of the high-level services in the current editing session. For example, the Workspace property gives access to the editor's workspace, allowing you to create or open files in the editor.

Usage Examples

Opening a file in the editor

# Open the current user's profile for this editor

Manipulating the user's active file buffer

# Insert new text replacing the user's current selection
$context = $psEditor.GetEditorContext()
$context.CurrentFile.InsertText("# All your script are belong to us", $context.SelectedRange)

Setting the selection based on the cursor position

# Set the selection from their cursor position to the end of the same line
$context = $psEditor.GetEditorContext()
$context.SetSelection($context.CursorPosition, $context.CursorPosition.GetLineEnd())

Registering Editor Commands

The $psEditor object gives you the ability to write a script that can automate the host editor when run inside of it. However, you may not want to give a user a plain script that performs some operation. What if you'd prefer to add a new command to the editor which can execute your code when the user invokes it? The Register-EditorCommand cmdlet allows you to register either a function, cmdlet, or ScriptBlock as a command in the host editor.

Registering a cmdlet or function command

function Invoke-MyCommand {
    Write-Output "My command's function was invoked!"

Register-EditorCommand `
    -Name "MyModule.MyCommandWithFunction" `
    -DisplayName "My command with function" `
    -Function Invoke-MyCommand

Registering a script block command

Register-EditorCommand `
    -Name "MyModule.MyCommandWithScriptBlock" `
    -DisplayName "My command with script block" `
    -ScriptBlock { Write-Output "My command's script block was invoked!" }

The EditorContext parameter

Your function, cmdlet, or ScriptBlock can optionally accept a single parameter of type EditorContext which provides information about the state of the host editor at the time your command was invoked. With this object you can easily perform operations like manipulatin the state of the user's active editor buffer or changing the current selection.

The usual convention is that a $context parameter is added to your editor command's function. For now it is recommended that you fully specify the type of the EditorContext object so that you get full IntelliSense on your context parameter.

Here is an example of using the $context parameter:

Register-EditorCommand `
    -Name "MyModule.MyEditorCommandWithContext" `
    -DisplayName "My command with context usage" `
    -ScriptBlock {
        Write-Output "The user's cursor is on line $($context.CursorPosition.Line)!"

Suppressing command output

If you would like for your editor command to run without its output being written to the user's console, you can use the -SuppressOutput switch parameter of the Register-EditorCommand cmdlet. We recommend that you use this parameter if your command does not need to write output to the user's console.

Regardless of whether the -SuppressOutput parameter is used, any errors that occur while running your editor command will be written to the user's console.

Using Editor Commands

If you've registered an editor command, either through your own code or a module that you've installed, you can launch it using your editor's Show additional commands from PowerShell modules command. Running this command will cause a list of commands to be displayed.

In Visual Studio Code, press Ctrl+Shift+P to open the command palette. Type the characters addi until you see the following item and then press Enter:

Command palette screenshot

The list that appears next will show all of the editor commands that have been registered with PowerShell code. Selecting one of them will cause its function or ScriptBlock to be executed.

Command list screenshot

Other editors should follow a similar pattern, exposing this command list through a "Show additional commands" item in the command palette.

NOTE: In the future we hope to be able to register editor commands at the top level so that these commands are easier to find and so that they also can be bound to hotkeys for quick access.

Shipping an Extension Module

You can easily ship a module containing editor commands which get registered if the module is loaded into an editor session. Assuming that you've exported a function or cmdlet named Invoke-MyEditorCommand in your module's psd1 file, you can add this code at the very end of your module's psm1 file:

if ($psEditor) {
    Register-EditorCommand `
        -Name "MyModule.MyEditorCommand" `
        -DisplayName "My editor command" `
        -Function Invoke-MyEditorCommand `

The user will now be able to import your module in their host editor's profile and your editor command will be immediately available after the PowerShell extension in that editor starts up.

NOTE: In the future we plan to provide an easy way for the user to opt-in to the automatic loading of any editor command modules that they've installed from the PowerShell Gallery. If this interests you, please let us know on this GitHub issue.