All posts by Jeffery Hicks

Send from PowerShell ISE to Microsoft Word Revisited

Many of you seemed to like my little PowerShell ISE add-on to send text from the script pane to a Word document. I should have known someone would ask about a way to make it colorized. You can manually select lines in a script and when you paste them into Word they automatically inherit the colorized tokens. Unfortunately, coming up with a PowerShell equivalent is much more complicated.

If you search around you’ll find plenty of tools and scripts for generating HTML and colorized output from the ISE. I tried incorporating some of them into my script but they were much more complicated than I wanted to deal with. All I really needed was a simple Ctrl+C command. So I cheated. I decided to use the SendKeys() method from VBScript.

I added a new switch parameter to the function called Colorized. This meant I also needed an additional menu shortcut.

You’ll notice that there is no keyboard shortcut. At least for me, I got inconsistent results using a keyboard shortcut, and often nothing. But if I selected the menu item, it always seemed to work.

Here is the complete updated function.

I can’t guarantee the color copy and paste will work 100% of the time. Otherwise, you can always use traditional keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+C,Alt+Tab (to Word), Ctrl+V.


Pi in the Sky

In celebration of Pi day, I thought I’d post some quick and dirty PowerShell code you can use to calculate pi. I found some easy to follow explanations at that weren’t too difficult to transform into PowerShell code. And you might even learn something new about PowerShell along the way.

Before we begin, I hope you know that you can always get the value using the [Math] class:

But where’s the fun in that? First up is my PowerShell version of Gregory-Leibniz series. This works by deriving pi from an infinite series.

π = (4/1) – (4/3) + (4/5) – (4/7) + (4/9) – (4/11) + (4/13) – (4/15)…

Seems simple enough. I need a large range of odd-numbered denominators. Then I need to alternately add and subtract. I’m going to need a loop and I can use the modulo operator (%) to test each time through the loop. If I am on an even number I’ll add, otherwise I subtract. Here’s what I came up with.

This takes a little bit of time but it works.

Then I thought I’d try the Nilakantha series.

π = 3 + 4/(2*3*4) – 4/(4*5*6) + 4/(6*7*8) – 4/(8*9*10) + 4/(10*11*12) – 4/(12*13*14) …

Some of the principals are the same. The tricky part here is looping through the collection of numbers and grouping them.

This is noticeably faster and more accurate, well as far as you can be calculating an irrational number.

And the last way is using an Arcsine Function/Inverse Sine Function:

pi = 2 * (Arcsin(sqrt(1 – x^2))) + abs(Arcsin(x))

This gets a little tricky in PowerShell but it can be accomplished with the [Math] class. You have to watch out for the parentheses.

The value of $x is between -1 and 1.

Also pretty quick, albeit a bit harder on the eyes to read.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some circles that need to be measured.

Friday Fun: Send PowerShell ISE Content to Word

geekYesterday on Facebook, Ed Wilson was lamenting about confusion of keyboard shortcuts between PowerShell and Microsoft Word. I’ve run into the same issue. Muscle memory is strong. Then the discussion turned to getting content from the PowerShell ISE into a Word document. I humorously suggested we had a plugin and it had a Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut. Then I thought, why not make this even easier!

So I put together a quick function for the PowerShell ISE.

This function will paste any selected text from the ISE into a Word document. The first time you run the function, PowerShell will create a Word document and format it for fixed width text. It will then insert your text and a new paragraph marker. The next time you run the function, it should detect that you have a document open and re-use the existing variables. The Word document will be visible so you can edit it further and save it. If you move the cursor around in the document, any new content you insert will go there.

To make this easy to use, insert this function into your PowerShell ISE profile script and add a menu item with a keyboard shortcut.


Now, I can select code from the ISE script pane and send it to Word with a quick key combination. Have fun and enjoy your weekend.

Update: I posted another version that includes an option to copy and paste as colored code.