Windows Script Host


Automate Windows system administration, application control, file management, and more!

  • Scripting solutions for Windows 2000, Windows 9x, and Windows ME
  • Covers both VBScript and JScript
  • Step-by-step coverage of cre ating, running, ...
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Automate Windows system administration, application control, file management, and more!

  • Scripting solutions for Windows 2000, Windows 9x, and Windows ME
  • Covers both VBScript and JScript
  • Step-by-step coverage of cre ating, running, scheduling, and distributing scripts
  • System administration, application control, file management, messaging, database access, and more
  • Creating high-performance WSH script components
  • Covers both VBScript and J Script!
  • Syntax, data storage, operators, strings, dates, times, objects, error handling, and more
  • Automating system administration, file management, database access, and messaging
  • Creating high-performance WSH components
  • Extending Windows' power by scripting Microsoft Office components
  • Appendices include detailed VBScript and JScript references
  • For every intermediate to advanced-level Windows user and administrator

Microsoft's W indows Script Host (WSH) offers system administrators and users powerful opportunities to save time and improve efficiency. In Windows Script Host, expert developer and best-selling author Peter G. Aitken covers WSH from start to finish, giving you all the skills you need to automate a wide range of system, application, and file-related tasks on Windows ME/9x and Windows 2000/NT platforms.

Aitken offers in-depth coverage of both widely used WSH scripting languages — VBScript and JSc ript. You'll start by mastering the Windows file system and scripting object models. Next, you'll learn the most effective ways to run, schedule, and distribute scripts. Once you've mastered the basics, Aitken presents practical techniques for scripting v irtually every aspect of the Windows environment, from messaging to file management, database access to system and Web administration.

Aitken presents step-by-step coverage of testing and debugging WSH scripts, demonstrates how to create fast, efficient Windows Script Components, and even shows how to extend Windows' power by scripting Microsoft Office components.

WSH gives you greater control over Windows than ever before. With Peter G. Aitken's help, you'll master that power—and dynamically improve your productivity every day you run Windows!

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Editorial Reviews

This guide for system administrators and users offers in-depth coverage of both widely used Windows Script Host (WSH) scripting languages, VBScript and JScript. It begins with the Windows file system and scripting object models, then moves on to the best ways to run, schedule, and distribute scripts, and techniques for scripting most aspects of the Windows environment. It gives instruction for testing and debugging WSH scripts, and demonstrates how to extend Windows' power by scripting Microsoft Office components. Aitken has written many books on programming, applications, and hardware. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

PETER G. AITKEN is a well-known author specializing in computer programming, applications, and hardware. His 30 books include Developing Custom Solutions With Office 2000 Components and VBA (Prentice Hall), Teach Yourself C in 21 Days, and Visual Basic 6 Programming Blue Book. A long-time faculty member at Duke University, he owns PGA Consulting, a custom software developer for industry and academia.

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Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter ends with Overview.)

1. Windows Script Host Fundamentals.

Background. Unix Scripting. The DOS Batch Language. Windows Scripting. How WSH Works. What Can WSH Do? WSH Operation. Scripting Technology. Two Scripting Utilities. WSH Languages. WSH and Objects.

2. The WSH Object Model.

Objects. Object References. Object Properties. Object Methods. Collections. The WshCollection Object. The FileSystemObject. The Dictionary Object. The Wscript Object. Obtaining Host Information. Script Interactivity. Terminating a Script. Setting a Timeout. Working with Objects. The WshShell Object. The WshEnvironment Object. The WshSpecialFolders Object. Working with Shortcuts. Displaying Popup Messages. Working with the Registry. Running Programs. The WshNetwork Object. Obtaining User Information. Working with Printers. Managing Network Drives.

3. Creating, Running, and Scheduling Scripts.

Creating Your Scripts. Online Documentation. Running Scripts. Script Shortcuts. Scheduling Scripts.

4. Working with Script Arguments, .WSH Files, and Web.

Scripting. Script Arguments. WSH Files. WSH and Web Scripting.

5. Testing and Debugging Your Scripts.

Catching Script Errors. Syntax Errors. Run-Time Errors. Bugs. Debugging Your Scripts. The Script Debugger. Using the Debugger.

6. VBScript: Syntax, Data Storage, and Operators.

Introduction to VBScript. Comparison with Visual Basic. Syntax Fundamentals. Comments. Line Continuations. Data Storage. Object References. Determining Data Type. Arrays. Static Arrays. Dynamic Arrays. Variant Arrays. Operators. Assignment Operator. Arithmetic Operators. String Operators. Comparison Operators. Logical Operators. Operator Precedence and Parentheses.

7. VBScript: Program Control and Procedures.

Conditional Statements. If… Then… Else. Select Case. Loop Statements. For…. Next. For Each… Next. Do…Loop. While…Wend. Infinite Loops. Procedures. Types of Procedures. Defining a Procedure. Passing Arguments to Procedures. Variables in Procedures. Calling Procedures.

8. VBScript: Working with Text, Numbers, Dates, and Times.

Text Manipulation. Asc. Chr. Filter. InStr, InStrRev. InStrRev. Join. LCase, Ucase. Left, Mid, Right. Len. LTrim, RTrim, Trim. Mid (function). RegExp. Right. Rtrim. Space. Split. String. StrComp. Trim. Ucase. Working With Numbers. Using Dates and Times. Date and Time Representation. Getting the Current Date and Time. Creating Dates and Times. Adding and Subtracting Dates and Times. Getting Date and Time Information. Formatting Dates and Times.

9. VBScript: User Interaction, Error Handling, And Miscellaneous Topics.

Interacting with the User. The MsgBox Function. InputBox. Error Handling. Other Topics. Eval. Execute and ExecuteGlobal.

10. JScript: Basic Syntax, Data Storage, and Operators.

Introduction to Jscript. Comparison with Java. Syntax Fundamentals. Comments. Data Storage. Constants. Variables. Data Types and Coersion. Object References. Arrays. JScript Operators. The Assignment Operators. The Arithmetic Operators. The Increment and Decrement Operators. The Comparison Operators. The Logical Operators. String Operators. Conditional Expressions. Operator Precedence and Parentheses.

11. JScript: Conditional Statements, Loops, and Functions.

Conditional Statements. If…Else. Switch. Loop Statements. For. While. Do…While. The Continue Statement. The With Statement. Functions. Defining a Function. Variables in Functions. Calling a Function.

12. JScript: Strings, Numbers, Math, Dates, and Times.

The String Object. The Split Method. Working with Regular Expressions. The Number Object. The Math Object. Dates and Times.

13. JScript: Built-in Objects, User Interaction, and Error Handling.

JScript Objects. The Boolean Object. The Enumerator Object. The Function Object. The VBArray Object. User Interaction. Error Handling. The Error Object. Try…Catch. The Throw Statement.

14. WSH 2.0 and WSF Files.

Using WSF Files. XML and WSF Files. The <script> Tag. The <job> and <package>Tags. The <object> Tag. The <reference> Tag. Importing Files. XML Compliance. XML Errors and Debugging.

15. File Access and Management.

The Scripting Run-time Library. File Management. Copying and Moving Files. Copying and Moving Folders. Creating Folders. Deleting Files and Folders. Seeing if a Drive, Folder, or File Exists. Obtaining Object References. Working with the Drives Collection and Drive Object. Working with the Folders Collection and Folder Object. Working with the Files Collection and File Object. Other FileSystemObject Methods. File Access. The TextStream Object. A TextStream Demonstration.

16. Creating Windows Script Components.

Defining a Class. Creating Class Instances. Defining Class Properties. Defining Class Methods. Defining Private Class Information. Procedural Class Properties. Defining a Default Class Property. Using a Class in Multiple Scripts. A Class Example.

17. Database Access with Scripting.

Database Fundamentals. Database Technologies. Active Data Objects. Creating a Connection. Creating a Connection String. Recordsets. Creating a Recordset. Working with Recordsets. Accessing Field Data. Moving through a Recordset. Modifying Recordset Data.

18. Scripting Microsoft Office Components.

The Office Object Model. The Word Object Model. The Document Object. Manipulating Document Content. Other Document Properties and Methods. The Excel Object Model. The Workbook Object. The Worksheet Object. Validating Object References.

19. Messaging With WSH.

Scripts and Messaging. Some E-mail Background. Scripting CDO. Sending a Message with CDO. Reading Mail with CDO. Scripting Microsoft Outlook. The NameSpace Object. Manipulating Folders and Items. Working with Mail Messages.

20. Using WSH For Administrative Tasks.

Mapping Network Drives. Automating LogOn Scripts. Updating Files. Creating Folders.

21. A Script Programmer's Library.

Installing Files from a CD. Obtaining Information about a Database. Printing from a Script.

Appendix A. VBScript Constants.

Color Constants. Comparison Constants. Date and Time Constants. Date and Time Format Constants. Miscellaneous Constants. MsgBox Constants. String Constants.

Appendix B. VBScript Keywords.

Appendix C. ASCII Character Codes.

Appendix D. VBScript Error Codes.

Appendix E. JScript Reserved Words.

Current Reserved Words. Future Reserved Words. Words to Avoid.

Appendix F. JScript Error Codes.

Appendix G. WSH Resources on the Internet.


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The Windows Script Host, or WSH, is a wonderful tool that is available to all users of the Windows operating system. In a nutshell, WSH is used to create scripts that automate operating system-related tasks. Which tasks are these? Anything you do with the Windows operating system, as opposed to an application program, falls into this category. Examples include copying and deleting files, logging onto network drives and printers, and executing programs. But WSH is not limited to operating system tasks - thanks to Microsoft's Component Object Model, scripts can also control many applications programs, such as Word and Excel. Almost anything you can do sitting at your computer's keyboard, you can also program a script to do for you.

So, what's the big deal? There are two factors:

  • Saving time. With a couple of clicks, you can execute a script that carries out a complex series of action that would take a considerable time to perform manually.
  • Preventing errors. Once tested and debugged, a script will carry out a precise sequence of actions error-free every time. Few people can say the same thing about their keyboard skills!

Either of these factors by itself would make a strong argument for scripting. Together, they are overpowering. Any Windows user who has gone beyond casual computing is a candidate to benefit from using WSH. Network administrators and other computer professionals can derive even more benefit.

Who This Book Is For

The intended audience for this book is anyone who wants to automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks under the Windows operating system. This includes both computer users, for whom the computer is a tool, as well as network professionals and systems administrators, who are responsibile for maintaining computer systems used by others. I assume no prior knowledge on the part of the reader beyond a reasonable familiarity with Windows. Specifically, no programming experience is needed. If, however, you do have some programming experience, certain parts of the book will likely go faster for you.

What You Need

The requirements for using this book are quite simple: a computer running Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, or 2000. As you will learn in Chapter 1, WSH is installed along with some of these operating systems, but must be installed separately with others (Windows 95 and NT). Details on obtaining the free install are also included in Chapter 1.


You will find my Web page for this book at this URL:

This page lets you download a compressed archive containing all of the book's scripts, and there is also a link for reporting any errors, problems, or suggestion. I will also post a list of corrections and updates as they become available. Additional Internet resources for the Windows Script Host programmer can be found in Appendix 7.

Peter G. Aitken Chapel Hill, North Carolina January 2001

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