VS Code PowerShell Snippets

Just a quick post, as much as a reminder for me as anything, but also useful to those that attended my sessions last week where I talked about snippets in PowerShell ISE

Jeff Hicks wrote a post explaining how to create snippets in VS Code for PowerShell

I love using snippets so I went and converted my snippets list for ISE (available on GitHub) into the json required for VS Code (available on GitHub)

Here is an example of snippet
"SMO-Server": {
        "prefix": "SMO-Server",
        "body": [
            "$$srv = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server $$Server"
        "description": "Creates a SQL Server SMO Object"

I followed this process in this order

Click File –> Preferences –> User Snippets and type PowerShell or edit $env:\appdata\code\user\snippets\powershell.json

In order I converted the code in the existing snippets “Text” like this

        Replace `$ with $$
        Replace \ with \\
        Replace ” with \”
        \r for new line
        \t for tab
        Each line in “”
        , at the end of each line in the body   except the last one
        Look out for red or green squiggles 🙂
I then add
The name of the snippet, first before the : in “”
The prefix is what you type to get the snippet
The body is the code following the above Find and Replaces
The description is the description!!
and save and I have snippets in VS Code 🙂
That should help you to convert existing ISE snippets into VS Code PowerShell snippets and save you time and keystrokes 🙂

PowerShell Snippets A Great Learning Tool

When I talk to people about Powershell they often ask how can they easily learn the syntax. Here’s a good tip

Open PowerShell ISE and press CTRL + J


You will find a number of snippets that will enable you to write your scripts easily.  Johnathan Medd PowerShell MVP has written a good post about snippets on the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog so I will not repeat that but suggest that you go and read that post. It will show you how quickly and easily you will be able to write more complex Powershell scripts as you do not have to learn the syntax but can use the snippets to insert all the code samples you require.

Not only are there default snippets for you to use but you can create your own snippets. However there isn’t a snippet for creating a new snippet so here is the code to do that

 $snippet1 = @{
 Title = 'New-Snippet'
 Description = 'Create a New Snippet'
 Text = @"
`$snippet = @{
 Title = `'Put Title Here`'
 Description = `'Description Here`'
 Text = @`"
 Code in Here 
New-IseSnippet @snippet
New-IseSnippet @snippet1 –Force

I frequently use the SQL Server SMO Object in my code so I created this snippet

$snippet = @{
 Title = 'SMO-Server'
 Description = 'Creates a SQL Server SMO Object'
 Text = @"
 `$srv = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server `$Server
New-IseSnippet @snippet

I also use Data Tables a lot so I created a snippet for that too

$snippet = @{
 Title = 'New-DataTable'
 Description = 'Creates a Data Table Object'
 Text = @"
 # Create Table Object
 `$table = New-Object system.Data.DataTable `$TableName
 # Create Columns
 `$col1 = New-Object system.Data.DataColumn NAME1,([string])
 `$col2 = New-Object system.Data.DataColumn NAME2,([decimal])
 #Add the Columns to the table
 # Create a new Row
 `$row = `$table.NewRow() 
 # Add values to new row
 `$row.Name1 = 'VALUE'
 `$row.NAME2 = 'VALUE'
 #Add new row to table
 New-IseSnippet @snippet

Denniver Reining has created a Snippet Manager which you can use to further expand your snippets usage and it is free as well.

If you have further examples of useful snippets please feel free to post them in the comments below

Edit 16/12/2014

I am proud that this article was nominated for the Tribal Awards. Please go and vote for your winners in all the categories


Personally in the article category I will be voting for

Gail Shaw’s SQL Server Howlers