Visual C++ does not provide nice features such as syntax colouring for many languages other than C++ itself.
One of these "poorer relation" languages is VBScript. With the increasing availability and usefulness of VBScript
since the original release of Visual Studio 6, it may be quite desirable to use VBScript for purposes such as creating
build scripts. However, it can be quite difficult to read yet another programming language without syntax colouring
to lend a helping hand. As a result, it may be quite discouraging to new users to dabble with VBScript as part of a
Visual C++ project.
There is a simple solution for this problem!
Modifying the Registry
Although Visual Studio doesn't provide syntax colouring for .vbs files, it does provide syntax colouring
for its own VBScript macro files, which have the extension .dsm. It turns out that adding VBScript syntax
colouring for another type of file is as simple as adding the file's extension to a list in the registry.
First of all, close Visual Studio before starting, as it will subsequently repair any registry modifications that
you make while it is open. Then open a registry editor such as Regedit and find the registry key
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\DevStudio\6.0\Text Editor\Tabs/Language Settings\VBS Macro. It contains a
(string) value called FileExtensions. This value will already contain "DSM"; if you modify it to read
"DSM;VBS" then restart Visual Studio, VBScript files with the extension .vbs will now benefit from the same
syntax colouring as Visual Studio macro files.
This registry modification adds no new functionality to Visual Studio, so the syntax colouring will suffer from any
limitations already found when using .dsm files. This includes incomplete colouring of some well-established
syntax (for example, Boolean operators such as
Or are not
coloured), and of course the syntax colouring will not recognise more recent additions to Windows Scripting. Using
this functionality to colour XML-based Windows Script Files (.wsf) will only be a partial success! However,
the syntax colouring available through this method does add considerably to the readability of VBScript code despite