The Script Editor

The Script Editor is a full-featured source code editor for JavaScript. You can open any number of Script Editor document windows; each displays one Unicode source code document.

The Script Editor offers many useful and powerful text editing and navigation features. Some are intended specifically for use with JavaScript, while others are useful for all kinds of text editing. Features include:

  • Navigation aids and options applicable to any kind of text, and specific code navigation for JavaScript; see Navigation aids.
  • General editing and coding support such as undo-redo, and specific JavaScript coding support such as syntax checking; see Coding aids.
  • A full-featured text search tool that can search in multiple files; see Searching in text.
  • Syntax marking (color and font styles for specific syntactic structures) for JavaScript and for many other computer languages. The marking styles are configurable; see Syntax marking.

Coding aids

The Script Editor offers a number of visual and editing features that help you navigate in and maintain the syntactic structure of your JavaScript code, including the following.

Code completion

When you position the cursor in a document and begin typing, the Toolkit offers completion choices from among keywords, global functions, functions that are defined in the current document, and functions defined in the object-model dictionary that is currently selected from the flyout menu.

Code Completion

You can use the flyout menu at the upper right corner of the document window to choose an object-model dictionary to use for completion. Available dictionaries depend on which applications are loaded. See Inspecting object models.

Code Completion

Brace matching

The Edit menu offers two kinds of brace-matching selection, that operate when the cursor is placed immediate after an opening brace character, or immediately before a closing brace:

  • Edit > Select to Brace: Moves the cursor to the matching bracing, but does not select any text. The default keyboard shortcut is CTRL 0 (zero).
  • Edit > Select Including Brace: Selects all text between the braces. The default keyboard shortcut is SHIFT CTRL 0 (zero).

Brace characters include parentheses, curly braces, and square brackets.

Block indentation

When Word Wrap is off, you can automatically indent or outdent entire blocks of text. To indent a block of text, select some or all of the text on the line or lines, and press TAB. (Be careful; if Word Wrap is on, this deletes the selected text.) To outdent, press SHIFT TAB.

Comment and uncomment commands

Use Edit > Comment or Uncomment Selection to temporarily remove parts of a JavaScript program from the path of execution. This command is a toggle. When you first issue the command, it places the special comment sequence //~ at the front of any line that is wholly or partially selected. When you next issue the command with such a line selected, it removes that comment marker.

The command affects only the comment markers it places in the text; it ignores any comment markers that were already in the selected lines. This allows you to temporarily remove and replace blocks of text that include both code and comments.

Version comments

A special comment format is reserved for a code versioning statement, which is used internally by Adobe scripts, but is available to all scripters. Use Edit > Insert Version Tag to insert a comment containing the file name and current date-time, in this format:

/**
* @@@BUILDINFO@@@ SnpCreateDialog.jsx !Version! Tue Dec 05 2006 08:03:38 GMT-0800
*/

You are responsible for manually updating the !Version! portion with your own version information.

Undo and redo

Choose Undo or Redo from the Edit menu or from the document window’s right-click context menu to revoke and reinstate multiple editing changes sequentially. The change history is kept from when a file is created or loaded, and maintained through file-save operations.

Syntax checking

Before running the new script or saving the text as a script file, use Edit > Check Syntax to check whether the text contains JavaScript syntax errors. The default keyboard shortcut is F7.

  • If the script is syntactically correct, the status line shows “No syntax errors.”
  • If the Toolkit finds a syntax error, such as a missing quote, it highlights the affected text, plays a sound, and shows the error message in the status line so you can fix the error.

Multiline statements

The Script Editor supports triple-quote syntax to allow strings to span several source code lines. When entering a very long string, you can:

  • Enter it all on one line:

    var myString = "This very long string might wrap onto a second line visually, but you typed no CR character when entering it."
    
  • Enter on multiple lines, using a backslash () continuation character at the end of each line:

    var myString = "This string spans \
    two lines."
    
  • Use triple quotes around the entire string on multiple lines:

    var myString = """This "quoted" word is inside the
    multiline string enclosed by triple quotes."""
    

The triple-quote option allows the string to contain embedded quotes.


Searching in text

The Toolkit offers a search utility through the Edit > Find and Replace command. This command brings up the Find and Replace panel. If the panel is not docked, you can hide it by pressing ESC.

The Find and Replace panel allows you to search through multiple documents for text that matches a specific search string or regular expression. You can choose to search in:

  • The current document, or the current selection in the current document
  • All open documents
  • All scripts made public by the current target application
  • Folders that you have defined as favorite locations; see The Scripts panel and favorite script locations.
Search

The results of a search are listed in the Find Results tab; by default, this is stacked with the Find and Replace panel, but you can drag it to another stack, or display it as an independent floating panel.

Find Results

Double-click a result line in the Find Results panel to jump directly to the document and line where the text was found.

Using regular-expression syntax

The Toolkit supports a limited set of Regular Expression syntax for the Find and Replace dialog:

. Matches any character
( Marks the start of a region for capturing a match.
) Marks the end of a capturing region.
\< Matches the start of a word using the editor’s current definition of words.
\> Matches the end of a word using the editor’s current definition of words.
\x Escapes a character x that would otherwise have a special meaning. For example, [ is interpreted as a left bracket, rather than the start of a character set.
[...] A set of characters; for example, [abc] means any of the characters a, b or c. You can also use ranges, for example [a-z] for any lower case character.
[^...] The complement of the characters in a set. For example, [^A-Za-z] means any character except an alphabetic character.
^ Matches the start of a line (unless used inside a set).
$ Matches the end of a line.
* Matches 0 or more times. For example, Sa*m matches Sm, Sam, Saam, Saaam etc.

In a replace operation, you can use the captured regions of a match in the replacement expression by using the placeholders \1 through \9, where \1 refers to the first captured region, \2 to the second, and so on.

For example, if the search string is Fred\([1-9]\)XXX and the replace string is Sam\1YYY, when applied to Fred2XXX the search generates Sam2YYY.

Syntax marking

The Script Editor offers language-based syntax highlighting to aid in editing code. Although the debugging features (including syntax checking) are only available for JavaScript, you can choose to edit other kinds of code, and the syntax is highlighted according to the language. The style of syntax marking is automatically set to match the file extension, or you can choose the language from the View > Syntax Highlighting menu.

The style of highlighting is configurable, using the Fonts and Colors page of the Preferences dialog.

Syntax Marking