Hey, Scripting Guy! Using the Windows Presentation Foundation PowerShell Kit to Create a GUI

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About the author: Doug Finke is a Microsoft PowerShell MVP working for Lab49, a company that builds advanced applications for the financial service industry. Over the last 20 years, Doug has been a developer and author working with numerous technologies. You can catch up with Doug on his blog.

 

The Scripting Guys recently posted Weekend Scripter: Creating a GUI for a Windows PowerShell Script, in which Ed Wilson builds a Windows form GUI application for a Windows PowerShell script. In today’s post, I’ll build the same GUI application but with the Windows Presentation Foundation PowerShell Kit (WPK).

About WPK

WPK allows you to build rich user interfaces entirely with Window PowerShell scripts. WPK provides more than 600 cmdlets, which allow you to add WPF buttons, grids, list boxes, and more to Windows forms.

James Brundage, author of WPK, says “WPK pays homage to Tcl/Tk.” Tcl (pronounced “Tickle”) is a programming language created in 1990 by John Ousterhout when he was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Hello World in WPK

You need to download and install the Microsoft PowerShell Power Pack to try out these examples.

WPK provides access to the presentation layer in WPF, surfacing controls in the standard Verb-Noun form. This example shows how you can add a label to a window and display, “Hello World.” In addition, each control has parameters. For the New-Window cmdlet, we are using four parameters: Height, Width, Show, and Content. In the example, the Content parameter is implied so that we can shorten the script by leaving it out. It would come after the Show parameter.


Import-Module WPK

New-Window -Height 125 -Width 300 -Show {

    New-Label “Hello World” -FontSize 50

}

 

Image of Hello World window

 

The Trip Cost WPK GUI

Image of Trip Cost WPK GUI


The Code

First, you need to download WPK from the MSDN Code Gallery. WPK lets you create rich user interfaces quick and easily from Windows PowerShell. Think HTA, but easy.


Import-Module WPK

New-Window -Title “Trip Cost” -WindowStartupLocation CenterScreen `

  -Width 300 -Height 200 -Show {

 

  New-Grid -Rows 32, 32*, 32*, 32* -Columns 100, 100* {

    New-Button -Content “_Calculate” -Row 0 -Column 0 -Margin 3 -On_Click {

      $txtTotalCost      = $Window | Get-ChildControl txtTotalCost

      $txtMiles          = $Window | Get-ChildControl txtMiles

      $txtMilesPerGallon = $Window | Get-ChildControl txtMilesPerGallon

      $txtCostPerGallon  = $Window | Get-ChildControl txtCostPerGallon

     

      $txtTotalCost.Text = `

        “{0:n2}” -f (($txtMiles.Text / $txtMilesPerGallon.Text) `

         * $txtCostPerGallon.Text)

    }

   

  New-
TextBox -Name txtTotalCost `

    -Row 0 -Column 1 -Margin 3

   

  New-TextBlock -Text “Miles” `

    -Row 1 -Column 0 -VerticalAlignment Center -Margin 3       

       

  New-TextBox -Name txtMiles `

    -Row 1 -Column 1 -Margin 3 -Text 100

 

  New-TextBlock -Text “Miles Per Gallon” `

    -Row 2 -Column 0 -VerticalAlignment Center -Margin 3

 

  New-TextBox -Name txtMilesPerGallon `

    -Row 2 -Column 1 -Margin 3 -Text 23

 

  New-TextBlock -Text “Cost Per Gallon” `

    -Row 3 -Column 0 -VerticalAlignment Center -Margin 3

  New-TextBox -Name txtCostPerGallon `

    -Row 3 -Column 1 -Margin 3 -Text 2.50

  }

}


The Code Explained

WPK is a Windows PowerShell module. To use a module, you first need to import it using the Import-Module cmdlet.

 

The Trip Cost GUI uses these WPK cmdlets:

 

New-Window

Creates a new System.Windows.Window

New-Grid

Creates a new System.Windows.Controls.Grid

New-Button

Creates a new System.Windows.Controls.Button

New-TextBox

Creates a new System.Windows.Controls.TextBox

New-TextBlock

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