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InstallShield Pro Development: Script Editor

Note regarding InstallShield 6: Unless otherwise stated the tips and tricks on this page have been written for InstallShield 5, and not all of them will work with InstallShield 6. Some may even damage your project files, so remember to make backups first.

Custom Script Include Paths

This article describes undocumented functionality of InstallShield Professional 6.

Often it would be useful to have a set of generic script files that are used by several installations in a common location. Problem is that you have to specify an absolute path in the #include statement for these scripts (which would be a big problem if you change this location), or you always have to copy the files to the Script folder of each installation.

When you use the command line compiler (compile.exe) it is possible to add your own include paths, but it is not possible when you compile it in the IDE. But we there is a file called "compile.ini" (in the "Program" directory of your IS product) where you can add your own include paths easily! Just add it to the [Include Folders] section.

Discovered by ChunKit Lam
Last update: 2001-01-13

Replacements for the IDE Editor

Many people complain about the editor that is built into the InstallShield 5 IDE. Here are some alternatives.


UltraEdit UltraEdit is a shareware editor sold by IDM Computer Solutions, Inc. The price for the full product is $30.

This word file adds the following features to UltraEdit:

UltraEdit is very versatile and can also be used as Hex editor, replacement for Notepad etc.

ZIP    Written by Vycke' Gilliam, Stefan Krüger and Paul Arnett
File size: 13.526 bytes   Last update: 2000-04-15

You can also invoke the InstallShield compiler directly from the editor, and UltraEdit will capture the output so you can get to any error line with a double click - whithout using the InstallShield IDE. Here are the instructions and some support files:

ZIP    Written by Paul Arnett
File size: 1.700 bytes   Last update: 2000-09-05

WWW Visit IDM Computer Solutions, Inc. to download an evaluation version of UltraEdit


EditPlus is a shareware editor sold by ES-Computing. The price for the full product is $20.

Some of the features of EditPlus are:

WWW Visit the EditPlus homepage to download the evaluation version and syntax coloring file for InstallShield


Lemmy is a shareware editor sold by Software Online Ltd. The price for the full product is $20.

Lemmy is a "vi-for-windows" that has a complete GUI interface. Some of the features are:

InstallScript support is built-in, however it does require the user to set up a "file type", that defines the extensions (*.rul, *.h) and then select the syntax highlighting to use (IShield RUL),.

WWW Visit Software Online Ltd. to download the evaluation version


Codewright is a commercial product sold by Premia Corporation. The price for the full product is $269.

Here is an extension for Codewright 5.x that enables you to edit your InstallShield script files with Codewright. It supports:

Included is a readme.txt that explains how to use the Language Reference help file from Codewright.

ZIP   Written by Jonathan Jarvis
File size: 31.822 bytes   Last update: 04/14/1999

WWW Visit Jonathan's InstallShield / Codewright Integration page for more details

WWW Visit Premia Corporation to request an evaluation version of Codewright


MultiEdit is a commercial product sold by American Cybernetics. Prices for the full version range from $129 to $199.

It only takes four simple steps to use MultiEdit for your InstallShield projects. Here are the features:

ZIP    Written by Carl Bennett
File size: 1.344 bytes   Last update: 2000-02-23

WWW Visit American Cybernetics to download an evaluation version of MultiEdit

Printing Syntax Colored Source Code

Highlighter is a shareware program sold by Solent. The price for the full version is UKP 10 (approximately $ 17).

Syntax coloring is fine on the screen. But when it comes to printing, you get it black on white. Highlighter is a shareware program that can print a colored listing.

Note that UltraEdit has color printing capabilities already built-in.

ZIP (2.365 Bytes)    Provided by Carl Bennett

WWW Visit Solent Software to download an evaluation version of Highlighter

Script Enhancement Wizard

This tool - written in InstallScript - parses your setup project and automatically inserts code to register your help files in the Windows registry. It also can list all the global variables in a script file.

ZIP (570.263 Bytes)    Provided by Carl Bennett




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