VBScript Create File
This page concentrates on creating a text file with a VBScript. I expect that you can think of many scripting scenarios where it would be advantageous to output the data, not to the screen, but to a file. Software inventory, registry values and event logs are just some of the examples that spring to mind. Remember, that scripting starts at the folder level, therefore, even if you are primarily interested in saving to a file, your script must first get or create the parent folder.
Topics for Creating a File with VBScript
Creating the file, covered on this page, is the middle of a series of three FSO examples. The basics are covered in creating folders (Page 1), this page deals with creating files, whilst Page 3 deals with reading and writing text into the file that we which we created with the first two scripts.
- Our Mission and Goal
- Example 1 – Basic VBScript to Create a File with CreateTextFile
- VBScript Tutorial – Learning Points
- Example 2 – Create a File with error-correcting Code (Better Example)
- Summary of Creating Files
- (Page 1 – Creating the Folder)
- (Page 3 – Appending Data to the File)
- (PowerShell Create File)
Our mission on this page is clear, to create a file. Naturally, we need a folder to hold our file, therefore, our script will test to see if the folder exists, and if not, then our code will create a folder.
The idea behind this script is to highlight the code need to create a file. The cost of focussing on one method is that Example 1 works fine the first time you execute the script, but if you run it a second time you get an error. To cure the problem, move on to the second script. Else keep altering the strDirectory. Here is what I did as a work-around:
1st Run strDirectory = “E: \logs”
2nd Run strDirectory = “E: \logs\guy1”
3rd Run strDirectory = “E:\ logs\guy2”
I admit this is poor scripting, but my dilemma is keeping it simple and highlighting the learning steps, versus a slick script that is difficult to follow. To tell the whole truth, I fervently believe that you learn more when scripts go wrong – providing you can fix the error quickly.
This is a script that will create a file equally well on a Windows server or an XP machine. Should you get permission errors, I recommend that you logon as administrator.
Instructions for Creating Files
- Copy and paste the example script below into notepad or a VBScript editor.
- Decide whether to change the values for strFile and strDirectory.
- Save the file with a .vbs extension, for example: NewFile.vbs.
- Double click NewFile.vbs and check Windows Explorer for strDirectory.
Sample VBScript to Create a File
' NewFile.vbs ' Sample VBScript to create a file using FileSystemObject ' Author Guy Thomas https://computerperformance.co.uk/ ' Version 1.6 - August 2010 ' ------------------------------------------------' Option Explicit Dim objFSO, objFSOText, objFolder, objFile Dim strDirectory, strFile strDirectory = "E:\logs\guy1" strFile = "\Summer.txt" ' Create the File System Object Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") ' Create the Folder specified by strDirectory on line 10 Set objFolder = objFSO.CreateFolder(strDirectory) ' -- The heart of the create file script '----------------------- 'Creates the file using the value of strFile on Line 11 ' ----------------------------------------------- Set objFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile(strDirectory & strFile) Wscript.Echo "Just created " & strDirectory & strFile Wscript.Quit ' End of FileSystemObject example: NewFile VBScript
Note 1: All FSO scripts begin by creating a File System Object with
CreateObject(“Scripting.FileSystemObject”). You really do need the word “Scripting”
Note 2: The specific method for creating the file is called: .CreateTextFile.
Note 3: Observe that we also employed the sister method CreateFolder. In fact, this causes a problem, if you run the script for a second time because it generates the file exists error 800A003A. So, in Example 2 we are going to introduce error-correcting code.
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This script is much better than the primitive Example 1. My idea is to add code, which copes with situations where the folder already exists. It also employs the objShell to run the Windows Explorer so that you can test that the script works as designed.
Sample Script to Create a File and Check if a File Already Exists
' NewFileEC.vbs ' Sample VBScript to create a file with error-correcting Code ' Author Guy Thomas https://computerperformance.co.uk/ ' VBScript Create File ' ------------------------------------------------' Option Explicit Dim objFSO, objFolder, objShell, objFile Dim strDirectory, strFile strDirectory = "e:\logs" strFile = "\Summer.txt" ' Create the File System Object Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") ' Check that the strDirectory folder exists If objFSO.FolderExists(strDirectory) Then Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(strDirectory) Else Set objFolder = objFSO.CreateFolder(strDirectory) WScript.Echo "Just created " & strDirectory End If If objFSO.FileExists(strDirectory & strFile) Then Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(strDirectory) Else Set objFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile(strDirectory & strFile) Wscript.Echo "Just created " & strDirectory & strFile End If set objFolder = nothing set objFile = nothing If err.number = vbEmpty then Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell") objShell.run ("Explorer" & " " & strDirectory & "\" ) Else WScript.echo "VBScript Error: " & err.number End If WScript.Quit ' End of VBScript to create a file with error-correcting Code
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VBScript Tutorial – Learning Points
Note 1: If you do not add error-correcting code, then there is a real danger that running the script again will destroy the original file. What .FileExists does is to check to see if there is already a file with the name as that referenced by strFile.
Note 2: This script also features code which protects against the folder already existing – FolderExists.
Note 3: A tiny point, but the script produces an error when its first run, unless I added set objFolder and objFile = nothing. Here is an example where I always learn more when things go wrong. I have known for a long time that I should nullify objects when I have finished them, but idleness and wanting to keep the script short have meant I have omitted these set objxyz = nothing from of other scripts. Sometimes I get away with it, but not in this example.
Note 4: objShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”) is my way of showing that the script has achieved its goal. The active part is objShell.run. In this example, it is as if you click on the Start (Menu), Run and type Explorer.
With file system objects there is a natural progression, create the folder, then the file, then read or write text to that file. This page shows you to creating a file using the CreateTextFile method. Next step let us explore reading or writing data to the file.
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