Category Archives: beginner series


Quick Tip: See All The Tab-Completion Options At Once In The PowerShell Console

If you’re used to working in VS Code or the PowerShell ISE, you’ve undoubtedly enjoyed intellisense which is the feature that shows you all the tab completion options at once. That functionality is really handy, but what if you’re in the PowerShell console? The little overlayed windows don’t pop up there with your completion options. You can still tab through until you find what you want, but it’s not the same.

Don’t worry, there’s a PSReadline feature that will save you here.

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Quick Tip: Split A PowerShell Collection Into Two Arrays

Did you know that you can use Where-Object to split a collection into two arrays? Like, if you had an array containing the numbers 1 to 10, you could split it into one array of even numbers, and another array of odd numbers? It’s pretty cool. Thanks Herb Meyerowitz for this tip!

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Quick Tip: PowerShell Supports Partial Parameter Names

Did you know that PowerShell supports the usage of partial parameter names? This isn’t such a big deal since tab completion is a thing… and if you’re writing code, you want to use the full parameter name to provide clarity and readability… but sometimes this is handy. Whether it’s for code golf, or just noodling around in the console, you don’t have to specify the full name of a parameter, just enough for it to be unique.

Here are some examples.

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Quick Tip: Did the last command work or not?

In PowerShell, there is usually at least a few ways to do most tasks and detecting if the last command resulted in an error or if it worked is no exception. You could wrap code in a try/catch block, but sometimes that’s overkill. Regardless of your reason for wanting to get the work/borked status of the last command, here are a couple simple ways of doing it.

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Beginner PowerShell Tip: The .Count Property Doesn’t Exist If A Command Only Returns One Item

If you’re just getting started in PowerShell, it’s possible that you haven’t bumped into this specific issue yet. Perhaps you’ve got a variable $users and you’re assigning it a value like this.

This will get all the users in your Active Directory whose username ends with “thmsrynr”.

Great! Now how many users got returned? We can check the Count property to find out.

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Beginner PowerShell Tip: Using Variable Properties In Strings

If you’re just getting started in PowerShell, it’s possible that you haven’t bumped into this specific issue yet. Say you’ve got a variable named $user and this is how you assigned a value to it.

Using the Active Directory module, you got a specific user. Now, you want to report two properties back to the end user: SamAccountName and Enabled. The desired output looks like this:

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Using PowerShell To Split A String Without Losing The Character You Split On

Last week, I wrote a post on the difference between .split() and -split in PowerShell. This week, we’re going to keep splitting strings, but we’re going to try to retain the character that we’re splitting on. Whether you use .split() or -split, when you split a string, it takes that character and essentially turns it into the separation of the two items on either side of it. But, what if I want to keep that character instead of losing it to the split?

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What’s the difference between -split and .split() in PowerShell?

Here’s a question I see over and over and over again: “I have a string and I’m trying to split it on this part, but it’s jumbling it into a big mess. What’s going on?” Well, there’s splitting a string in PowerShell, and then there’s splitting a string in PowerShell. Confused? Let me explain.

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