Chapter 5. Strings and Unstructured Text

Introduction

Creating and manipulating text has long been one of the primary tasks of scripting languages and traditional shells. In fact, Perl (the language) started as a simple (but useful) tool designed for text processing. It has grown well beyond those humble roots, but its popularity provides strong evidence of the need it fills.

In text-based shells, this strong focus continues. When most of your interaction with the system happens by manipulating the text-based output of programs, powerful text processing utilities become crucial. These text parsing tools, such as awk, sed, and grep, form the keystones of text-based systems management.

In PowerShell’s object-based environment, this traditional tool chain plays a less critical role. You can accomplish most of the tasks that previously required these tools much more effectively through other PowerShell commands. However, being an object-oriented shell does not mean that PowerShell drops all support for text processing. Dealing with strings and unstructured text continues to play an important part in a system administrator’s life. Since PowerShell lets you manage the majority of your system in its full fidelity (using cmdlets and objects), the text processing tools can once again focus primarily on actual text processing tasks.

Create a String

Problem

You want to create a variable that holds text.

Solution

Use PowerShell string variables as a way to store and work with text.

To define a string ...

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