Chapter 9. Simple Files


When administering a system, you naturally spend a significant amount of time working with the files on that system. Many of the things you want to do with these files are simple: get their content, search them for a pattern, or replace text inside them.

For even these simple operations, PowerShell’s object-oriented flavor adds several unique and powerful twists.

Get the Content of a File


You want to get the content of a file.


Provide the filename as an argument to the Get-Content cmdlet:

PS > $content = Get-Content c:\temp\file.txt

Place the filename in a ${} section to use the cmdlet Get-Content variable syntax:

PS > $content = ${c:\temp\file.txt}

Provide the filename as an argument to the ReadAllText() method to use the System.IO.File class from the .NET Framework:

PS > $content = [System.IO.File]::ReadAllText("c:\temp\file.txt")


PowerShell offers three primary ways to get the content of a file. The first is the Get-Content cmdlet—the cmdlet designed for this purpose. In fact, the Get-Content cmdlet works on any PowerShell drive that supports the concept of items with content. This includes Alias:, Function:, and more. The second and third ways are the Get-Content variable syntax and the ReadAllText() method.

When working against files, the Get-Content cmdlet returns the content of the file line by line. When it does this, PowerShell supplies additional information about that output line. This information, which PowerShell attaches ...

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