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Getting help

 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2012-10-04

In Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, the Exchange Management Shell provides many Help resources so that you can use it to its fullest potential. This topic provides the following sections, which describe Help resources and functionality:

  • Exchange 2013 Help    Exchange 2013 Help contains all the cmdlet Help topics in a role-based and task-based hierarchy. The cmdlet Help topics also link to procedural topics that tell you how to perform specific tasks.

  • Help cmdlets   The Shell has several Help cmdlets that enable you to find the appropriate information to accomplish your task.

  • Help views   Help in the Shell contains extensive information about the cmdlets available to you. Help views enable you to access the information that you need about a cmdlet.

  • Tab completion   You can use tab completion on cmdlet names and parameter names to reduce the amount of typing at a command prompt.

Exchange 2013 Help contains the same cmdlet Help information available on each cmdlet in the Shell. However, in Exchange 2013 Help, the Help topics for all the cmdlets are organized by server role and administration task so that you can easily find specific cmdlets associated with the task that you want to perform. Also, cmdlet topics in Exchange 2013 Help are linked to topics that introduce you to the features that they manage, show you how to use the cmdlets to manage that feature, and provide specific details about the feature or common scenarios.

For more information about the cmdlet Help topics available in Exchange 2013 Help, see Exchange 2013 cmdlets.

The following tables provide examples of how to use the Get-Help and Get-Command cmdlets to access the Help information available for each cmdlet in the Shell.

ImportantImportant:
To view a list of Exchange cmdlets that match a string that you specify, use the Get-ExCommand cmdlet. For more information, see the "Examples of how to use miscellaneous Help commands" table later in this section.

The following table provides examples of how the Get-Help cmdlet is used.

Examples of how to use the Get-Help cmdlet

Examples Description

Get-Help

When you use the Get-Help cmdlet by itself, it gives you basic instructions on how to use the Shell Help system.

Get-Help <cmdlet>

When you give the Get-Help cmdlet a cmdlet as an argument, it displays the Help information for that cmdlet. For example, to retrieve the Help information for the Get-SystemMessage cmdlet, use the following command.

Get-Help Get-SystemMessage

Get-Help About_*

The Get-Help About_* command provides a list of all general Shell Help topics to help you better understand and use the Shell. If you want to learn more about a topic in the list displayed, run the Get-Help About_<feature> command. For example, if you want to learn more about wildcards, use the following command.

NoteNote:
You might need to run the Update-Help cmdlet to download the Windows PowerShell-provided About_* help files.

Get-Help About_wildcards.

Get-Help <cmdlet> -Detailed

For a description, see the Help views section later in this topic.

Get-Help <cmdlet> -Full

For a description, see the Help views section later in this topic.

Get-Help <cmdlet> -Examples

For a description, see the Help views section later in this topic.

Get-Help <cmdlet> -Parameter <parameter name>

For a description, see the Parameters filter section later in this topic.

Get-Help <cmdlet> -Online

For a description, see the Online Help section later in this topic.

The following table provides examples of how the Get-Command cmdlet is used.

Examples of how to use the Get-Command cmdlet

Examples Description

Get-Command

The Get-Command cmdlet provides a list of all the cmdlets available to the Shell. The Get-Command cmdlet allows for wildcard character expansion.

Get-Command *<string>*

When you enclose a string with wildcard characters ( * ), the Get-Command cmdlet returns a list of all cmdlets and functions that are available to you that contain that string. For example, to find all cmdlets or functions that contain the string "mailbox", use the command Get-Command *mailbox*.

Exchange cmdlets are shown as functions in the output of the Get-Command cmdlet.

Get-Command -Noun <CmdletNoun>

The Get-Command -Noun <CmdletNoun> command lists all the cmdlets that exist with the specified noun. This command is useful when you want to view a list of all cmdlets associated with a particular feature. For example, the Get-Command -Noun SystemMessage command returns all the cmdlets available for the SystemMessage feature.

Get-Command -Verb <CmdletVerb>

The Get-Command -Verb <CmdletVerb> command lists all the cmdlets that exist with the specified verb. This command is useful when you want to view a list of all cmdlets associated with a particular action. For example, the Get-Command -Verb Enable command returns all cmdlets available that perform the enable action.

The following table provides examples of how to use miscellaneous Help commands.

Examples of how to use miscellaneous Help commands

Examples Description

Get-ExCommand

The Get-ExCommand command returns a list of all Exchange cmdlets available to you.

Get-ExCommand *<string>*

When you enclose a string with wildcard characters ( * ), the Get-ExCommand command returns a list of all Exchange cmdlets that are available to you that contain that string. For example, to find all Exchange cmdlets that contain the string "mailbox", use the command Get-ExCommand *mailbox*.

Exchange cmdlets are shown as functions in the output of the Get-ExCommand command.

QuickRef

The QuickRef command opens a link to a printable HTML chart that lists the most frequently used Shell cmdlets. This command works only if the Exchange management tools are installed.

To open this chart directly, see Exchange Management Shell quick reference for Exchange 2013.

<Cmdlet> -?

Use the <Cmdlet> -? command together with any cmdlet to find the same Help information available when you use the Get-Help cmdlet. For example, type Get-SystemMessage -? to display detailed Help for the Get-SystemMessage cmdlet.

Get-Tip

The Get-Tip cmdlet generates a new Exchange Management Shell Tip of the Day. This cmdlet works only if the Exchange management tools are installed.

Get-ExBlog

The Get-ExBlog cmdlet opens your default browser to display the Exchange Team blog. This cmdlet works only if the Exchange management tools are installed.

When a cmdlet is specified as a parameter of the Get-Help cmdlet, the Help information for the specified cmdlet is displayed. In some cases, the information returned can be extensive, and you may only want to see specific information. Help views enable you to view specific information about a cmdlet without having to sort through information that you may not need.

The Shell has four views that present different types of information. You can also retrieve a specific parameter or set of similar parameters.

The following table shows the sections displayed in each view.

Help views in the Exchange Management Shell

Help view Default Detailed Full Examples

Synopsis

X

X

X

X

Syntax

X

X

X

 

Description

X

X

X

 

Parameters without metadata

 

X

 

 

Parameters with metadata

 

 

X

 

Inputs

 

 

X

 

Outputs

 

 

X

 

Errors

 

 

X

 

Examples

 

X

X

X

Related links

X

 

X

 

Remarks

X

X

 

 

The following table describes each view and provides an example of a command that calls each view.

Examples of Exchange Management Shell Help views

Help view Examples Description

Default

Get-Help Set-Mailbox

The Default view is displayed when you use the command Get-Help <cmdlet>.

Detailed

Get-Help Set-Mailbox -Detailed

The Detailed view is displayed when you use the command Get-Help <cmdlet> -Detailed. The parameters returned in the Parameters section don't include parameter metadata.

For more information, see Parameters.

Full

Get-Help Set-Mailbox - Full

The Full view is displayed when you use the command Get-Help <cmdlet> -Full. The parameters returned in the Parameters section include the following parameter metadata:

  • Required?

  • Position?

  • Default value

  • Accept pipeline input?

  • Accept wildcard characters?

For more information, see Parameters.

Examples

Get-Help Set-Mailbox -Examples

The Examples view is displayed when you use the command Get-Help <cmdlet> -Examples.

In addition to these four Help views, you can also access the description and metadata about a specific parameter or set of similar parameters. You can specify the parameter together with the Get-Help <cmdlet> command. The following example shows how you can display the description of the ForwardingAddress parameter on the Set-Mailbox cmdlet:

Get-Help Set-Mailbox -Parameter ForwardingAddress

You can also display a set of similar parameters that exist on a specific cmdlet if you specify the partial name of a parameter together with a wildcard character (*). The following example shows how you can display all the parameters on the Set-Mailbox cmdlet that contain the word Quota.

Get-Help Set-Mailbox -Parameter *Quota*
NoteNote:
When you use the Parameter parameter with the Get-Help cmdlet to retrieve Help information for a cmdlet that has only one parameter, the Get-Help cmdlet doesn't return any results, even if you use the wildcard character (*). This is a known issue in Microsoft Windows PowerShell.

If a cmdlet has many parameters, it may be difficult to read the Help information for that cmdlet in the Shell. With Exchange 2013, the Online switch has been made available. The Online switch tells the Shell to open your default Web browser and browse to the online Help topic for the cmdlet. The online Help topic is the same as the Help for the cmdlet in the Shell with the additional benefits of being able to view the topic in a larger window, to search the topic for terms, or to click related links embedded within the topic. For example, to view online Help for the Set-Mailbox cmdlet, use the following command:

Get-Help Set-Mailbox -Online

Using the Online switch requires that your computer has a connection to the Internet.

You can use tab completion to reduce typing when you use the Shell. After you type a partial cmdlet name, and then press the TAB key, the Shell completes the cmdlet name if a matching cmdlet is found. If multiple matching cmdlet names are found, each cmdlet name cycles through after you press the TAB key. When you use tab completion with cmdlet names, you must supply at least the verb and the hyphen (-). The following examples show how you can use tab completion when you enter a cmdlet name:

Get-Transport<Tab>
Enable-<Tab>

Each time you press the TAB key in the first example, the Shell cycles through all the cmdlet names that start with Get-Transport. In the second example, the Shell cycles through all cmdlets with the verb Enable.

As with cmdlet names, you can also use tab completion when you want the Shell to complete the partial parameter name that you entered. When you use tab completion with parameter names, you must specify the full cmdlet name either by typing it or by using tab completion. The following examples show how you can use tab completion when you enter a parameter name:

Set-Mailbox -Email<Tab>
New-TransportRule -Cond<Tab>

Each time you press the TAB key in the first example, the Shell cycles through all the parameter names that start with Email on the Set-Mailbox cmdlet. In the second example, when you press the TAB key, the Shell completes the Conditions parameter on the New-TransportRule cmdlet.

 
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