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Out-String

Updated: April 21, 2010

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0

Sends objects to the host as a series of strings.

Syntax

Out-String [-InputObject <psobject>] [-Stream] [-Width <int>] [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Out-String cmdlet converts the objects that Windows PowerShell manages into an array of strings. By default, Out-String accumulates the strings and returns them as a single string, but you can use the stream parameter to direct Out-String to return one string at a time. This cmdlet lets you search and manipulate string output as you would in traditional shells when object manipulation is less convenient.

Parameters

-InputObject <psobject>

Specifies the objects to be written to a string. Enter a variable that contains the objects, or type a command or expression that gets the objects.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByValue)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Stream

Sends the strings for each object separately. By default, the strings for each object are accumulated and sent as a single string.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Width <int>

Specifies the number of characters in each line of output. Any additional characters are truncated, not wrapped. If you omit this parameter, the width is determined by the characteristics of the host. The default for the PowerShell.exe host is 80 (characters).

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

<CommonParameters>

This command supports the common parameters: Verbose, Debug, ErrorAction, ErrorVariable, OutBuffer, OutVariable, WarningAction, and WarningVariable. For more information, see about_CommonParameters.

Inputs and Outputs

The input type is the type of the objects that you can pipe to the cmdlet. The return type is the type of the objects that the cmdlet returns.

 

Inputs

System.Management.Automation.PSObject

You can pipe objects to Out-String.

Outputs

System.String

Out-String returns the string that it creates from the input object.

Notes

The cmdlets that contain the Out verb (the Out cmdlets) do not format objects; they just render them and send them to the specified display destination. If you send an unformatted object to an Out cmdlet, the cmdlet sends it to a formatting cmdlet before rendering it.

The Out cmdlets do not have parameters for names or file paths. To send data to an Out cmdlet, use a pipeline operator (|) to send the output of a Windows PowerShell command to the cmdlet. You can also store data in a variable and use the InputObject parameter to pass the data to the cmdlet. For more information, see the examples.

Example 1

C:\PS>get-content C:\test1\testfile2.txt | out-string

Description

-----------

This command sends the content of the Testfile2.txt file to the console as a single string. It uses the Get-Content cmdlet to get the content of the file. The pipeline operator (|) sends the content to Out-String, which sends the content to the console as a string.

Example 2

C:\PS>$c = get-culture | select-object *

C:\PS> out-string -inputobject $c -width 100

Description

-----------

These commands get the regional settings for the current user and convert the data to strings. The first command uses the Get-Culture cmdlet to get the regional settings. The pipeline operator (|) sends the result to the Select-Object cmdlet, which selects all properties (*) of the culture object that Get-Culture retrieved. The command then stores the results in the $c variable.

The second command uses Out-String to convert the CultureInfo object to a series of strings (one string for each property). It uses the InputObject parameter to pass the $c variable to Out-String. The width parameter is set to 100 characters per line to prevent truncation.

Example 3

C:\PS>get-alias | out-string -stream | select-string "Get-Command"

Description

-----------

This command displays aliases that include the phrase "Get-Command". It uses the Get-Alias cmdlet to get a set of AliasInfo objects (one for each alias in the current session). This example demonstrates the difference between working with objects and working with strings.

The pipeline operator (|) sends the output of Get-Alias to Out-String, which converts the objects to a series of strings. It uses the Stream parameter to send each string individually, instead of concatenating them into a single string. Another pipeline operator sends the strings to Select-String, which selects the strings that include "Get-Command" anywhere in the string.

If you omit the Stream parameter, the command displays all of the aliases, because Select-String finds "Get-Command" in the single string that Out-String returns, and the formatter displays the string as a table.

See Also

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