Export (0) Print
Expand All
Expand Minimize

about_Special_Characters

Updated: May 8, 2014

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell 3.0, Windows PowerShell 4.0

TOPIC
    about_Special_Characters

SHORT DESCRIPTION
    Describes the special characters that you can use to control how 
    Windows PowerShell interprets the next character in a command or parameter.


LONG DESCRIPTION
    Windows PowerShell supports a set of special character sequences that
    are used to represent characters that are not part of the standard
    character set.
 
    The special characters in Windows PowerShell begin with the backtick
    character, also known as the grave accent (ASCII 96).
 
    The following special characters are recognized by Windows PowerShell:

        `0    Null
        `a    Alert
        `b    Backspace
        `f    Form feed
        `n    New line
        `r    Carriage return
        `t    Horizontal tab
        `v    Vertical tab
        --%   Stop parsing
          

    These characters are case-sensitive. 

NULL (`0)
    Windows PowerShell recognizes a null special character (`0) and represents
    it with a character code of 0. It appears as an empty space in the 
    Windows PowerShell output. This allows you to use Windows PowerShell to 
    read and process text files that use null characters, such as string 
    termination or record termination indicators. The null special character
    is not equivalent to the $null variable, which stores a value of NULL.


ALERT (`a)
    The alert (`a) character sends a beep signal to the computer's speaker.
    You can use this to warn a user about an impending action. The following
    command sends two beep signals to the local computer's speaker:

        for ($i = 0; $i -le 1; $i++){"`a"}


BACKSPACE (`b)
    The backspace character (`b) moves the cursor back one character, but it 
    does not delete any characters. The following command writes the word 
    "backup", moves the cursor back twice, and then writes the word "out" 
    (preceded by a space and starting at the new position):

        "backup`b`b out"


    The output from this command is as follows:

        back out


FORM FEED (`f)
   The form feed character (`f) is a print instruction that ejects the
   current page and continues printing on the next page. This character
   affects printed documents only; it does not affect screen output.


NEW LINE (`n)
    The new line character (`n) inserts a line break immediately after the 
    character.
 
    The following example shows how to use the new line character in a 
    Write-Host command: 

        "There are two line breaks`n`nhere."
        

    The output from this command is as follows:

        There are two line breaks

        here.


CARRIAGE RETURN (`r)
    The carriage return character (`r) eliminates the entire line prior 
    to the `r character, as though the prior text were on a different line.

    For example:

        Write-Host "Let's not move`rDelete everything before this point."

    The output from this command is:

        Delete everything before this point.


HORIZONTAL TAB (`t)
    The horizontal tab character (`t) advances to the next tab stop and 
    continues writing at that point. By default, the Windows PowerShell
    console has a tab stop at every eighth space. 
   
    For example, the following command inserts two tabs between each
    column. 

        "Column1`t`tColumn2`t`tColumn3"

    The output from this command is:

        Column1         Column2         Column3


VERTICAL TAB (`v)
    The horizontal tab character (`t) advances to the next vertical tab stop 
    and writes all subsequent output beginning at that point. This character
    affects printed documents only. It does not affect screen output.

STOP PARSING  (--%)
    The stop-parsing symbol (--%) prevents Windows PowerShell from
    interpreting arguments in program calls as Windows PowerShell
    commands and expressions.

    Place the stop-parsing symbol after the program name and before
    program arguments that might cause errors.

    For example, the following Icacls command uses the stop-parsing
    symbol.
        icacls X:\VMS --% /grant Dom\HVAdmin:(CI)(OI)F

    Windows PowerShell sends the following command to Icacls.
        X:\VMS /grant Dom\HVAdmin:(CI)(OI)F

    For more information about the stop-parsing symbol, see
    about_Parsing.


KEYWORDS
    about_Punctuation
    about_Symbols

SEE ALSO
    about_Quoting_Rules 
    about_Escape_Characters
          





Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft