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about_Types.ps1xml

Updated: May 8, 2014

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

TOPIC
    about_Types.ps1xml

SHORT DESCRIPTION
    Explains how to use Types.ps1xml files to extend the types of objects
    that are used in Windows PowerShell. 

LONG DESCRIPTION
    Extended type data defines additional properties and methods ("members")
    of object types in Windows PowerShell. There are two techniques for adding
    extended type data to a Windows PowerShell session.

        -- Types.ps1xml file: An XML file that defines extended type data.
        -- Update-TypeData: A cmdlet that reloads Types.ps1xml files and defines  
           extended data for types in the current session.
    
    This topic describes Types.ps1xml files. For more information about using the
    Update-TypeData cmdlet to add dynamic extended type data to the current session
    see Update-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113421).


 About Extended Type Data

    Extended type data defines additional properties and methods ("members")
    of object types in Windows PowerShell. You can extend any type that is 
    supported by Windows PowerShell and use the added properties and methods
    in the same way that you use the properties that are defined on the object
    types.

    For example, Windows PowerShell adds a DateTime property to all 
    System.DateTime objects, such as the ones that the Get-Date cmdlet 
    returns.

        PS C:\> (Get-Date).DateTime
        Sunday, January 29, 2012 9:43:57 AM    

    You won't find the DateTime property in the description of the System.DateTime
    structure (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.datetime.aspx), 
    because Windows PowerShell adds the property and it is visible only in    
    Windows PowerShell. 

    To add the DateTime property to all Windows PowerShell sessions, Windows PowerShell
    defines the DateTime property in the Types.ps1xml file in the Windows PowerShell
    installation directory ($pshome).


 Adding Extended Type Data to Windows PowerShell.

    There are three sources of extended type data in Windows PowerShell sessions.

    --  The Types.ps1xml files in the Windows PowerShell installation directory   
        are loaded automatically into every Windows PowerShell session. 

    --  The Types.ps1xml files that modules export are loaded when the module
        is imported into the current session.

    --  Extended type data that is defined by using the Update-TypeData cmdlet
        is added only to the current session. It is not saved in a file.

    In the session, the extended type data from the three sources is applied
    to objects in the same way and is available on all objects of the specified 
    types.

 The TypeData Cmdlets

    The following TypeData cmdlets are included in the Microsoft.PowerShell.Utility
    module in Windows PowerShell 3.0 and later versions of Windows PowerShell. 

        Get-TypeData:     Gets extended type data in the current session.
        Update-TypeData:  Reloads Types.ps1xml files. Adds extended type
                          data to the current session.
        Remove-TypeData:  Removes extended type data from the current 
                          session.  

    For more information about these cmdlets, see the help topic for each 
    cmdlet.


 Built-in Types.ps1xml Files

    The Types.ps1xml files in the $pshome directory are added automatically to
    every session.

    The Types.ps1xml file in the Windows PowerShell installation directory
    ($pshome) is an XML-based text file that lets you add properties and 
    methods to the objects that are used in Windows PowerShell. Windows 
    PowerShell has built-in Types.ps1xml files that add several elements
    to the .NET Framework types, but you can create additional Types.ps1xml
    files to further extend the types.

    For example, by default, array objects (System.Array) have a Length 
    property that lists the number of objects in the array. However, because
    the name "length" does not clearly describe the property, Windows 
    PowerShell adds an alias property named "Count" that displays the same 
    value. The following XML adds the Count property to the System.Array type.

        <Type>
            <Name>System.Array</Name>
            <Members>
                <AliasProperty>
                    <Name>Count</Name>
                    <ReferencedMemberName>
                        Length
                    </ReferencedMemberName>
                </AliasProperty>
            </Members>
        </Type>

    To get the new AliasProperty, use a Get-Member command on any array, as shown
    in the following example.

        Get-Member -inputobject (1,2,3,4)


    The command returns the following results.

Name           MemberType    Definition
----           ----------    ----------
Count          AliasProperty Count = Length
Address        Method        System.Object& Address(Int32 )
Clone          Method        System.Object Clone()
CopyTo         Method        System.Void CopyTo(Array array, Int32 index):
Equals         Method        System.Boolean Equals(Object obj)
Get            Method        System.Object Get(Int32 )
...


    As a result, you can use either the Count property or the Length property 
    of arrays in Windows PowerShell. For example:

C:\PS> (1, 2, 3, 4).count
4

C:\PS> (1, 2, 3, 4).length
4
 

  Creating New Types.ps1xml Files

      The .ps1xml files that are installed with Windows PowerShell are 
      digitally signed to prevent tampering because the formatting can include
      script blocks. Therefore, to add a property or method to a .NET Framework
      type, create your own Types.ps1xml files, and then add them to your 
      Windows PowerShell session.

      To create a new file, start by copying an existing Types.ps1xml file. The
      new file can have any name, but it must have a .ps1xml file name 
      extension. You can place the new file in any directory that is accessible
      to Windows PowerShell, but it is useful to place the files in the Windows
      PowerShell installation directory ($pshome) or in a subdirectory of the 
      installation directory.

      When you have saved the new file, use the Update-TypeData cmdlet to add 
      the new file to your Windows PowerShell session. If you want your types
      to take precedence over the types that are defined in the built-in file,
      use the PrependData parameter of the Update-TypeData cmdlet. 
      Update-TypeData affects only the current session. To make the change to
      all future sessions, export the console, or add the Update-TypeData 
      command to your Windows PowerShell profile.


  Types.ps1xml and Add-Member

      The Types.ps1xml files add properties and methods to all the instances 
      of the objects of the specified .NET Framework type in the affected 
      Windows PowerShell session. However, if you need to add properties or 
      methods only to one instance of an object, use the Add-Member cmdlet.

      For more information,see Add-Member.


  Example: Adding an Age Member to FileInfo Objects

      This example shows how to add an Age property to file objects 
      (System.IO.FileInfo). The age of a file is the difference between
      its creation time and the current time in days.

      It is easiest to use the original Types.ps1xml file as a template
      for the new file. The following command copies the original file to
      a file called MyTypes.ps1xml in the $pshome directory.

          copy-item Types.ps1xml MyTypes.ps1xml


      Next, open the Types.ps1xml file in any XML or text editor, such
      as Notepad. Because the Age property is calculated by using a script
      block, find a <ScriptProperty> tag to use as a model for the new Age 
      property. 

      Copy the XML between the <Type> and </Type> tags of the code to create
      the script property. Then, delete the remainder of the file, except for 
      the opening <?xml> and <Types> tags and the closing </Types> tag. You 
      must also delete the digital signature to prevent errors.

      Begin with the model script property, such as the following script 
      property, which was copied from the original Types.ps1xml file.

          <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
          <Types>
              <Type>
                 <Name>System.Guid</Name>
                    <Members>
                        <ScriptProperty>
                            <Name>Guid</Name>
                            <GetScriptBlock>$this.ToString()</GetScriptBlock>
                        </ScriptProperty>
                    </Members>
              </Type>
          </Types>


      Then, change the name of the .NET Framework type, the name of the 
      property, and the value of the script block to create an Age property 
      for file objects.


          <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
          <Types>
              <Type>
                 <Name>System.IO.FileInfo</Name>
                    <Members>
                        <ScriptProperty>
                            <Name>Age</Name>
                            <GetScriptBlock>
                               ((get-date) - ($this.creationtime)).days
                            </GetScriptBlock>
                        </ScriptProperty>
                    </Members>
              </Type>
          </Types>


      After you save the file and close it, run an Update-TypeData command,
      such as the following command, to add the new Types.ps1xml file to the
      current session. The command uses the PrependData parameter to place the
      new file in a higher precedence order than the original file. (For more
      information about Update-TypeData, see Update-TypeData.)

          update-typedata -prependpath $pshome\MyTypes.ps1xml

      To test the change, run a Get-ChildItem command to get the 
      PowerShell.exe file in the $pshome directory, and then pipe the file to
      the Format-List cmdlet to list all of the properties of the file. As a 
      result of the change, the Age property appears in the list.

        get-childitem $pshome\PowerShell.exe | format-list -property *


        PSPath            : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\WINDOWS...
        PSParentPath      : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\WINDOWS...
        PSChildName       : PowerShell.exe
        PSDrive           : C
        PSProvider        : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem
        PSIsContainer     : False
        Age               : 16
        VersionInfo       : File:             C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPow...
                    InternalName:     POWERSHELL
                    OriginalFilename: PowerShell.EXE
...


      You can also display the Age property of the file by using the following
      command.

  (get-childitem $pshome\PowerShell.exe).age
          16
 

  The XML in Types.ps1xml Files

      The <Types> tag encloses all of the types that are defined in the file.
      There should be only one pair of <Types> tags.

      Each .NET Framework type mentioned in the file should be represented by 
      a pair of <Type> tags. 

      The type tags must contain the following tags:

          <Name>: A pair of <Name> tags that enclose the name of the affected 
                  .NET Framework type.

          <Members>: A pair of <Members> tags that enclose the tags for the 
                     new properties and methods that are defined for the
                     .NET Framework type.

      Any of the following member tags can be inside the <Members> tags.

      <AliasProperty>: Defines a new name for an existing property.

         The <AliasProperty> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the new property and a pair of <ReferencedMemberName> tags
         that specify the existing property.       
            
         For example, the Count alias property is an alias for the Length     
         property of array objects.

             <Type>
                 <Name>System.Array</Name>
                 <Members>
                     <AliasProperty>
                         <Name>Count</Name>
                         <ReferencedMemberName>Length</ReferencedMemberName>
                     </AliasProperty>
                 </Members>
             </Type>


      <CodeMethod>:  References a static method of a .NET Framework class.

         The <CodeMethod> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the new method and a pair of <GetCodeReference> tags
         that specify the code in which the method is defined.       
            
         For example, the Mode property of directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo
         objects) is a code property defined in the Windows PowerShell 
         FileSystem provider.
        
             <Type>
                 <Name>System.IO.DirectoryInfo</Name>
                 <Members>
                     <CodeProperty>
                        <Name>Mode</Name>
                        <GetCodeReference>
                           <TypeName>Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.FileSystemProvider</TypeName>
                           <MethodName>Mode</MethodName>
                        </GetCodeReference>
                     </CodeProperty>
                 </Members>
             </Type>

 
      <CodeProperty>: References a static method of a .NET Framework class.

         The <CodeProperty> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the new property and a pair of <GetCodeReference> tags
         that specify the code in which the property is defined.       
            
         For example, the Mode property of directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo
         objects) is a code property defined in the Windows PowerShell 
         FileSystem provider.
        
             <Type>
                 <Name>System.IO.DirectoryInfo</Name>
                 <Members>
                     <CodeProperty>
                        <Name>Mode</Name>
                        <GetCodeReference>
                           <TypeName>Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.FileSystemProvider</TypeName>
                           <MethodName>Mode</MethodName>
                        </GetCodeReference>
                     </CodeProperty>
                 </Members>
             </Type>


      <MemberSet>: Defines a collection of members (properties and methods). 

         The <MemberSet> tags appear within the primary <Members> tags. The 
         tags must enclose a pair of <Name> tags surrounding the name of the
         member set and a pair of secondary <Members> tags that surround the 
         members (properties and methods) in the set. Any of the tags that 
         create a property (such as <NoteProperty> or <ScriptProperty>) or a
         method (such as <Method> or <ScriptMethod>) can be members of the set.

         In Types.ps1xml files, the <MemberSet> tag is used to define the 
         default views of the .NET Framework objects in Windows PowerShell. In
         this case, the name of the member set (the value within the <Name> 
         tags) is always "PsStandardMembers", and the names of the properties
         (the value of the <Name> tag) are one of the following:

    - DefaultDisplayProperty: A single property of an object.

            - DefaultDisplayPropertySet: One or more properties of an object.

            - DefaultKeyPropertySet: One or more key properties of an object. 
              A key property identifies instances of property values, such as
              the ID number of items in a session history.

         For example, the following XML defines the default display of services
         (System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController objects) that are returned by
         the Get-Service cmdlet. It defines a member set named 
         "PsStandardMembers" that consists of a default property set with the 
         Status, Name, and DisplayName properties.

             <Type>
                <Name>System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController</Name>
                <Members>
                   <MemberSet>
                       <Name>PSStandardMembers</Name>
                       <Members>
                           <PropertySet>
                             <Name>DefaultDisplayPropertySet</Name>
                             <ReferencedProperties>
                                <Name>Status</Name>
                                <Name>Name</Name>
                                <Name>DisplayName</Name>
                             </ReferencedProperties>
                           </PropertySet>
                       </Members>
                   </MemberSet>
                </Members>
             </Type>

   
      <Method>: References a native method of the underlying object. 

      <Methods>: A collection of the methods of the object.

      <NoteProperty>: Defines a property with a static value.

         The <NoteProperty> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the new property and a pair of <Value> tags that specify
         the value of the property.       
            
         For example, the following XML creates a Status property for 
         directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo objects). The value of the 
         Status property is always "Success".

             <Type>
                 <Name>System.IO.DirectoryInfo</Name>
                 <Members>
                     <NoteProperty>
                        <Name>Status</Name>
                <Value>Success</Value>
                     </NoteProperty>
                 </Members>
             </Type>


      <ParameterizedProperty>: Properties that take arguments and return a 
                               value.

      <Properties>: A collection of the properties of the object.

      <Property>: A property of the base object.

      <PropertySet>: Defines a collection of properties of the object.

         The <PropertySet> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the property set and a pair of <ReferencedProperty> tags
         that specify the properties. The names of the properties are enclosed
         in <Name> tag pairs.       

         In Types.ps1xml, <PropertySet> tags are used to define sets of 
         properties for the default display of an object. You can identify the
         default displays by the value "PsStandardMembers" in the <Name> tag 
         of a <MemberSet> tag.
            
         For example, the following XML creates a Status property for 
         directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo objects). The value of the Status
         property is always "Success".

             <Type>
                 <Name>System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController</Name>
                 <Members>
                     <MemberSet>
                         <Name>PSStandardMembers</Name>
                         <Members>
                             <PropertySet>
                                 <Name>DefaultDisplayPropertySet</Name>
                                 <ReferencedProperties>
                                     <Name>Status</Name
                                     <Name>Name</Name>
                                     <Name>DisplayName</Name>
                                 </ReferencedProperties>
                             </PropertySet>
                         <Members>
                     <MemberSet>
                 <Members>
             <Type>


     <ScriptMethod>: Defines a method whose value is the output of a script.

         The <ScriptMethod> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the new method and a pair of <Script> tags that enclose
         the script block that returns the method result.       
            
         For example, the ConvertToDateTime and ConvertFromDateTime methods of 
         management objects (System.System.Management.ManagementObject) are
         script methods that use the ToDateTime and ToDmtfDateTime static 
         methods of the System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter class. 

             <Type>
                 <Name>System.Management.ManagementObject</Name>
                 <Members>
                     <ScriptMethod>
                         <Name>ConvertToDateTime</Name>
                         <Script>
                             [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter]::ToDateTime($args[0])
                         </Script>
                     </ScriptMethod>
                     <ScriptMethod>
                         <Name>ConvertFromDateTime</Name>
                         <Script>
                             [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeConverter]::ToDmtfDateTime($args[0])
                         </Script>
                     </ScriptMethod>
                 </Members>
             </Type>


      <ScriptProperty>: Defines a property whose value is the output of a 
                        script.

         The <ScriptProperty> tag must have a pair of <Name> tags that specify
         the name of the new property and a pair of <GetScriptBlock> tags
         that enclose the script block that returns the property value.       
            
         For example, the VersionInfo property of files (System.IO.FileInfo
         objects) is a script property that results from using the FullName 
         property of the GetVersionInfo static method of 
         System.Diagnostics.FileVersionInfo objects.

             <Type>
                <Name>System.IO.FileInfo</Name>
                <Members>
                    <ScriptProperty>
                       <Name>VersionInfo</Name>
                       <GetScriptBlock>
                           [System.Diagnostics.FileVersionInfo]::GetVersionInfo($this.FullName)
                       </GetScriptBlock>
                    </ScriptProperty>   
                </Members>
             </Type>


      For more information, see the Windows PowerShell Software Development 
      Kit (SDK) in the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network )library 
      at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=144538.


  Update-TypeData
    
      To load your Types.ps1xml files into a Windows PowerShell session, run
      the Update-TypeData cmdlet. If you want the types in your file to take
      precedence over types in the built-in Types.ps1xml file, add the 
      PrependData parameter of Update-TypeData. Update-TypeData affects only 
      the current session. To make the change to all future sessions, export
      the session, or add the Update-TypeData command to your Windows 
      PowerShell profile.

      Exceptions that occur in properties, or from adding properties to an 
      Update-TypeData command, do not report errors to StdErr. This is to 
      suppress exceptions that would occur in many common types during formatting
      and outputting. If you are getting .NET Framework properties, you can work
      around the suppression of exceptions by using method syntax instead, as 
      shown in the following example:

           "hello".get_Length()

      Note that method syntax can only be used with .NET Framework properties.
      Properties that are added by running the Update-TypeData cmdlet cannot
      use method syntax.

  Signing a Types.ps1xml File

      To protect users of your Types.ps1xml file, you can sign the file using
      a digital signature. For more information, see about_Signing.
    

SEE ALSO
    about_Signing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113268)
    Copy-Item (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113292)
    Copy-ItemProperty (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113293)
    Get-Member (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113322)
    Get-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=217033)
    Remove-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=217038)
    Update-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113421)



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