Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training
Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Monday, April 21, 2014

Creating a Visual Separator with PowerShell

When I am delivering my PowerShell classes, I often like to provide a transcript of everything that I do on the screen.  This can often be a lot of information.  To help distinguish between different sections or content, I often just place an inline comment on the screen.  Well, I’m changing things a bit.  Below is my code for Show-Separator.  I use it to provide a visual separation from between content.  Here are some examples.

PS C:\> Show-Separator

-- 04/20/2014 08:41:47 ----------------------------------------------------

 

 

PS C:\> Show-Separator "Module 1 - Demo 3" -ColorSet Cyan

-- Module 1 - Demo 3 ------------------------------------------------------

 

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<#

.SYNOPSIS

Places a separator on the host

 

.DESCRIPTION

Places a visual separator on the host screen.

 

.PARAMERATER ColorSet

Allows the user to change the coloring of the separator.  The default

color is "Green". Alternate colors are: "Blue", "Green", "Cyan", "Red",

"Magenta", "Yellow", "Gray", "White", "Black".

 

.PARAMTER String

The string of text to appeared in the separator.  The default string is

the current DateTime stamp.

 

.EXAMPLE

Show-Separator

 

-- 04/20/2014 08:11:39  ---------------------------------------------

 

Shows a visual separator on the screen in "Green" with the current

DateTime stamp.

 

.EXAMPLE

Show-Separator "Module 2 Examples" -ColorSet Cyan

 

-- Module 2 Examples ------------------------------------------------

 

Shows a visual separator on the screen in "Cyan" with the text

"Module 2 Examples"

#>

Function Show-Separator

{

    Param(

    [ValidateSet("Blue", "Green", "Cyan", "Red", "Magenta", "Yellow", "Gray", "White", "Black")]

    [String]

    $ColorSet = "Green",

   

   

    [parameter(Position=0)]

    [String]$String = "$(Get-Date)"   

    )

 

    # Add a space after the string.

    $String += " "

 

    # Truncate the string if it is to long.

    If (($String.length -6) -gt ((Get-host).UI.RawUI.BufferSize.Width))

    {

        $String = $String.Remove((Get-host).UI.RawUI.BufferSize.Width-5)

    }

 

 

    # Pad the right of the string with "-"

    $String = "-- $($String.PadRight(((Get-host).UI.RawUI.BufferSize.Width)-3,"-"))"

   

    # Set the colors to be used.

    Switch ($ColorSet)

    {

        "Blue" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Blue"; "Back" = "DarkBlue"}}

        "Green" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Green"; "Back" = "DarkGreen"}}

        "Cyan" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Cyan"; "Back" = "DarkCyan"}}

        "Red" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Red"; "Back" = "DarkRed"}}

        "Magenta" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Magenta"; "Back" = "DarkMagenta"}}

        "Yellow" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Yellow"; "Back" = "DarkYellow"}}

        "Gray" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Gray"; "Back" = "DarkGray"}}

        "Black" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "White"; "Back" = "Black"}}

        "White" {$Hash = @{"Fore" = "Black"; "Back" = "White"}}

 

    } # End: Switch ($String)

 

    # Write the string to the host.

    Write-Host $String @Hash

} # End: Function Show-Separator

 

In lines 35-39 I’m defining the valid color sets for this function.  This allows for the user to TAB complete this parameter.

Line 43 will set the default value for the string as the current DateTime stamp.

Line 47 makes sure that a space will always be after the string.

Lines 50-53 will truncate the string provided by the user if it is to long.

Lines 61-73 create a splat for the color values.

Line 76 will write the string to the host.  Notice that the purpose of this function is not to place anything in the PowerShell pipeline.  It is only to provide a visual separation.

To help making this code even faster, I both added to an existing module that I have and I use an alias.  OK, I know, the hundreds of you who have sat through my PowerShell classes know that I do not advocate the usage of alias’.  My reasoning is that you may inadvertently place them in your code which restricts your code to only your client.  This particular function is not intended to be used in code so it is OK.

Alias code:

New-Alias –Name “SS” –Value “Show-Separator”

I place it in the following profile.

C:\Windows\User\UserName\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\profile.ps1

This way the alias is available to me in both the shell and the ISE.

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