Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to Read Help Files (Part 7 of 7)

This is it!  The last in this series on how to read PowerShell Help Files.

Help files are available for more than just cmdlets.  PowerShell actually has an entire book of material to help you learn PowerShell built it.  Type this command:
Get-Help About_*

What you see are help files about various aspects of using PowerShell.  You will see help on programming constructs, PowerShell features, and different elements of the syntax. 
The help concerning programming such as About_IF and About_Switch start off very basic and adds in additional elements as you go.  I’ve used the About files many times to solve problems and discover why technologies are not working.

You also have help files for the PowerShell Providers.  The PSProviders give you easy access to data that would otherwise be difficult to access, such as the registry.  To see all of your PSProviders:


PS C:\> Get-PSProvider

Name                 Capabilities                            Drives                                                             
----                 ------------                            ------                                                              
Registry             ShouldProcess, Transactions             {HKLM, HKCU}                                                       
Alias                ShouldProcess                           {Alias}                                                            
Environment          ShouldProcess                           {Env}                                                              
FileSystem           Filter, ShouldProcess, Credentials      {C, D, E}                                                          
Function             ShouldProcess                           {Function}                                                         
Variable             ShouldProcess                           {Variable}                                                          
Certificate          ShouldProcess                           {Cert}                                                             
WSMan                Credentials                             {WSMan}                                                            

To get help on each provider, just ask for it by name.  For example: Get-Help Registry or Get-Help FileSystem.

That is it on reading the Help Files.  I encourage you to invest in reading the help files for cmdlets as you start using them.  This initial investment will slow you down at first, but it will pay in dividends later.  Not only in saving you time because you know how to use a cmdlet, but also in extra coding.  One of the coding errors that my PowerShell students make is they write a lot of extra code to do something that is already built into a cmdlet.  By investing in reading the help files up front, you will have to code less and produce your scripts faster and more efficiently.

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