Saving, Updating Text Files with PowerShell


I had a need to manipulate some text files to get the clean data the other day and found it’s extremely easy to deal with text files with PowerShell.

To open a text file and get the content of it,

Get-Content path\filename.txt

But I can use ForEach cycle to read each line the same time.

foreach ($eachline in Get-Content path\filename.txt) {
  codes to do deal with each line

Once I got the cleaned data in a new string, i.e. $newcontent, I can save it to a new text file.

Set-Content path\newfile.txt $newcontent

If I’d like to append the new content to an existing file, I can use Add-Content instead.

Add-Content path\newfile.txt $newcontent

It’s also worth noting that there is a list of special characters for special occasions like starting a new line, etc.

  • `0 — Null
  • `a — Alert
  • `b — Backspace
  • `n — New line
  • `r — Carriage return
  • `t — Horizontal tab
  • `’ — Single quote
  • `” — Double quote

Also, while we are at dealing with text files, let’s take look how many ways PowerShell can manipulate strings. Run the Get-Member cmdlet to find out.

"Strings in PowerShell" | PowerShell

The list is pretty impressive, covering most of the common string operations, such as Replace, Find, Compare, Concatenate, Split, Substring, etc.

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