PowerShell's Out-GridView Cmdlet
Out-GridView provides a better way for PowerShell to present tabulated information. It works particularly well for displaying data returned by Get-Service or Get-Process.
Topics for PowerShell Out-GridView
If you have not seen Out-GridView before it could be because this is a new cmdlet in PowerShell Version 2.0. As with any new cmdlet, before we put Out-GridView to work it's worth calling for help so that we can check the syntax and seek out interesting parameters.
Get-Help Out-GridView -full
Note 1: Because I want to see examples, I rarely use Get-Help without appending the -full switch. In this case help alerted me to sorting the columns by simply double-clicking their heading. In addition, it was only by reading the help file that I realized the benefit of using the 'Search' box as a filter.
Note 2: The only problem I have encountered with Out-GridView is spelling the noun. Grid View is wrong, and omitting View is another fatal sin, Out-Grid does not work. Remember it's one word, gridview as in Out-GridView.
# PowerShell Out-GridView Example
Note 1: Please remember the pipe (|), especially when you get too ambitious, and something goes wrong with your complex experiment.
Note 2: You can also copy the data displayed by Out-GridView and paste it into Excel. Numeric data often benefits from further manipulation by the spreadsheets functions. I find that the old keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl + a are handy for selecting all the rows.
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This example illustrates the benefits of adding extra PowerShell code in order to control the headings. For example, we want the name of each process in the first column.
# PowerShell Out-GridView in action
Note 1: Remember that you can sort on any of the columns simply by double-clicking.
Note 3: Out-GridView has a search box that you don't normally get with Get-Process. One use of this Search capability is to filter the data.
Example 3: Out-GridView Show in Groups
Another surprising feature of Out-GridView is how we can group items. For example, with Get-Service you can aggregate the services that are stopped. Just right-click on the heading and see if it supports 'Show in Groups'. See screenshot to the right. All in all, Out-Grid means that you can manipulate data quickly on the fly, this saves having to revisit the code and changing the properties or adjusting the grouping syntax.
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Example 4: Import XML Files
One more pleasant revelation, if you import an XML file then you can improve the way the data displays by piping its contents into Out-GridView. Assuming you have a suitable xml file called services.xml, try this:
Import-CliXML C:\PShell\services.xml | Out-GridView
Note 1: I don't want you to go away thinking that Out-GridView is only suitable for Get-Service, it's just that all Windows computers have services, and their data shows off this display cmdlet in it's best light.
While Out-GridView is easy to understand, it maybe that you already know other members of the 'Output' family of cmdlets. My point is that if you have already used Out-File then you will know what to expect from Out-GridView. On the other hand, if this is all new territory, then you can apply knowledge of Out-GridView to Out-Printer.
Get-Command -verb out
Summary of PowerShell's Out-GridView Cmdlet
PowerShell v 2.0 has a lovely new cmdlet called Out-GridView, what this does is take the output from another command and present it in a new window where the data is displayed in an interactive table. Take the time to research the 'Search' box and discover how to 'Show in Groups'.
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Please email me if you have a better example script. Also please report any factual mistakes, grammatical errors or broken links, I will be happy to correct the fault.