2019-10-04

PowerShell aliases and missing Microsoft documentation


Unfortunately, in most cases, Microsoft's documentation for a PowerShell cmdlet is lacking information about the aliases.

For instance, the documentation for Get-Content fails to include information about the aliases cat, dir, and gci.

Resolution


Running cmdlet Get-Alias in a PowerShell session will list all aliases (for that version of PowerShell).

The interesting fields in the output from Get-Alias are:


    "Name"           The alias. E.g. "cat"
    "Definition"     The cmdlet. E.g. "Get-Content"


Get-Alias by itself will (roughly) output in alphabetic order of the aliases. Probably more interesting is grouping by cmdlets and then the aliases for that cmdlet in alphabetic order (sort with primary key on "Definition" and secondary key on "Name"):

    Get-Alias | select Name, Definition, DisplayName | sort Definition, Name

If the output is needed in some particular format, e.g. rows in an HTML table:

    Get-Alias | select Name, Definition, DisplayName | sort Definition, Name | foreach { "<tr> <td>{0,1}</td> <td>{1,1}</td> </tr>" -f $_.Name, $_.Definition }

Interesting aliases

Some short aliases are:

  1. % is an alias for ForEach-Object. ForEach-Object is also commonly known by another alias, foreach.
  2. ? is an alias for Where-Object. Where-Object is also commonly known by another alias, where
  3. h is an alias for Get-History. Another alias is ghy.
  4. ps (like on Unix) is an alias for Get-Process.

List of aliases



Alias Cmdlet
asnp Add-PSSnapIn
clc Clear-Content
clhy Clear-History
clear Clear-Host
cls Clear-Host
cli Clear-Item
clp Clear-ItemProperty
clv Clear-Variable
compare Compare-Object
diff Compare-Object
cnsn Connect-PSSession
CFS ConvertFrom-String
cvpa Convert-Path
copy Copy-Item
cp Copy-Item
cpi Copy-Item
cpp Copy-ItemProperty
dbp Disable-PSBreakpoint
dnsn Disconnect-PSSession
ebp Enable-PSBreakpoint
etsn Enter-PSSession
exsn Exit-PSSession
epal Export-Alias
epcsv Export-Csv
epsn Export-PSSession
% ForEach-Object
foreach ForEach-Object
fc Format-Custom
fhx Format-Hex
fl Format-List
ft Format-Table
fw Format-Wide
gal Get-Alias
dir Get-ChildItem
gci Get-ChildItem
ls Get-ChildItem
gcb Get-Clipboard
gcm Get-Command
gin Get-ComputerInfo
cat Get-Content
gc Get-Content
type Get-Content
ghy Get-History
h Get-History
history Get-History
gi Get-Item
gp Get-ItemProperty
gpv Get-ItemPropertyValue
gjb Get-Job
gl Get-Location
pwd Get-Location
gm Get-Member
gmo Get-Module
gps Get-Process
ps Get-Process
gbp Get-PSBreakpoint
gcs Get-PSCallStack
gdr Get-PSDrive
gsn Get-PSSession
gsnp Get-PSSnapIn
gsv Get-Service
gtz Get-TimeZone
gu Get-Unique
gv Get-Variable
gwmi Get-WmiObject
group Group-Object
man help
ipal Import-Alias
ipcsv Import-Csv
ipmo Import-Module
ipsn Import-PSSession
icm Invoke-Command
iex Invoke-Expression
ihy Invoke-History
r Invoke-History
ii Invoke-Item
irm Invoke-RestMethod
curl Invoke-WebRequest
iwr Invoke-WebRequest
wget Invoke-WebRequest
iwmi Invoke-WMIMethod
measure Measure-Object
md mkdir
mi Move-Item
move Move-Item
mv Move-Item
mp Move-ItemProperty
nal New-Alias
ni New-Item
nmo New-Module
mount New-PSDrive
ndr New-PSDrive
nsn New-PSSession
npssc New-PSSessionConfigurationFile
nv New-Variable
ogv Out-GridView
oh Out-Host
lp Out-Printer
popd Pop-Location
ise powershell_ise.exe
pushd Push-Location
rcjb Receive-Job
rcsn Receive-PSSession
del Remove-Item
erase Remove-Item
rd Remove-Item
ri Remove-Item
rm Remove-Item
rmdir Remove-Item
rp Remove-ItemProperty
rjb Remove-Job
rmo Remove-Module
rbp Remove-PSBreakpoint
rdr Remove-PSDrive
rsn Remove-PSSession
rsnp Remove-PSSnapin
rv Remove-Variable
rwmi Remove-WMIObject
ren Rename-Item
rni Rename-Item
rnp Rename-ItemProperty
rvpa Resolve-Path
rujb Resume-Job
select Select-Object
sls Select-String
sal Set-Alias
scb Set-Clipboard
sc Set-Content
si Set-Item
sp Set-ItemProperty
cd Set-Location
chdir Set-Location
sl Set-Location
sbp Set-PSBreakpoint
stz Set-TimeZone
set Set-Variable
sv Set-Variable
swmi Set-WMIInstance
shcm Show-Command
sort Sort-Object
sajb Start-Job
saps Start-Process
start Start-Process
sasv Start-Service
sleep Start-Sleep
spjb Stop-Job
kill Stop-Process
spps Stop-Process
spsv Stop-Service
sujb Suspend-Job
tee Tee-Object
trcm Trace-Command
wjb Wait-Job
? Where-Object
where Where-Object
echo Write-Output
write Write-Output

Platform


This was tested on Windows 10 and PowerShell 5.1:

    $PSVersionTable.PSVersion

    Major  Minor  Build  Revision
    -----  -----  -----  -------- 
    5      1      18362  145