Sending PowerShell Results to PDF (Part 4)

by Dec 25, 2018

In the previous tip we created the function Out-PDFFile which accepts any PowerShell results and turns them into a PDF file – using the built-in printer drivers in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

We used a simple function for this to use the $Input automatic variable to easily access the piped data. If you’d rather like to use an advanced function to take advantage of mandatory parameters, we wrapped the project up in a sophisticated advanced function that also installs the PDF printer if it is still missing:

function Out-PDFFile { param ( [Parameter(Mandatory)] [String] $Path, [Parameter(ValueFromPipeline)] [Object] $InputObject, [Switch] $Open ) begin { # check to see whether the PDF printer was set up correctly  $printerName = "PrintPDFUnattended" $printer = Get-Printer -Name $printerName -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue if (!$?) { $TempPDF = "$env:temp\tempPDFResult.pdf" $port = Get-PrinterPort -Name $TempPDF -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue if ($port -eq $null) { # create printer port  Add-PrinterPort -Name $TempPDF } # add printer  Add-Printer -DriverName "Microsoft Print to PDF" -Name $printerName -PortName $TempPDF } else { # this is the file the print driver always prints to  $TempPDF = $printer.PortName # is the port name is the output file path?  if ($TempPDF -notlike '?:\*') { throw "Printer $printerName is not set up correctly. Remove the printer, and try again." } } # make sure old print results are removed  $exists = Test-Path -Path $TempPDF if ($exists) { Remove-Item -Path $TempPDF -Force } # create an empty arraylist that takes the piped results  [Collections.ArrayList]$collector = @() } process { $null = $collector.Add($InputObject) } end { # send anything that is piped to this function to PDF  $collector | Out-Printer -Name $printerName # wait for the print job to be completed, then move file  $ok = $false do { Start-Sleep -Milliseconds 500 Write-Host '.' -NoNewline $fileExists = Test-Path -Path $TempPDF if ($fileExists) { try { Move-Item -Path $TempPDF -Destination $Path -Force -ea Stop $ok = $true } catch { # file is still in use, cannot move  # try again  } } } until ( $ok ) Write-Host # open file if requested  if ($Open) { Invoke-Item -Path $Path } } } 

Provided you are using Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, and the “Microsoft Print to PDF” printer is available, you can now create PDF documents as easy as this:

 PS> Get-Service | Out-PDFFile -Path $home\desktop\services.pdf -Open PS> Get-ComputerInfo | Out-PDFFile -Path $home\Desktop\computerinfo.pdf -Open 

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