Using Online Help (Part 1)

by Oct 7, 2020

PowerShell supports both local help files and online resources. Take a look at the differences:

# outputs help in same console window
# level of detail depends on whether local help was
# downloaded using Update-Help
PS C:\> help -Name Get-Process

    Gets the processes that are running on the local computer or a remote computer.
    Get-Process [[-Name] <String[]>] [-ComputerName <String[]>] [-FileVersionInfo] [-Module] []

# opens help in separate browser window
PS> help -Name Get-Process -Online 

By default, “help” (alias for Get-Help) outputs help information into the PowerShell output window. When you specify the -Online switch parameter, your browser displays the help file in a separate window. The online help document sports a nice formatting, and sample code can easily be copied and pasted via a “copy” button. And since the online documents are loaded directly from Microsoft, they are always up-to-date, and there is no need to download the help via Update-Help.

That’s why many users prefer the online help resources over the local help.

Even the many useful “about” topics exist online. About topics cover various aspects of the PowerShell language and engine. You find all about topics nicely sorted here:

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