-groupBy This parameter generates a new set of column headers each time in VB.NET

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-groupBy This parameter generates a new set of column headers each time
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the specified property value changes. This only works well when you have first sorted the objects on that same property. An example is the best way to see how this works:
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Get-Service | Sort-Object Status | Format-Table -groupBy Status
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Formatting and why it s done on the right
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Figure 8.3 Creating an auto-sized table of processes
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-wrap If the shell has to truncate information in a column, it will end that column with ellipses (...) to visually indicate that information was suppressed.
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This parameter enables the shell to wrap information, which will make the table longer, but will preserve all of the information you wanted to display. Here s an example:
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Get-Service | Format-Table Name,Status,DisplayName -autoSize -wrap
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TRY IT NOW You should run through all of these examples in the shell, and feel free to mix and match these techniques. Experiment a bit to see what works, and what sort of output you can create.
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Formatting lists
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Sometimes you need to display more information than will fit horizontally in a table, which can make a list useful. Format-List is the cmdlet you ll turn to, or you can use its alias, Fl. This cmdlet supports some of the same parameters as Format-Table, including -property. In fact, Fl is another way of displaying the properties of an object. Unlike Gm, Fl will also display the values for those properties, so that you can see what kind of information each property contains:
Get-Service | Fl *
Figure 8.4 shows an example of the output. I often use Fl as an alternative way of discovering the properties of an object.
TRY IT NOW Read the help for Format-List, and try experimenting with its
different parameters.
Custom columns and list entries
Figure 8.4 Reviewing services displayed in list form
Formatting wide
The last cmdlet, Format-Wide (or its alias, Fw), displays a wide list. It s able to display only the values of a single property, so its -property parameter accepts only one property name, not a list, and it can t accept wildcards. By default, Format-Wide will look for an object s Name property, because Name is a commonly used property and usually contains useful information. The display will generally default to two columns, but a -columns parameter can be used to specify more columns:
Get-Process | Format-Wide name -col 4
Figure 8.5 shows an example of what you should see.
TRY IT NOW Read the help for Format-Wide, and try experimenting with its
different parameters.
Custom columns and list entries
Flip back to the previous chapter, and review the section entitled, When things don t line up: custom properties. In that section, I showed you how to use a hashtable construct to add custom properties to an object. Both Format-Table and Format-List can use those same constructs to create custom table columns or custom list entries. You might do this to provide a column header that s different from the property name being displayed:
Get-Service | Format-Table @{l='ServiceName';e={$_.Name}},Status,DisplayName
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Figure 8.5 Displaying process names in a wide list
Or, you might put a more complex mathematical expression in place:
Get-Process | Format-Table Name, @{l='VM(MB)';e={$_.VM / 1MB -as [int]}} -autosize
Figure 8.6 shows the output of the preceding command. I admit, I m cheating here a little bit by throwing in a bunch of stuff that we haven t talked about yet.
Figure 8.6 Creating a custom, calculated table column
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We might as well talk about it now!
Obviously, I m starting with Get-Process, a cmdlet you re more than familiar with by now. If you run Get-Process | Fl *, you ll see that the VM property is in bytes although that s not how the default table view displays it. I m telling Format-Table to start with the process s Name property. Next, I m creating a custom column that will be labeled VM(MB). The value, or expression, for that column takes the object s normal VM property and divides it by 1MB. The slash is PowerShell s division operator, and PowerShell recognizes the shortcuts KB, MB, GB, TB, and PB as denoting kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, and petabyte respectively. The result of that division operation will have a decimal component that I don t want to see. The -as operator enables me to change the data type of that result from a floating-point value to, in this case, an integer value (specified by [int]). The shell will round up or down, as appropriate, when making that conversion. The result is a whole number with no fractional component.
I wanted to show you this little division-and-changing trick because it can be really useful in creating nicer-looking output. We won t spend much more time in this book on these operations (although I will tell you that * is used for multiplication, and as you might expect + and - are for addition and subtraction).
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