Information on acquiring information about Cmdlets and using the help system effectively.

To acquire information on a command or subject, use the Get-Help [Cmdlet] command. The man and help aliases are available, but note that they automatically pipe to More for improved viewing.

You can use the -online flag to browse the help documentation online.

In order to view documentation on commands, you will need to update documentation for powershell. This can easily be done using Update-Help, but you need to be running in administrator to do this. I personally recommend using -Force to ‘assist’ some modules into updating.

Note that there are options for updating help, take a look at Save-Help and Update-Help -SourcePath to do this.

Finding Commands

In the search for a specific command, you can use wildcards to make it easy. The wildcard character matches searches for 0 or more characters; thus if you place * in front of event and search for it: help *event, you’ll find it matching anything that ends with event in the subject’s name, regardless of what comes before it.

However, Get-Help searches for help topics, modules that may or may not exist for every command (while they most likely do, it’s not 100%). Furthermore, your results could be polluted by topics you aren’t interested in; if you strictly want commands, Get-Command is your friend.

Do note though: while Get-Command supports wildcard, you should use the -Noun and -Verb parameters to make sure no external commands are returned (Only Cmdlets have nouns or verbs). Another way is with the -Type parameter, (i.e. -Type Cmdlet).

Potential Usages

Get-Help [Subject]
help [Subject]
man [Subject]
Get-Help [Subject] | More
help [Subject] -online  # Open the help documentation online, in the browser   
[Cmdlet] -?
help *event*
help Get-Event -Full  # Include all information on the subject at once
help Get-Service -Examples  # Look at examples for the given command
help Get-Service -Parameter ComputerName  # Look at information on specific parameter
help gsv -ShowWindow  # Present the help information in a small window with search, selection and scrolling
Get-Command -Noun *event -Verb Get  # Find all Cmdlets that end with "Event" and use "Get" as their verbx
gcm -Noun *event* -Type Cmdlet  # Find all Cmdlets that end with "Event"