Table of contents
TOC
Collapse the table of content
Expand the table of content

About Escape Characters

JuanPablo Jofre|Last Updated: 12/17/2016
|
3 Contributors

about_Escape_Characters

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Introduces the escape character in Windows PowerShell and explains its effect.

LONG DESCRIPTION

Escape characters are used to assign a special interpretation to the characters that follow it.

In Windows PowerShell, the escape character is the backtick (`), also called the grave accent (ASCII 96). The escape character can be used to indicate a literal, to indicate line continuation, and to indicate special characters.

In a call to another program, instead of using escape characters to prevent Windows PowerShell from misinterpreting program arguments, you can use the stop-parsing symbol (--%). The stop-parsing symbol is introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

ESCAPING A VARIABLE

When an escape character precedes a variable, it prevents a value from being substituted for the variable.

For example:

PS C:> $a = 5 PS C:> "The value is stored in $a." The value is stored in 5.

PS C:> $a = 5 PS C:> "The value is stored in `$a." The value is stored in $a.

ESCAPING QUOTATION MARKS

When an escape character precedes a double quotation mark, Windows PowerShell interprets the double quotation mark as a character, not as a string delimiter.

PS C:> "Use quotation marks (") to indicate a string." Unexpected token ')' in expression or statement. At line:1 char:25

  • "Use quotation marks (") <<<< to indicate a string."

PS C:> "Use quotation marks (`") to indicate a string." Use quotation marks (") to indicate a string.

USING LINE CONTINUATION

The escape character tells Windows PowerShell that the command continues on the next line.

For example:

PS C:> Get-Process `

PowerShell

Handles NPM(K) PM(K) WS(K) VM(M) CPU(s) Id ProcessName


340 8 34556 31864 149 0.98 2036 PowerShell

USING SPECIAL CHARACTERS

When used within quotation marks, the escape character indicates a special character that provides instructions to the command parser.

The following special characters are recognized by Windows PowerShell:

0 Nulla Alert b Backspacef Form feed n New liner Carriage return t Horizontal tabv Vertical tab

For example:

PS C:> "12345678123456781nCol1tColumn2`tCol3"

12345678123456781

Col1 Column2 Col3

For more information, type: Get-Help about_Special_Characters

STOP-PARSING SYMBOL

When calling other programs, you can use the stop-parsing symbol (--%) to prevent Windows PowerShell from generating errors or misinterpreting program arguments. The stop-parsing symbol is an alternative to using escape characters in program calls. It is introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

For example, the following command uses the stop-parsing symbol in an Icacls command:

icacls X:\VMS --% /grant Dom\HVAdmin:(CI)(OI)F

For more information about the stop-parsing symbol, see about_Parsing.

SEE ALSO

about_Quoting_Rules

© 2017 Microsoft