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About Types.ps1xml

JuanPablo Jofre|Last Updated: 11/17/2016
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2 Contributors

about_Types.ps1xml

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Explains how to use Types.ps1xml files to extend the types of objects that are used in Windows PowerShell.

LONG DESCRIPTION

Extended type data defines additional properties and methods ("members") of object types in Windows PowerShell. There are two techniques for adding extended type data to a Windows PowerShell session.

-- Types.ps1xml file: An XML file that defines extended type data. -- Update-TypeData: A cmdlet that reloads Types.ps1xml files and defines extended data for types in the current session.

This topic describes Types.ps1xml files. For more information about using the Update-TypeData cmdlet to add dynamic extended type data to the current session see Update-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113421).

About Extended Type Data

Extended type data defines additional properties and methods ("members") of object types in Windows PowerShell. You can extend any type that is supported by Windows PowerShell and use the added properties and methods in the same way that you use the properties that are defined on the object types.

For example, Windows PowerShell adds a DateTime property to all System.DateTime objects, such as the ones that the Get-Date cmdlet returns.

PS C:> (Get-Date).DateTime Sunday, January 29, 2012 9:43:57 AM

You won't find the DateTime property in the description of the System.DateTime structure (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/system.datetime.aspx), because Windows PowerShell adds the property and it is visible only in Windows PowerShell.

To add the DateTime property to all Windows PowerShell sessions, Windows PowerShell defines the DateTime property in the Types.ps1xml file in the Windows PowerShell installation directory ($pshome).

Adding Extended Type Data to Windows PowerShell.

There are three sources of extended type data in Windows PowerShell sessions.

-- The Types.ps1xml files in the Windows PowerShell installation directory are loaded automatically into every Windows PowerShell session.

-- The Types.ps1xml files that modules export are loaded when the module is imported into the current session.

-- Extended type data that is defined by using the Update-TypeData cmdlet is added only to the current session. It is not saved in a file.

In the session, the extended type data from the three sources is applied to objects in the same way and is available on all objects of the specified types.

The TypeData Cmdlets

The following TypeData cmdlets are included in the Microsoft.PowerShell.Utility module in Windows PowerShell 3.0 and later versions of Windows PowerShell.

Get-TypeData: Gets extended type data in the current session. Update-TypeData: Reloads Types.ps1xml files. Adds extended type data to the current session. Remove-TypeData: Removes extended type data from the current session.

For more information about these cmdlets, see the help topic for each cmdlet.

Built-in Types.ps1xml Files

The Types.ps1xml files in the $pshome directory are added automatically to every session.

The Types.ps1xml file in the Windows PowerShell installation directory ($pshome) is an XML-based text file that lets you add properties and methods to the objects that are used in Windows PowerShell. Windows PowerShell has built-in Types.ps1xml files that add several elements to the .NET Framework types, but you can create additional Types.ps1xml files to further extend the types.

For example, by default, array objects (System.Array) have a Length property that lists the number of objects in the array. However, because the name "length" does not clearly describe the property, Windows PowerShell adds an alias property named "Count" that displays the same value. The following XML adds the Count property to the System.Array type.

System.ArrayCount Length

To get the new AliasProperty, use a Get-Member command on any array, as shown in the following example.

Get-Member -inputobject (1,2,3,4)

The command returns the following results.

Name MemberType Definition


Count AliasProperty Count = Length Address Method System.Object& Address(Int32 ) Clone Method System.Object Clone() CopyTo Method System.Void CopyTo(Array array, Int32 index): Equals Method System.Boolean Equals(Object obj) Get Method System.Object Get(Int32 )

...

As a result, you can use either the Count property or the Length property of arrays in Windows PowerShell. For example:

C:\PS> (1, 2, 3, 4).count

4

C:\PS> (1, 2, 3, 4).length

4

Creating New Types.ps1xml Files

The .ps1xml files that are installed with Windows PowerShell are digitally signed to prevent tampering because the formatting can include script blocks. Therefore, to add a property or method to a .NET Framework type, create your own Types.ps1xml files, and then add them to your Windows PowerShell session.

To create a new file, start by copying an existing Types.ps1xml file. The new file can have any name, but it must have a .ps1xml file name extension. You can place the new file in any directory that is accessible to Windows PowerShell, but it is useful to place the files in the Windows PowerShell installation directory ($pshome) or in a subdirectory of the installation directory.

When you have saved the new file, use the Update-TypeData cmdlet to add the new file to your Windows PowerShell session. If you want your types to take precedence over the types that are defined in the built-in file, use the PrependData parameter of the Update-TypeData cmdlet. Update-TypeData affects only the current session. To make the change to all future sessions, export the console, or add the Update-TypeData command to your Windows PowerShell profile.

Types.ps1xml and Add-Member

The Types.ps1xml files add properties and methods to all the instances of the objects of the specified .NET Framework type in the affected Windows PowerShell session. However, if you need to add properties or methods only to one instance of an object, use the Add-Member cmdlet.

For more information,see Add-Member.

Example: Adding an Age Member to FileInfo Objects

This example shows how to add an Age property to file objects (System.IO.FileInfo). The age of a file is the difference between its creation time and the current time in days.

It is easiest to use the original Types.ps1xml file as a template for the new file. The following command copies the original file to a file called MyTypes.ps1xml in the $pshome directory.

copy-item Types.ps1xml MyTypes.ps1xml

Next, open the Types.ps1xml file in any XML or text editor, such as Notepad. Because the Age property is calculated by using a script block, find a tag to use as a model for the new Age property.

Copy the XML between the and tags of the code to create the script property. Then, delete the remainder of the file, except for the opening <?xml> and tags and the closing tag. You must also delete the digital signature to prevent errors.

Begin with the model script property, such as the following script property, which was copied from the original Types.ps1xml file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>

System.GuidGuid$this.ToString()

Then, change the name of the .NET Framework type, the name of the property, and the value of the script block to create an Age property for file objects.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>

System.IO.FileInfoAge ((get-date) - ($this.creationtime)).days

After you save the file and close it, run an Update-TypeData command, such as the following command, to add the new Types.ps1xml file to the current session. The command uses the PrependData parameter to place the new file in a higher precedence order than the original file. (For more information about Update-TypeData, see Update-TypeData.)

update-typedata -prependpath $pshome\MyTypes.ps1xml

To test the change, run a Get-ChildItem command to get the PowerShell.exe file in the $pshome directory, and then pipe the file to the Format-List cmdlet to list all of the properties of the file. As a result of the change, the Age property appears in the list.

get-childitem $pshome\PowerShell.exe | format-list -property *

PSPath : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\WINDOWS... PSParentPath : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\WINDOWS... PSChildName : PowerShell.exe PSDrive : C PSProvider : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem PSIsContainer : False Age : 16 VersionInfo : File: C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPow... InternalName: POWERSHELL OriginalFilename: PowerShell.EXE

...

You can also display the Age property of the file by using the following command.

(get-childitem $pshome\PowerShell.exe).age

16

The XML in Types.ps1xml Files

The tag encloses all of the types that are defined in the file. There should be only one pair of tags.

Each .NET Framework type mentioned in the file should be represented by a pair of tags.

The type tags must contain the following tags:

: A pair of tags that enclose the name of the affected .NET Framework type.

: A pair of tags that enclose the tags for the new properties and methods that are defined for the .NET Framework type.

Any of the following member tags can be inside the tags.

: Defines a new name for an existing property.

The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the new property and a pair of tags that specify the existing property.

For example, the Count alias property is an alias for the Length property of array objects.

System.ArrayCountLength

: References a static method of a .NET Framework class.

The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the new method and a pair of tags that specify the code in which the method is defined.

For example, the Mode property of directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo objects) is a code property defined in the Windows PowerShell FileSystem provider.

System.IO.DirectoryInfoModeMicrosoft.PowerShell.Commands.FileSystemProviderMode

: References a static method of a .NET Framework class.

The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the new property and a pair of tags that specify the code in which the property is defined.

For example, the Mode property of directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo objects) is a code property defined in the Windows PowerShell FileSystem provider.

System.IO.DirectoryInfoModeMicrosoft.PowerShell.Commands.FileSystemProviderMode

: Defines a collection of members (properties and methods).

The tags appear within the primary tags. The tags must enclose a pair of tags surrounding the name of the member set and a pair of secondary tags that surround the members (properties and methods) in the set. Any of the tags that create a property (such as or ) or a method (such as or ) can be members of the set.

In Types.ps1xml files, the tag is used to define the default views of the .NET Framework objects in Windows PowerShell. In this case, the name of the member set (the value within the tags) is always "PsStandardMembers", and the names of the properties (the value of the tag) are one of the following:

  • DefaultDisplayProperty: A single property of an object.

  • DefaultDisplayPropertySet: One or more properties of an object.

  • DefaultKeyPropertySet: One or more key properties of an object. A key property identifies instances of property values, such as the ID number of items in a session history.

For example, the following XML defines the default display of services (System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController objects) that are returned by the Get-Service cmdlet. It defines a member set named "PsStandardMembers" that consists of a default property set with the Status, Name, and DisplayName properties.

System.ServiceProcess.ServiceControllerPSStandardMembersDefaultDisplayPropertySetStatusNameDisplayName

: References a native method of the underlying object.

: A collection of the methods of the object.

: Defines a property with a static value.

The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the new property and a pair of tags that specify the value of the property.

For example, the following XML creates a Status property for directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo objects). The value of the Status property is always "Success".

System.IO.DirectoryInfoStatusSuccess

: Properties that take arguments and return a value.

: A collection of the properties of the object.

: A property of the base object.

: Defines a collection of properties of the object.

The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the property set and a pair of tags that specify the properties. The names of the properties are enclosed in tag pairs.

In Types.ps1xml, tags are used to define sets of properties for the default display of an object. You can identify the default displays by the value "PsStandardMembers" in the tag of a tag.

For example, the following XML creates a Status property for directories (System.IO.DirectoryInfo objects). The value of the Status property is always "Success".

System.ServiceProcess.ServiceControllerPSStandardMembersDefaultDisplayPropertySetStatusNameDisplayName: Defines a method whose value is the output of a script. The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the new method and a pair of ConvertFromDateTime

: Defines a property whose value is the output of a script.

The tag must have a pair of tags that specify the name of the new property and a pair of tags that enclose the script block that returns the property value.

For example, the VersionInfo property of files (System.IO.FileInfo objects) is a script property that results from using the FullName property of the GetVersionInfo static method of System.Diagnostics.FileVersionInfo objects.

System.IO.FileInfoVersionInfo [System.Diagnostics.FileVersionInfo]::GetVersionInfo($this.FullName)

For more information, see the Windows PowerShell Software Development Kit (SDK) in the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network )library at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=144538.

Update-TypeData

To load your Types.ps1xml files into a Windows PowerShell session, run the Update-TypeData cmdlet. If you want the types in your file to take precedence over types in the built-in Types.ps1xml file, add the PrependData parameter of Update-TypeData. Update-TypeData affects only the current session. To make the change to all future sessions, export the session, or add the Update-TypeData command to your Windows PowerShell profile.

Exceptions that occur in properties, or from adding properties to an Update-TypeData command, do not report errors to StdErr. This is to suppress exceptions that would occur in many common types during formatting and outputting. If you are getting .NET Framework properties, you can work around the suppression of exceptions by using method syntax instead, as shown in the following example:

"hello".get_Length()

Note that method syntax can only be used with .NET Framework properties. Properties that are added by running the Update-TypeData cmdlet cannot use method syntax.

Signing a Types.ps1xml File

To protect users of your Types.ps1xml file, you can sign the file using a digital signature. For more information, see about_Signing.

SEE ALSO

about_Signing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113268) Copy-Item (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113292) Copy-ItemProperty (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113293) Get-Member (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113322) Get-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=217033) Remove-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=217038) Update-TypeData (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113421)

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