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Using .NET 5 split Method to split strings in PowerShell 7.1+

n-v-o
Powershell!! dev.nvo@pm.me
Originally published at n-v-o.github.io Updated on ・2 min read

I started using Powershell in version 5, which is built on .NET 4.

Powershell 7 (well 7.1 and up anyway) is built on .NET 5. 7.1+ has implemented a ton of awesome features. As with any change,

I use a mixture of .NET methods when I code in Powershell. One method I often use is Split. I was working on a project where I was matching culture to a region that a game supported to automagically identify a default Country Code for my end users. My goal was to get the country from the Display Name in Get-Culture In PowerShell 5, this might be how I do this:

Get-Culture | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DisplayName
English (United States)
$SplitArray = (Get-Culture | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DisplayName).Split("()")
$SplitArray
English
United States
$SplitArray[1]
United States
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Let's do the same command in PowerShell 7.1.3:

Get-Culture | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DisplayName
English (United States)
$SplitArray = (Get-Culture | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DisplayName).Split("()")
$SplitArray
English (United States)
$SplitArray[1]
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Wait, what happened in 7.1.3? The split didn't work, so the last item in the array wasn't returned.

Let's walk through it. We used the cmdlet Get-Culture to grab some basic information. When we use the split method on two characters, ( and ). PowerShell 5 sees we are trying to split a string, but automatically converts it to split on the characters, ( and ). In .NET 4, the string class only had methods that took characters as parameter types. PowerShell sees this and automagically converts it, to make life a little easier on you. Note there's an implied 'OR' (|) here as it's an array of characters.

Why is PowerShell 7 behaving differently? In .NET 5, the string class has some additional parameters that accept strings. PowerShell 7 does not take any automatic action. To really Illustrate the difference here, I'll split on strings instead of characters using our Get-Culture from above to get the same output. Note this is an ugly way of doing it but it's for demo purposes:

$SplitArray = (((Get-Culture | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DisplayName).Split("English ("))[1].Split(')'))[0]
$SplitArray
United States
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Ok neat, but that's a little ugly. We're splitting twice. What might be a better way? We can use a character typecast array!

$SplitArray = ((Get-Culture | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DisplayName).Split([char[]]"()"))[1]
$SplitArray
United States
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Happy coding!

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