How to Use PowerShell to Escape Double Quotes

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PowerShell is a command-line shell and scripting language for Windows that provides the user with a wide range of functionality. It is often used to automate tasks, manage system configurations and deploy applications. The use of quotation marks in PowerShell can sometimes be troublesome when working with older scripts which do not have this feature enabled by default. This article will teach you how to escape double quotes inside your PowerShell script so that they are never broken up into two separate characters

The “powershell escape double quotes” is a command-line tool that can be used for escaping double quotes. Users can use this to make the string read as intended without getting errors or other unwanted outputs.

How to Use PowerShell to Escape Double Quotes

Single and double quotes are the two forms of quotations that may be used in PowerShell. In this post, you’ll learn a little about quotations and how to escape double quotes using PowerShell.

A script’s success or failure depends on a few key variations between the two. Knowing the distinctions can help you become a more competent PowerShell scriptwriter and prevent a common blunder.

These distinctions will be discussed in this essay, along with illustrations of each circumstance.

‘Single Quotes’ is a collection of single quotes.

When writing or debugging PowerShell programs, you’ll most often utilize and encounter single quote strings.

Consider the following illustration:

# Assign the literal value of’single’ to a variable. $MyVar1 =’single’ $MyVar1 =’single’ $MyVar1 =’s Change the variable’s value to a literal string value. ‘Fun with $MyVar1 quotations.’ Write-Host -Message

Now look at the results:

PowerShell's literal string behaviorPowerShell’s literal string behavior

In the example above, PowerShell ignores $MyVar1 and treats the variable precisely as it was typed: $MyVar1. There is no substitute in this situation.

However, how do you enable PowerShell to detect a variable inside a quoted text value? This is when the double quotation comes into play.

“Double Quotes” is a phrase that means “two quotes.”

String values with double quotes have a dynamic aspect. When the string comprises dynamic data from variables kept in memory or dynamically created, you’ll see this form of string quote.

Consider the following illustration:

# This is the same as the last example. Make a variable with a straightforward value. $MyVar2 = ‘double’ $MyVar2 = ‘double’ $MyVar2 = ‘double Now it’s time to illustrate the amazing power of double quotes in terms of interpretation! “Fun with $MyVar2 quotes,” Write-Host -Message

Now look at the results:

PowerShell's variable expansionPowerShell’s variable expansion

Because $MyVar2 is contained by a double-quoted string in the example above, PowerShell processes it. PowerShell looks for text (the variable) preceded by a dollar sign and replaces the variable name with the matching value when double quotes are used.

Situation in the Real World

Apply everything you’ve learned so far to a real-life situation. Let’s imagine you need to write a tiny function that will provide some very basic information to one of your team’s operators:

  • Time / Date
  • Percentage of disk space used
  • 100 percent free disk

You must visibly return this information to an operator. Simple.

Let’s start with some pseudocode. The date and time must be shown as today’s date and time. Consider how this string value will be used. Using the necessary patterns, we can get the needed date/time using the Get-Date cmdlet and the Uformat parameter:

Get-Date -UFormat “percent m / percent d / percent Y:” $date = Get-Date -UFormat “percent m / percent d / percent Y:”

In a PowerShell terminal, testing the code proves that it works:

In PowerShell, you may format dates.In PowerShell, you may format dates.

The first half of the script is now complete. Now I need to get some disk data to output to the terminal as well. The percentage of free space left is the essential indicator I’m searching for. I’ll use Write-Host to show this information once again, but this time I’ll need to put some more code within the double-quoted text.

Keep in mind that this data will change over time. For the sake of this example, I’ll create a variable and then use an accessible member type property to acquire the value I need:

Where-Object -Property Name -EQ ‘C:’ $disk = Get-DiskSpace | Where-Object -Property Name -EQ ‘C:’

In a PowerShell terminal, testing the code proves that it works:

Object attributes are referred to. Object attributes are referred to.

Perfect. We now have two variables to use in the strings that the operator will view when this function is performed. So, let’s put the pieces together to make the final script that will be our function:

function Get-CurrentDiskPercentageUsed { Get-Date -UFormat “percent m / percent d / percent Y:” $date = Get-Date -UFormat “percent m / percent d / percent Y:” Where-Object -Property Name -EQ ‘C:’ $disk = Get-DiskSpace | Where-Object -Property Name -EQ ‘C:’ Write-Host “Storage report for $date” Write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow “There is $($disk.PercentFree)% total disk space remaining.” }

Here’s what the operator would see if they ran the test again in a PowerShell terminal:

Take note of what I did with the $disk variable within the final Write-Host line. The $() subexpression operator is evaluated as a full subexpression by PowerShell, which then substitutes the result. This method also avoids the need to create additional variables, which saves memory and maybe speeds up your script.

The function is still in need of improvement. So let’s finish it off by adding additional arithmetic to show the operator a complete calculation:

function Get-CurrentDiskPercentageUsed { Get-Date -UFormat “percent m / percent d / percent Y:” $date = Get-Date -UFormat “percent m / percent d / percent Y:” Where-Object -Property Name -EQ ‘C:’ $disk = Get-DiskSpace | Where-Object -Property Name -EQ ‘C:’ Write-Host “Storage report for $date” Write-Host -ForegroundColor Red “There is $(100 – $disk.PercentFree)% total disk utilization on drive $($disk.Name).” Write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow “There is $($disk.PercentFree)% total disk space remaining.” }

Results:

Incorporating a math computation into the sample scriptIncorporating a math computation into the sample script

This feature allows the operator to make quicker judgments while supporting a remote system.

Escape Double Quotes with PowerShell

Let’s move on to a more sophisticated topic: escaping double quotes in strings, now that you know how single and double quotes operate in PowerShell.

What happens when you need to add literal double quotes within a string, now that you know that double quotes extend variables inside strings? You’ll need to escape them or use single quotes in that scenario.

Escaping is a phrase used to describe the process of turning non-literal parts into literal ones. With the example below, it will be lot simpler to comprehend.

Let’s imagine you need to produce a string that has double quotes, like seen below. It’s worth noting that “string” currently does not contain the double quotes.

To include the double quotes inside of the string, you have two options. You can either enclose your string in single quotes or escape the double quotes with a symbol called a backtick. You can see an example of both below of Escape Double Quotes with PowerShell.

It’s worth noting that “string” now has double quotes.

PS51> ‘”string”‘ “string” PS51> “`”string`”” “string”

Summary

In PowerShell, quotations aren’t really useful. The most important thing to remember is to know when to be literal” and when to be dynamic ” “. Unless there is a necessity for dynamic data in the string construct, you should always use single quotes.

Additional Information

Visit Microsoft’s about Quoting Rules PowerShell documentation or this fantastic MSDN article to learn more about quotation rules. Read Kevin Marquette’s “Everything you needed to know about variable replacement in strings” for much more instances of single/double quote use.

Many additional blog postings about strings may be found on Adam the Automator’s website:

The “powershell escape special characters in string” is a tutorial on how to use PowerShell to escape double quotes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use double quotes in PowerShell?

A: In PowerShell, you can use double quotes in a string if the command needs to span multiple lines.

How do you pass quotes in PowerShell?

A: To pass a string to PowerShell you would use the interpolation, or in other words ` which is short for backticks. For example `Hello world!

How do you skip double quotes?

A: You can use the backspace key to delete trailing double quotes.

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