Turn On PowerShell Help Window

talkbubble-v3Here’s a little suggestion for today that might make it easier for you to use PowerShell. In PowerShell 3.0, the Get-Help cmdlet includes a terrific new parameter called -ShowWindow. When you ask for help with this parameter, you get complete help in a new window. The window is re-sizable, searchable and customizable. I love this thing because it means I can look at full cmdlet (or function) help without having to scroll back and forth in a console window.


Now for the fun part. PowerShell 3 also includes a feature where you can define default parameter values. These values are stored in a hash table where the key takes for the form “cmdletname:parametername” and you can use wildcards. In your PowerShell profile script add this line.

Now, whenever you run a help command using either Get-Help or the Help function, you will automatically get the popup help window. This won’t affect help commands like these:

You can always remove the entry from the $PSDefaultParameterValues hash table, or temporarily not use it by explicitly setting ShowWindow to $False.

Now you have no excuse for ignoring PowerShell’s help documentation.