Getting complex – More line breaks in Powershell

This is a follow up to Jacob Moran’s article Keeping it simple – Line breaks in PowerShell.

I am strongly in the pro backtick camp, but I won’t get into that debate here. Instead, I’ll cover more of the common ground between the two camps.

In addition to after a pipe, there are many, many more places where you can put in a line break without a backtick and without breaking your code.

As a rule of thumb, any spot where the syntax unambiguously must be followed by something more, you can break the line.

As an extreme example, this:

$A = 1, 1 + 1, 3
$B = @( “a”, “b”, “c” )

If ( $A[2].ToString() -eq $B[2].Length -or (Get-Date).Date.DayOfWeek -eq ‘Tuesday’ ) { [pscustomobject]@{ Name = “x” } }

Can be written like this:

$A = 1,
1 +
$B = @(
If (
Length -or
DayOfWeek -eq
Name =

That example is, of course, silly.

But combine judicious use of the line break with appropriate horizontal whitespace, and you can turn this:

If ( $SourceFile1.Length / 1Gb -gt $MaxSizeGB -and ( $SourceFile1.FullName -like “*\Accounting\*” -or $SourceFile1.FullName -like “*\Finance\*” ) )
$Destination = $SourceFile1.FullName.Replace( $SourceShare, $DestinationShare ).Replace( ‘\Accounting\’, ‘\ACC\’ ).Replace( ‘\Accounting\’, ‘\FIN\’ )

Into this:

If ( $SourceFile1.Length / 1Gb -gt $MaxSizeGB -and
     ( $SourceFile1.FullName -like “*\Accounting\*” -or
       $SourceFile1.FullName -like “*\Finance\*” ) )
    $Destination =  $SourceFile1.FullName.
                    Replace( $SourceShare, $DestinationShare ).
                    Replace( ‘\Accounting\’, ‘\ACC\’ ).
                    Replace( ‘\Accounting\’, ‘\FIN\’ )

About Tim Curwick

I am an automation consultant in the Twin Cities. I am active in and frequently speak at the MN PowerShell Automation Group (find us on MeetUp). PowerShell MVP, blogger, and co-author of the PowerShell Conference Book.

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