help results returned seem odd

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    by wardo at 2013-02-16 08:31:01

    In Powershell 3 64-bit shell in Windows 7, the returned help results usually are what I'm expecting hwever sometimes they are odd. I first noticed this when I was looking if there was a command to return who was an administrator on a system. I ran help *administrator* and I got a large return of results and none of the returned items had administrator in the name column. I did a help help to verify that -NAME was the first positional parameter and that the search I was doing should translate to help -Name *administrator*, I still tried running help -Name *administrator* to verifiy that I got the same results and I did.

    After adding a function to my profile that is named get-administrators I now only find this command when I do a search, so I assumend this was a generic response to a search that didn't have results. But there are other help searches that don't respond correctly

    If I run this seach help *processes* the first result returned is named Get-PSSessionConfiguration with a catagory of cmdlet. Why? There are cmdlets that actually have the word process in them, and if I run a help *process* -category cmdlet this cmdlet and many others no longer show up in the returned results. Instead of showing me over a page of cmdlets I now only get the correct 5 results returned.

    I'm still able to get the help I need, but it bugs me that I don't understand why I get the result that I do. Any explanation would be helpful

    by DonJ at 2013-02-17 06:04:09

    If the help system doesn't find a match on a command or help file name, it'll do a text search of the synopsis for all installed commands. That's what *administrator* is doing. And there typically aren't command names that match *processes* because its plural and commands should use singular nouns. You're likely getting commands that have "processes" in their synopsis. That's why *process* returns different results – you're getting matches on command names then.

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