Script Sharing – Functions and Code from My Profile

Over the last couple of years, my profile ($PROFILE) has filled up with a bunch of little functions that I use to help shave seconds off my day. I’ve shared a few in other posts, but here’s a few more that I’ve yet to share, that might be interesting. As a forewarning, in many of these, I understand that there may be a better way to do things.

This first one uses Google to show me the definition of a word. It isn’t written to return results to the Windows PowerShell console, but instead will launch the definition in a web browser. It was good enough at the time, and still is on a occasion (when I don’t actually know what a word means ;)) .

Set-Alias -Name lookup -Value Get-Definition
Function Get-Definition {
    Param (
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
        Start-Process "$Word"

Here’s an example I just used today, when I read Don Jones’ post about Jeffrey Snover’s promotion to Technical Fellow:

Functions and Code from my Profile ($PROFILE)01

And, because why not, here’s a photo of Jeffrey Snover and me. For those of you new to PowerShell, I’m on the right; Snover, PowerShell’s inventor, is on the left. Thanks to and Will for the photo.

Me and Snover (front)

This next inclusion isn’t a function, but has turned out to be quite helpful. I recently posted it on Twitter. By entering the alias “snip” into the console, I’m able to quickly open the snipping tool. In fact, I just used the alias to grab the screen capture, for the Get-Definition function, above.

Set-Alias -Name snip -Value "$env:SystemRoot\system32\SnippingTool.exe"

Here’s a screen capture of the Snipping Tool program.


This next one is also not a function, but extremely helpful, and likely to be some of the oldest code in my profile. This, while quite small, saves me all the time. Here’s how it works: When the PowerShell console opens, it checks the title bar — the WindowsTitle — for any left or right square brackets: this [, or this ]. If it doesn’t find them, it then modifies the WindowsTitle to include my computer’s name inside square brackets. It is extremely handy to be able to quickly verify that I’m typing in to the console on my machine and not inside a console on a RDP session. Yes, I still RDP for some things, and yes, I will also, at times, open a PowerShell console inside the RDP session (as strange as that may be).

# Set Console Window Title
If (-not($Host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle -like "*`[*`]*")) {
    $Host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle += " [$($env:COMPUTERNAME)]"

Since I’ll occasionally take and upload screen captures (see the first example, above), I wanted a quick way to remove my edited WindowsTitle, so it didn’t show my computer’s name. That gave way to this micro function to return the WindowsTitle to its default (yes, it’s hard coded) — my console is always elevated (however, the log on to my computer is not). I suppose what I should do, is assign the default text, when the console is first opened, and before the WindowsTitle is changed, into a variable for later use in this function.

# Set Default Console Window Title
Function Set-WindowTitleDefault {
    $Host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle = 'Administrator: Windows PowerShell'

The last function I’ll share today is called Get-PSRemotingSession and it allows me to see if anyone is actively using PowerShell Remoting on a specific computer, or computers. It’s basically a wrapper function for Get-WSManInstance (without having to remember the required parameters).

Function Get-PSRemotingSession([string[]]$ComputerName) {
    Foreach ($C in $ComputerName) {
        Get-WSManInstance -ComputerName $C -ResourceURI Shell -Enumerate | Select-Object -Property Owner,ClientIP

That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope that some of these might have been helpful enough to incorporate into your profile. If there’s things you can’t live without in your profile, that you want to share, then comment below, or share them on Twitter.

Update: The last function I introduced, Get-PSRemotingSession, has been updated. Only returning the Owner and ClientIP was fine when I only ran it against a single computer. The problem, when I ran it against multiple computers, is that I didn’t know the name of the computer that had the remote session — it wasn’t included in the output. Therefore, I updated the function, as seen below, so that it’ll indicate the computer name. It can’t get the computer name as part of what’s returned from Get-WSManInstance (without resolving the ClientIP), but it can based on which computer it’s checking to begin with (the value in $C). Here’s the updated version:

Function Get-PSRemotingSession([string[]]$ComputerName) {
    Foreach ($C in $ComputerName) {
        Get-WSManInstance -ComputerName $C -ResourceURI Shell -Enumerate | Select-Object -Property @{N='ComputerName';E={$C}},Owner,ClientIP

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