Solved

PowerShell Special Characters In Text String

Posted on 2016-08-08
3
164 Views
Last Modified: 2016-08-10
I am trying to run the PowerShell script below to replace a couple of characters in a file but this script will not work with special characters,  It works fine if I try to replace characters like 'abc' instead of replacing characters like '['.  How can I make PowerShell treat the bracket characters the same way it treats all other characters?

#  Replace brackets and double pipe with a single pipe character.
$original_file = 'C:\TestIn.txt'
$destination_file =  'C:\TestOut.txt'
(Get-Content $original_file) | Foreach-Object {
    $_ -replace '[', '|' `
       -replace ']', '|' `
       -replace '||', '|'
    } | Set-Content $destination_file
0
Comment
Question by:LesterJebson
3 Comments
 
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 41747985
escape the special characters
0
 
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

by:
footech earned 500 total points
ID: 41748036
The -replace operator searches for match using regular expressions, so as aikimark mentioned you need to escape any characters which have special meaning in regex syntax.

The escape character is a backslash "\".  So for your specific example you would use '\['.  The closing bracket ']' can be matched either escaped or not.

One method you can use the [regex]::Escape static method, which will generate a regex string while escaping any possible special characters.
[regex]::Escape('3ksli[[kek]$-*')

Final thing to mention is that you could construct your own regex pattern to match a number of things.  The below would match any of '[', ']', '||' and replace it with "|".
$_ -replace "\[|]|\|\|", "|"

Open in new window

0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:LesterJebson
ID: 41750663
Thank you Footech!  I added the backslash as you suggested.  Then the script ran perfectly.
0

Featured Post

Best Practices: Disaster Recovery Testing

Besides backup, any IT division should have a disaster recovery plan. You will find a few tips below relating to the development of such a plan and to what issues one should pay special attention in the course of backup planning.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

If you need to start windows update installation remotely or as a scheduled task you will find this very helpful.
In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Perform a Physical to Virtual (P2V) Conversion the easy way from a computer backup (image).
This tutorial will teach you the core code needed to finalize the addition of a watermark to your image. The viewer will use a small PHP class to learn and create a watermark.
The viewer will learn how to successfully create a multiboot device using the SARDU utility on Windows 7. Start the SARDU utility: Change the image directory to wherever you store your ISOs, this will prevent you from having 2 copies of an ISO wit…

770 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question