Out-GridView, NoteProperties and Empty Columns



Bit of an esoteric one this, but might be helpful to someone anyway. If you’ve worked with Out-Gridview before you may have also made use of the NoteProperty property to collate your results prior to output; today I ran into an issue where I knew some of my output objects had 2 NoteProperties and some had 2+x NoteProperties where x was more than 0. When output to Out-Gridview or Export-CSV it was only showing the number of properties that the first object had, irrespective of how many subsequent objects had.

For example:

User Property1 Property2 Property3
Dave 43
Steve 25 62 23
John 23 263

In this scenario, all results would be output with just the User & Property1 NoteProperty displayed because Dave’s Property2 and Property3 don’t exist. You could work around this by sorting on “Property 3” so that it’s the first object in the output and thus includes all columns like so:

User Property1 Property2 Property3
Steve 25 62 23
Dave 43
John 23 263

However, this obviously only works if you know how many properties there are and I didn’t. So, I had to find a further workaround and came up with this:

$count = @()
foreach($output in $useroutput){$count += $(($output | gm).count)-5}
$max = $($count | measure -maximum).maximum
$useroutput | Sort-Object "Property$max" | Out-GridView

This iterates through your array of objects ($useroutput), counts the properties on each (minus the 4 base methods on a System.Object and the known “User” property) and then finds the highest count and sorts the output based on that highest value, ensuring that it always outputs every column even when it’s empty for most of the results.

Obviously, even this method is only useful if your properties are titled numerically, if you’re just pulling an unknown list of properties with arbitrary names, you’re probably going to have to dig a bit deeper.

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