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Know about $OFS — a special variable in powershell

This is a new thing which I came across today. $OFS is a special variable that contains the string to be used as the Ouptut Field Seperator when an array is converted to a string.  By default, this is ” ” but you can change it.

PS C:temp1>
PS C:temp1> $a=(“a”,”b”,”c”,”d”)
PS C:temp1> $a

As you can see in above example, $a is a character array which has a,b,c,d as members. When you print them each character is coming in new line. If I convert this char array to string what is the expected output? “abcd” right? No…you are wrong… see below…

PS C:temp1> [string][char[]]$a
a b c d
PS C:temp1>

There is a space between each character. This happened because $OFS is coming into picture here and inserting a space between each character.

PS C:temp1> $OFS=”/”
PS C:temp1> [string][char[]]$a
PS C:temp1>

In the above code I have explicitly changed the $OFS value to “/” which made the conversion to insert a “/” symbol between characters. You can nullify $OFS to avoid any sort of delimiters when you convert a char array to string.

Hope this helps…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Subbu August 22, 2017, 6:05 pm

    nullify $OFS – Is this a better option to proceed?

    • Wintel Rocks September 1, 2017, 11:38 am

      Hi, what exactly you are looking to do?