Select-Object is a basic cmdlet that most PowerShell users use frequently. However, it has some tricks that are not well known.

In its most basic form, Select-Object selects the properties that are visible. If you don’t use Select-Object, then PowerShell determines which properties are shown, and how they are formatted:

Get-ChildItem -Path c:\windows\system32 -Filter *.dll

If you add Select-Object, you can determine for yourself which properties are visible, for example:

Get-ChildItem -Path c:\windows\system32 -Filter *.dll |
  Select-Object -Property CreationTime, Length, Name, VersionInfo

Select-Object can also move property content one level up. In the previous example, VersionInfo contained another object. By using the -ExpandProperty parameter, you can move its properties up one level:

Get-ChildItem -Path c:\windows\system32 -Filter *.dll |
  Select-Object -Property CreationTime, Length, Name -ExpandProperty VersionInfo

To actually see the merged properties, send the result to Select-Object again, because else PowerShell would only show some of them:

Get-ChildItem -Path c:\windows\system32 -Filter *.dll |
  Select-Object -Property CreationTime, Length, Name -ExpandProperty VersionInfo |
  Select-Object -Property *

Instead of “*”, you can now use a comma-separated list of properties you’d like to see:

Get-ChildItem -Path c:\windows\system32 -Filter *.dll |
  Select-Object -Property CreationTime, Length, Name -ExpandProperty VersionInfo |
  Select-Object -Property CreationTime, Name, FileVersionRaw, CompanyName

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