A new kind of GridView right in your console: Introducing the early preview of ConsoleGuiTools
Yes. This is yet another post about GridViews. We love them. You love them. What’s not to like?
If you’re not familiar with
Out-GridView, it can be used to interactively view objects as a table allowing sorting and filtering. Many PowerShell users like to use it within a pipeline for interactive selection of objects that get processed later in the pipeline.
Let’s recap where we’re at with respect to GridViews:
- PowerShell 7 (which GA’d recently!) brought back the old WinForm-based
Out-GridViewfrom Windows PowerShell.
- We released the Microsoft.PowerShell.GraphicalTools module which provided a cross-platform (Windows, macOS & Linux)
Out-GridViewcmdlet based on AvaloniaUI.
- Community members have also implemented both cross-platform and native solutions for providing an Out-GridView functionality on macOS and Linux.
Today, I have the exciting opportunity to talk about a new
Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleGuiTools module now in Preview
Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleGuiTools is a module that will contain a set of cmdlets that enable console-based GUIs. Today, it contains one very important cmdlet:
Get-Process | Out-ConsoleGridView
This shows up right in the same console window you were using without launching any outside process. This module leverages the incredibly powerful and cross-platform
gui.cs library by Miguel de Icaza.
Oh yeah, it also supports
Get-ChildItem | Out-ConsoleGridView -PassThru
In that last gif, you might have also noticed that mouse clicks work in the
If you want to get this right now:
One of the most powerful features, the
-PassThru parameter lets you use the GUI to select data to send further down the pipeline.
Get-Process | Out-GridView -PassThru | Stop-Process
If you were so inclined the above script uses
-PassThru to create a pretty effective emulation of a Process Manger.
Mouse clicks and keyboard support
You can click on the actions menu, dialogs and grid view using your mouse.
You can also use your keyboard:
- Spacebar: marks one of the items in the grid view with an
xif you used the
- F9: opens the Action menu
- ESC: closes the Action menu
- Arrow keys: move around
- ENTER: Choose an Action or answer a dialog
NOTE: At this time you can’t mark items in the grid view with mouse click. That will be available in the next version of gui.cs which will likely be the next version of ConsoleGuiTools
Azure Cloud Shell support
Since the Console GUIs (or CUIs) in
Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleGuiTools show up in the same console you’re prompt is in, support for environments that don’t supply a GUI but have a terminal emulators, like Azure Cloud Shell, work out of the box.
In fact, the gif in this very blog post was recorded in Azure Cloud Shell!
Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleGuiTools differentiating feature to other
Out-GridViews. It’s a GUI tool, without needing a GUI.
Install it in Cloud Shell and let us know what you think!
Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleGuiTools module works only on macOS and Linux due to a known
gui.cs issue on Windows.
Since Windows has multiple other options for GridView’s we felt that this was a reasonable limitation for now.
Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleGuiTools module is still in preview. We’re looking for your feedback to make sure we’re on the right track for supporting this. Please don’t hesitate to open issues and feature requests over in the GraphicalTools repo which is home to both the
Microsoft.PowerShell.GraphicalTools module and the
With the majority of the brunt work integrating PowerShell & gui.cs done, we are also open to submissions for new graphical commands or packages.