PowerShell: How to Split String Based on Tab Characters


You can use the Split() method in PowerShell with the argument “`t” to split a string based on tab characters.

In practice, you will likely need to split the strings in each line of some file based on tab characters.

You can use the following syntax to do so:

$my_file = Get-Content athletes.txt

foreach ($line in $my_file) {
    $fields = $line.Split("`t") | Out-Host
}

This particular example will split the strings in each line of the athletes.txt file into separate lines based on where the tab characters occur on each line.

The following example shows how to use this syntax in practice.

Example: How to Split a String Based on Tab Characters in PowerShell

Suppose we have a text file named athletes.txt that contains information about various basketball players in which each line in the file contains tab-separated values.

We can use the Get-Content cmdlet to view the contents of this file:

Suppose that we would like to split the strings in each line of the file into separate lines based on where the tabs occur in each line.

We can use the following syntax to do so:

$my_file = Get-Content athletes.txt

foreach ($line in $my_file) {
    $fields = $line.Split("`t") | Out-Host
}

The following screenshot shows how to use this syntax in practice:

PowerShell split string based on tabs

Notice that each line in the file has been split into separate lines based on where the tabs occur in each line.

Note that we could also split the strings on each line and perform additional operations if we’d like.

For example, we can use the following syntax to split each line based on tab characters and then count the number of resulting fields on each line:

PowerShell split strings in file based on tabs and count fields

From the output we can see:

  • The first line contains 3 fields.
  • The second line contains 3 fields.
  • The third line contains 3 fields.
  • The fourth line contains 4 fields.

And so on.

Related Tutorials

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in PowerShell:

PowerShell: How to Split String into Separate Variables
PowerShell: How to Split File by Number of Lines
PowerShell: How to Split a String Using Multiple Delimiters

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