Short description

Allows you to indicate which namespaces are used in the session.

Long description

The using statement allows you to specify which namespaces are used in the session. Adding namespaces simplifies usage of .NET classes and member and allows you to import classes from script modules and assemblies.

The using statements must come before any other statements in a script or module. No uncommented statement can precede it, including parameters.

The using statement must not contain any variables.

The using statement should not be confused with the using: scope modifier for variables. For more information, see about_Remote_Variables.

Namespace syntax

To specify .NET namespaces from which to resolve types:

using namespace <.NET-namespace>

Specifying a namespace makes it easier to reference types by their short names.

Module syntax

To load classes from a PowerShell module:

using module <module-name>

The value of <module-name> can be a module name, a full module specification, or a path to a module file.

When <module-name> is a path, the path can be fully qualified or relative. A relative path is resolved relative to the script that contains the using statement.

When <module-name> is a name or module specification, PowerShell searches the PSModulePath for the specified module.

A module specification is a hashtable that has the following keys.

  • ModuleName - Required Specifies the module name.
  • GUID - Optional Specifies the GUID of the module.
  • It's also Required to specify at least one of the three below keys.
    • ModuleVersion - Specifies a minimum acceptable version of the module.
    • MaximumVersion - Specifies the maximum acceptable version of the module.
    • RequiredVersion - Specifies an exact, required version of the module. This can't be used with the other Version keys.

The using module statement imports classes from the root module (ModuleToProcess) of a script module or binary module. It does not consistently import classes defined in nested modules or classes defined in scripts that are dot-sourced into the module. Classes that you want to be available to users outside of the module should be defined in the root module.

During development of a script module, it is common to make changes to the code then load the new version of the module using Import-Module with the Force parameter. This works for changes to functions in the root module only. Import-Module does not reload any nested modules. Also, there is no way to load any updated classes.

To ensure that you are running the latest version, you must unload the module using the Remove-Module cmdlet. Remove-Module removes the root module, all nested modules, and any classes defined in the modules. Then you can reload the module and the classes using Import-Module and the using module statement.

Assembly syntax

To preload types from a .NET assembly:

using assembly <.NET-assembly-path>

Loading an assembly preloads .NET types from that assembly into a script at parse time. This allows you to create new PowerShell classes that use types from the preloaded assembly.

If you are not creating new PowerShell classes, use the Add-Type cmdlet instead. For more information, see Add-Type.


Example 1 - Add namespaces for typename resolution

The following script gets the cryptographic hash for the "Hello World" string.

Note how the using namespace System.Text and using namespace System.IO simplify the references to [UnicodeEncoding] in System.Text and [Stream] and to [MemoryStream] in System.IO.

using namespace System.Text
using namespace System.IO

[string]$string = "Hello World"
## Valid values are "SHA1", "SHA256", "SHA384", "SHA512", "MD5"
[string]$algorithm = "SHA256"

[byte[]]$stringbytes = [UnicodeEncoding]::Unicode.GetBytes($string)

[Stream]$memorystream = [MemoryStream]::new($stringbytes)
$hashfromstream = Get-FileHash -InputStream $memorystream `
  -Algorithm $algorithm

Example 2 - Load classes from a script module

In this example, we have a PowerShell script module named CardGames that defines the following classes:

  • Deck
  • Card

Import-Module and the #requires statement only import the module functions, aliases, and variables, as defined by the module. Classes are not imported. The using module command imports the module and also loads the class definitions.

using module CardGames

[Deck]$deck = [Deck]::new()
[Card[]]$hand1 = $deck.Deal(5)
[Card[]]$hand2 = $deck.Deal(5)
[Card[]]$hand3 = $deck.Deal(5)

Example 3 - Load classes from an assembly

This example loads an assembly so that its classes can be used when processing data. The following script converts data into a YAML format.

using assembly './YamlDotNet.dll'
using namespace YamlDotNet

$yamlSerializer = [Serialization.Serializer]::new()

$info = [ordered]@{
  Inventory = @(
    @{ Name = 'Apples' ; Count = 1234 }
    @{ Name = 'Bagels' ; Count = 5678 }
    CheckedAt = [datetime]'2023-01-01T01:01:01'

- Name: Apples
  Count: 1234
- Name: Bagels
  Count: 5678
CheckedAt: 2023-01-01T01:01:01.0000000