How to Add a Cmdlet Description


Manual authoring of XML-based help is very difficult. The PlatyPS module allows you to write help in Markdown and then convert it to XML-based help. This makes it much easier to write and maintain help. PlatyPS can also create the Updateable Help packages for you. For more information, see Create XML-based help using PlatyPS.

This section describes how to add content that's displayed in the DESCRIPTION section of the cmdlet Help. In the Help file, this content is added to the Command node for each cmdlet.


For a complete view of a Help file, open one of the dll-Help.xml files located in the PowerShell installation directory. For example, the Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.Management.dll-Help.xml file contains content for several of the PowerShell cmdlets.

To Add a Description

  • Begin by explaining the basic features of the cmdlet in more detail. In many cases, you can explain the terms used in the cmdlet name and illustrate unfamiliar concepts with an example. For example, if the cmdlet appends data to a file, explain that it adds data to the end of an existing file.

  • To find all of the features of the cmdlet, review the parameter list. Describe the primary function of the cmdlet, and then include other functions and features. For example, if the main function of the cmdlet is to change one property, but the cmdlet can change all of the properties, say so in the detailed description. If the cmdlet parameters let the users solicit information in different ways, explain it.

  • Include information on ways that users can use the cmdlet, in addition to the obvious uses. For example, you can use the object that the Get-Host cmdlet retrieves to change the color of text in the Windows PowerShell command window.

    Example: "The Get-Acl cmdlet gets objects that represent the security descriptor of a file or resource. The security descriptor contains the access control lists (ACLs) of the resource. The ACL specifies the permissions that users and user groups have to access the resource."

  • The detailed description should describe the cmdlet, but it shouldn't describe concepts that the cmdlet uses. Place concept definitions in Additional Notes.

See Also

Windows PowerShell SDK