I'm using powershell to "grep" my source code for a particular string. If the string is in the file, I would like the name of the file, not the line of code that contains the string.

I would also like the name of the file, just once, not listed for as many times as the file exists.

I'm currently using:

gci . -include "*.sql" -recurse | select-string -pattern 'someInterestingString'

Now I understand that the output of select-string is some sort of ojbect, and what I'm seeing in the console is, i'm guessing, the ToString() of that object. I assume that I could use format-table to control the output of the select-string, and I suppose sort to get distinct values only.

but that's a lot of guessing.

+7  A: 

I don't think I completely understand what you're trying to do. If you want the output grouped by file, you can pipe into Format-Table with the -GroupBy parameter:

gci . -include "*.sql" -recurse `
    | select-string -pattern 'someInterestingString' `
    | Format-Table -GroupBy Path

If you want to get only the names of the files that match without any other info, you can use Select-Object with the -Unique parameter:

gci . -include "*.sql" -recurse `
    | select-string -pattern 'someInterestingString' `
    | Select-Object -Unique Path

If you're interested in only the file name, regardless whether the name itself appears multiple times in your hierarchy, then you can select the Filename property instead.

Note: The Get-Member cmdlet is a great help in figuring out what properties exist on an object:

gci . -include "*.sql" -recurse `
    | select-string -pattern 'someInterestingString' `
    | Get-Member

You can also use its alias gm instead.

This is exactly the kind of detailed answer that I was looking for. Thanks!
Ralph Shillington
+2  A: 

When I'm doing this I just use the -List parameter - yes it does display the line of code but you only get one line per file (no matter how many matches there are):

PS> Get-ChildItem . -r *.cs | Select-String XmlNode -list

Commands\SnapinHelp\CmdletInfo.cs:27:        public List<XmlNode> InputTypes;
Commands\SnapinHelp\GetSnapinHelpCommand.cs:124:            WriteXmlNodeList(c...
Commands\SnapinHelp\ParameterInfo.cs:73:        XmlNode FindNode(XmlDocument doc)
Commands\Xml\XmlCommandBase.cs:65:            RegisterInputType<XmlNode>(Proce...

If you really only want the filename:

PS> Get-ChildItem . -r *.cs | Select-String XmlNode -list | 
    Format-Table Path

Keith Hill