How to Add Quotes in PowerShell (Single & Double Quotes)

Many a time, you might need to add quotes in PowerShell, like single and double quotes. In this PowerShell tutorial, I will explain how to add quotes in PowerShell.

In PowerShell, when a string is enclosed within double quotes, it is subject to interpretation by the parser. PowerShell will attempt to evaluate any variable or subexpression contained within the string. Conversely, single quotes in PowerShell denote a literal string, meaning the text is taken exactly as it is, with no further interpretation for variables or expressions. This is particularly useful when the exact sequence of characters needs to be preserved, such as when specifying a path or a command that should not be altered.

Now, let us add how to add single and double quotes in PowerShell.

PowerShell Single vs Double Quotes

In PowerShell, strings can be enclosed in either single (') or double (") quotes, which are handled differently. Let us understand the differences.

Single Quotes ('):

  • Enclose literal strings that are interpreted exactly as written.
  • Variables and escape characters within single quotes are not processed.

Example:

$var = 'World'
echo 'Hello, $var'  # Output: Hello, $var

Double Quotes ("):

  • Allow interpolation of variables and special characters.
  • Escape characters such as “n" for newline, and "t” for tab, are recognized within double quotes.
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Example:

$var = "World"
echo "Hello, $var"  # Output: Hello, World
CharacterSingle QuotesDouble Quotes
$varNot expandedExpanded
`tNot interpreted as tabInterpreted as tab

You may ofter need to include double quotes inside a string that already uses double quotes. To achieve this, an escape character (backtick `) is used.

Example:

echo "She said, ``Hello, $var``"  # Output: She said, "Hello, World"

When writing PowerShell scripts or commands, always consider the string type that fits the context.

Add Single Quotes in PowerShell

PowerShell allows users to delineate a string literal with either single quotes (‘ ‘) or double quotes (” “). PowerShell treats the enclosed contents as a literal string when a user wraps text within single quotes. This means special characters, and PowerShell’s own variable expansions are not processed or interpreted.

Syntax with single quotes:

$stringLiteral = 'Your text here'

In a situation where the text itself must include a single quote, one must escape the internal single quotes by doubling them up. This is one of the essential quotation rules in PowerShell.

Escaping a single quote:

$escapedLiteral = 'O''Reilly''s is an Irish pub.'

When not using variable expansion or special escape sequences, it is recommended to use single quotes to ensure the string is interpreted precisely as typed. Single quotes in PowerShell offer a clear distinction:

Use CaseQuotation TypePowerShell Interpretation
Literal stringSingle QuotesAs is, no interpretation
Variable expansionDouble QuotesDynamically interprets content

A here-string is a PowerShell construct that allows the creation of multi-line strings, preserving line breaks and white space. Using single quotes for a here-string will again treat contents as literal text, disregarding expressions or variables within.

Single-quoted here-string:

$hereStringLiteral = @'
This string contains multiple lines
and embeds all "special" characters as literal ones, including `t backticks.
'@

Overall, single quotes in PowerShell represent the simplest form of string declaration.

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Add Double Quotes in PowerShell

Let us now explore several methods to add double quotes in PowerShell scripts.

Using Backtick to Escape Double Quotes

The backtick character (`) is PowerShell’s escape character. You can use it to escape double quotes within a string. Here’s an example:

$stringWithQuotes = "This is a string with a `"double quote`" inside."
Write-Host $stringWithQuotes

This will output:

This is a string with a "double quote" inside.

You can see the output in the screenshot below:

Add Quotes in PowerShell

Using Single Quotes

Another way to include double quotes in a string is to enclose the entire string in single quotes. This tells PowerShell to treat everything inside as a literal string, including double quotes:

$stringWithQuotes = 'This is a string with a "double quote" inside.'
Write-Host $stringWithQuotes

Again, the output will be:

This is a string with a "double quote" inside.

Doubling the Double Quotes

You can also double the double quotes inside a string to include them in the output:

$stringWithQuotes = "This is a string with a ""double quote"" inside."
Write-Host $stringWithQuotes

The output will be the same as the previous examples:

This is a string with a "double quote" inside.

Using Here-Strings

For multi-line strings or strings that contain a lot of quotes, a here-string can be very convenient. A here-string is defined with @" at the start and "@ at the end, and it preserves the literal string content exactly as it is, including line breaks and quotes:

$hereStringWithQuotes = @"
This is a here-string with a "double quote" inside.
It can span multiple lines.
"@
Write-Host $hereStringWithQuotes

Output:

This is a here-string with a "double quote" inside.
It can span multiple lines.

Here is a complete example of how to add double quotes in PowerShell.

Let’s say you want to create a JSON object in PowerShell. You must include double quotes around the property names and string values. Here’s how you can do that using a combination of single and double quotes:

$jsonObject = '{"name": "John", "age": 30, "city": "New York"}'
Write-Host $jsonObject

Or using backticks to escape the double quotes:

$jsonObject = "{`"name`": `"John`", `"age`": 30, `"city`": `"New York`"}"
Write-Host $jsonObject

Both will output:

{"name": "John", "age": 30, "city": "New York"}

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the method for adding escaped double quotes within a string in PowerShell?

Escaped double quotes within a string can be added by prefixing them with the backtick escape character, like this: $escapedString = "A quote: ``""``"

In PowerShell, how does one append double quotes to the contents of a variable?

To append double quotes to the contents of a variable in PowerShell, one can use the escape character or the format operator, for example: $varWithQuotes = "“$variable""

What is the syntax to include double quotes in a PowerShell command?

The syntax to include double quotes in a PowerShell command involves using single quotes to enclose the double-quoted string: Invoke-Expression 'cmd /c "echo Hello World"'

How can I differentiate between single and double quotes usage in PowerShell?

In PowerShell, single quotes are used for literal strings and nothing is evaluated within them, while double quotes are used when the string includes variables or expressions to be evaluated.

What approach should be taken to add double quotes to a string that already contains quotes in PowerShell?

When a string already contains quotes and double quotes need to be added, use the escape character or concatenate segments, such as: $complexString = "He said, ``""That's amazing!""``"

Conclusion

To encapsulate strings with double quotes in PowerShell, you can use the escape character ` to precede internal double quotes, or utilize a pair of single quotes surrounding the double-quoted string.

Methods to Append Double Quotes:

  • Concatenation: $FilePath = """ + $Path + "\" + $File + ".txt"""
  • Subexpression: $FilePath = """$($Path\ $File.txt)"""
  • String formatting: $FilePath = "“{0}”{1}.txt"" -f $Path, $File

I hope you now understand how to add quotes in PowerShell. With various examples, I have explained how to add single quotes in PowerShell and how to add double quoted in PowerShell also.

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