Control Column Widths With Format-Table in PowerShell

The long outputs are often harder to display in table format on the PowerShell console. While displaying the tabular output in PowerShell, you might have noticed that the output lines are truncated.

This is because the column data does not fit the column width or is too long to display on the console. This tutorial will teach you to control column widths with Format-Table in PowerShell.

Use AutoSize Parameter to Control Column Widths With Format-Table in PowerShell

The Format-Table cmdlet format the output as a table in PowerShell. By default, the data in columns truncate if it exceeds the column width.

The following command displays the recent five entries in the System event log in a tabular format.

Command:

Get-EventLog -LogName System -Newest 5

Output:

display system event log in tabular format

As you see in the output, some entries in the fourth and the sixth columns are truncated, making it difficult to read the data. You can pipe the Format-Table -AutoSize command to adjust the columns’ width to reduce truncation.

Command:

Get-EventLog -LogName System -Newest 5 | Format-Table -AutoSize

Output:

display system event log in tabular format with format-table

Here the entries in the fourth column are visible, but the entries in the sixth column are still truncated. You can use the -Wrap parameter that displays the text exceeding column width on the next line.

Command:

Get-EventLog -LogName System -Newest 5 | Format-Table -AutoSize -Wrap

Output:

display system event log in tabular format wrap

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