[Solved] How do I concatenate two text files in PowerShell?

I am trying to replicate the functionality of the cat command in Unix.

I would like to avoid solutions where I explicitly read both files into variables, concatenate the variables together, and then write out the concatenated variable.

Solution #1:

Simply use the Get-Content and Set-Content cmdlets:

Get-Content inputFile1.txt, inputFile2.txt | Set-Content joinedFile.txt

You can concatenate more than two files with this style, too.

If the source files are named similarly, you can use wildcards:

Get-Content inputFile*.txt | Set-Content joinedFile.txt

Note 1: PowerShell 5 and older versions allowed this to be done more concisely using the aliases cat and sc for Get-Content and Set-Content respectively. However, these aliases are problematic because cat is a system command in *nix systems, and sc is a system command in Windows systems – therefore using them is not recommended, and in fact sc is no longer even defined as of PowerShell Core (v7). The PowerShell team recommends against using aliases in general.

Note 2: Be careful with wildcards – if you try to output to inputFiles.txt (or similar that matches the pattern), PowerShell will get into an infinite loop! (I just tested this.)

Note 3: Outputting to a file with > does not preserve character encoding! This is why using Set-Content is recommended.

Respondent: Smi

Solution #2:

Do not use >; it messes up the character encoding. Use:

Get-Content files.* | Set-Content newfile.file
Respondent: user2074686

Solution #3:

In cmd, you can do this:

copy one.txt+two.txt+three.txt four.txt

In PowerShell this would be:

cmd /c copy one.txt+two.txt+three.txt four.txt

While the PowerShell way would be to use gc, the above will be pretty fast, especially for large files. And it can be used on on non-ASCII files too using the /B switch.

Respondent: manojlds

Solution #4:

You could use the Add-Content cmdlet. Maybe it is a little faster than the other solutions, because I don’t retrieve the content of the first file.

gc .file2.txt| Add-Content -Path .file1.txt
Respondent: mjsr

Solution #5:

To concat files in command prompt it would be

type file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt > files.txt

PowerShell converts the type command to Get-Content, which means you will get an error when using the type command in PowerShell because the Get-Content command requires a comma separating the files. The same command in PowerShell would be

Get-Content file1.txt,file2.txt,file3.txt | Set-Content files.txt
Respondent: Brian Kimball

Solution #6:

If you need to order the files by specific parameter (e.g. date time):

gci *.log | sort LastWriteTime | % {$(Get-Content $_)} | Set-Content result.log
Respondent: Roman O

Solution #7:

I used:

Get-Content c:FileToAppend_*.log | Out-File -FilePath C:DestinationFile.log 
-Encoding ASCII -Append

This appended fine. I added the ASCII encoding to remove the nul characters Notepad++ was showing without the explicit encoding.

Respondent: Phoenix14830

Solution #8:

You can do something like:

get-content input_file1 > output_file
get-content input_file2 >> output_file

Where > is an alias for “out-file”, and >> is an alias for “out-file -append”.

Respondent: vlad-ardelean

Solution #9:

Since most of the other replies often get the formatting wrong (due to the piping), the safest thing to do is as follows:

add-content $YourMasterFile -value (get-content $SomeAdditionalFile)

I know you wanted to avoid reading the content of $SomeAdditionalFile into a variable, but in order to save for example your newline formatting i do not think there is proper way to do it without.

A workaround would be to loop through your $SomeAdditionalFile line by line and piping that into your $YourMasterFile. However this is overly resource intensive.

Respondent: Kamaradski

Solution #10:

To keep encoding and line endings:

Get-Content files.* -Raw | Set-Content newfile.file -NoNewline

Note: AFAIR, whose parameters aren’t supported by old Powershells (<3? <4?)

Respondent: Ilyan

Solution #11:

I think the “powershell way” could be :

set-content destination.log -value (get-content c:FileToAppend_*.log )
Respondent: dvjz

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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