Create HTML Reports using PowerShell

This PowerShell tutorial explains, how to create an HTML report using PowerShell in SharePoint.

Today I would like to add an extra muscle to your PowerShell scripting. We all know that we use PowerShell scripting to automate manual work to improve productivity. When we generate reports using PowerShell most of the time the output is either .txt or .csv files.

Create HTML Reports using PowerShell

The challenge with .txt is most of the time it is hard to read and with .csv users must-have the office installed on their machine. To avoid this dependency today we will learn how to export output in an HTML file. Since it is HTML no dependency and easily readable.

4 good reasons learn this skill?

  • PowerShell can communicate and harvest the data required from machine stacked in Microsoft platform.
  • Using PowerShell and HTML reports can easily merge in user-friendly fashion
  • Since HTML can run with any browser it doesn’t any other tool to be installed like MS-Office and Notepad ++
  • HTML page runs in Web gives better user interaction and handy

What are we learning in this article?

  • Using ConvertTo-HTML parameter
  • How to merge output of more than one PowerShell script
  • How to implement reports using –Fragment
  • Implementing CSS in HTML reporting

PowerShell ConvertTo-HTML parameter

This parameter converts the output into an HTML and it can be rendered in any browser seamlessly.

Get-Process | ConvertTo-Html -Property ProcessName,CPU, VM | Out-File -FilePath Process.html

Get-Process, gets the processes that are running on the local computer or a remote computer. Now I am converting the output into an HTML format by using convert-html parameter and also I am selecting a selective column as part of the report.

If you execute this command it will generate HTML file with the selected columns as below:

create html report using powershell

If we see the HTML file code it will be as follows:

<html xmlns="">
<title>HTML TABLE</title>

It is including head, title, body and table properties by default if you observe the title is random and default value.

We can change the Title of this HTML explicitly as below:

Get-Process | ConvertTo-Html -Property ProcessName,CPU, VM -Title "Process Details" | Out-File -FilePath Process.html

In the above line, I am explicitly specifying Title.

Merge output of more than one PowerShell script

There some times we might end up generating a single report with the output from more than one script/line of commands.

Ex: if the system admin wants to generate a report of all the various services running on the server it is preferred to combine the output as one report.

This can be achieved by using the parameter “–append” at the end of each execution, what exactly it does is this will append the output to the same file like as string concatenation. The challenge here is PowerShell generate head and title tag for each execution and the result set will be badly formatted.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_OperatingSystem | ConvertTo-Html | Out-File process.html
Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_BIOS | ConvertTo-Html | Out-File process.html -Append
Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Service | ConvertTo-Html | Out-File process.html -Append
creating html reports in windows powershell

HTML File will be as below with multiple head tags:

generate html report in powershell

This is not the right approach.

Implement reports using –Fragment

The right approach is to generate the same output using –Fragment. Since we are using “-Fragment” PowerShell considers output from each line as a portion of HTML body than creating a new head and body tags. The script will be is as follows:

$Os = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_OperatingSystem | ConvertTo-Html -Fragment
$Bios = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_BIOS | ConvertTo-Html -Fragment
$Services = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Service | ConvertTo-Html –Fragment
ConvertTo-Html -Body "$Os $Bios $Services" -Title "Fragmented HTML Report" | Out-File FragmentedHTMLReport.html

The output is as below with one head and title node.

create html report with powershell

This way we can generate with many parameters.

Implement CSS in HTML reporting

Now that we have explored how to export a single session output and multi-session output to HTML, now let us focus on formatting the HTML output. To implement this we use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Note: The CSS code we need to implement the formatting can be within the power shell script or we can create the CSS outside the script refer in any other script as required.

CSS inside PowerShell script

$Header = @"
font-family:"Trebuchest MS", Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
border-collapse: collapse;
border: 2px solid;
width: 100%;
<title>Fragmented HTML Report</title>

$Os = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_OperatingSystem | ConvertTo-Html -Fragment
$Bios = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_BIOS | ConvertTo-Html -Fragment
$Services = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Service | ConvertTo-Html –Fragment
ConvertTo-Html -Body "$Os $Bios $Services" -Head $Header | Out-File FragmentedHTMLReport.html

The output file with CSS formatting:

create html report using powershell

You may like following PowerShell SharePoint tutorials:

This PowerShell tutorial helps us to learn how to create HTML Reports using PowerShell.