I wrote a powershell script to compare words from a text-file with a csv-column. If the word in the column matches, the line is deleted.

$reader = [System.IO.File]::OpenText($fc_file.Text)
try {
    for() {
        $line = $reader.ReadLine()
        if ($line -eq $null) { break }
        if ($line -eq "") { break }
        # process the line
        $fc_suchfeld = $fc_ComboBox.Text
        $tempstorage = $scriptPath + "\temp\temp.csv"
        Import-Csv $tempfile -Delimiter $delimeter -Encoding $char | where {$_.$fc_suchfeld -notmatch [regex]::Escape($line)} | Export-Csv $tempstorage -Delimiter $delimeter -Encoding $char  -notypeinfo
        Remove-Item $tempfile 
        Rename-Item $tempstorage $tempfile_ext           
finally {

My code works great, but it is very slow, due to saving and copying the csv file after every line. Is there a way to improve it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the file large? That would be a reason to consider an approach like this \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Mar 17 '17 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are missing several variable declarations here. Should be minor but it is important to have complete code. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Mar 18 '17 at 1:22

[Side note: It's helpful to present complete, working code when asking questions, together with any input files. That makes it easier for us. We can use the same names for files and so on. It makes things easier and less confusing. In the following, I'm just going to show you the basic code with all the irrelevant details stripped out.]

There's no need to walk through the words file line-by-line. We can just load it once into an array at the beginning:

$words = Get-Content WordsFile.txt

And then we can look in that array when we are processing the CSV records. That's pretty simple:

Import-Csv CsvFileIn.txt | 
    where TheField -notin $words |
    Export-Csv CsvFileOut.txt


  • where TheField -notin $words is short for where {$_.TheField -notin $words}. That syntax was introduced in PowerShell 3.0 I think.
  • The -notin operator is case-insensitive. If you want it to be case-sensitive, then use -cnotin instead. (That is the same with all string comparisons in PowerShell: they are all case-insensitive.)
  • I'm assuming the words file is not huge. If it's huge, then the -notin operator may be too slow because it searches the array record-by-record (it does a "linear" lookup, as we say in the business). If it were huge, it would be better to use a .NET HashSet instead of an array, but if not, there's no need for the extra complexity.
  • \$\begingroup\$ That syntax was introduced in PowerShell 3.0 I think. Yes it was. I wonder as well if the source file for this is large. Would be the only reason OP went down this path I would figure. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Mar 17 '17 at 13:34

@Matt makes a very good statement - if the file(s) are large, Get-Content is very slow, and you will see better performance with StreamReader as the OP has done.

One of the quickest performance gains would be to quit with the opening/closing/copying/etc. of the CSV. Instead, open the source text file as a StreamReader, open the source CSV as another StreamReader. Then, create a new target CSV file and open it as a StreamWriter. From there, perform your comparison and write only the 'good' lines to the target CSV. At the end of the script, save/close files.

If you need to continuously loop through one of your sources, such as needing to check through a single CSV line against each line in your text file, consider if you can load the smaller file into an array, etc., for better processing. If that isn't a possibility, perhaps think of some way to use parallel processing?


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