I'm trying to extract select sets of users with Get-ADUser. The users belong to companies whose names include non-ASCII characters, e.g. "Gåäördet". Unfortunately, we do have to use the company property for this task and we also need it to work from a script.

The following works great in an interactive session but returns no data when executed within a script:

$Company = "Gåäördet"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'"

The workarounds I've found work but are not reliable enough (risks selecting wrong objects):

# Work-around 1:
$Company = "Gaaordet" # Replace åäö with aao in the variable
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'" # Matches the company "Gåäördet", but why?


# Work-around 2: 
$Company = "G...rdets" # Use regex for åäö
Get-ADUser -Filter * -Properties Company | ? Company -match "$Company"

For additional note: character encoding might not be the issue here. As suggested in a comment I put this within a script. Read the comment for each Get-ADUser-line:

$OutputEncoding = [Console]::OutputEncoding

$Company = "aao"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'" # Matches company "åäö"

$Company = "åäö"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'" # No matches

I was hoping some of you could offer a better solution to this conundrum.

  • Thank you @RyanRies, unfortunately it didn't seem to help. Read my edit for more info. – Tanel Rebane May 22 '15 at 13:51
  • 1
    So I can (unfortunately) reproduce this behavior with LDP.exe, so our problem may be at a deeper level than Powershell. – Ryan Ries May 22 '15 at 21:55
  • Instead of -Filter would using -LdapFilter work? Example: -LdapFilter "(company=$Company)" – user2320464 May 24 '15 at 0:42
  • @TessellatingHeckler, still no matches on "Gåäördet". – Tanel Rebane May 25 '15 at 9:19
  • @user2320464, LdapFilter produces no matches either. – Tanel Rebane May 25 '15 at 9:19

Thanks to all the help here I got to the bottom of this odd behavior, much appreciated!

Turns out the "-Filter" argument accepts "åäö" interchangeably with "aao". This is not the doing of PowerShell but further down the stack (thanks @RyanRies for looking into it). That's the reason why the following snippet works:

$Company = "aao"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'" # Matches company "åäö"

It also turns out the query is not case sensitive, so this works too:

$Company = "AaO"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'" # Matches company "åäö"

Actually, "åäö" works too as long as it is a unicode query (thanks @Daniel):

$Company = "$([char]0x00E4)$([char]0x00E5)$([char]0x00F6)" # "åäö"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'" # Matches company "åäö"

In the end this leaves us with two options:

  • Replace "åäö" with "aao" in your queries. The output will be identical to using "åäö".
  • Replace "åäö" with unicode (@joel-coel, thanks for the nudge), e.g. with a script.

I chose to go with the second option and the outcome looks a bit like this:

function UniReplace($n){

$Company = "åäö"
$Company = $Company -Replace 'ä',"$(UniReplace E4)"
$Company = $Company -Replace 'Ä',"$(UniReplace C4)"
$Company = $Company -Replace 'å',"$(UniReplace E5)"
$Company = $Company -Replace 'Å',"$(UniReplace C5)"
$Company = $Company -Replace 'ö',"$(UniReplace F6)"
$Company = $Company -Replace 'Ö',"$(UniReplace D6)"

echo "This is the content of string `$Company: $Company"
Get-ADUser -Filter "company -eq '$Company'"

I guess that is as good as it gets for now.

| improve this answer | |

I might help you with a workaround.

Create a Unicode encoded text file and insert the Company name. Then use Get-Content to store the company name in a variable.

$companyName = Get-Content .\companyName-unicode.txt
Get-ADUser -Filter { company -eq $companyName }

I tested with chinese text (中國哲學書電子化計劃) it and it worked on my server.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks @Daniel, that workaround did indeed work. However, it is seriously dirty. Let's see it if anyone else has some input too. – Tanel Rebane May 22 '15 at 16:56
  • Yeah, I know. I hope someone got a proper answer to your prayer - er - problem. :) – Daniel May 22 '15 at 22:43
  • @TessellatingHeckler, when doing your tests, what non-ASCII characters are you trying to match? – Tanel Rebane May 25 '15 at 9:21

You might try building the names via code point surrogates:


It's not much better, but at least it allows you to contain the entire script within the source file.

| improve this answer | |
  • this was of big help. I'm doing a write-up on the issue right now. – Tanel Rebane May 25 '15 at 12:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.