#PSTip Where are my About help topics for PowerShell workflows and scheduled jobs?

Note: This tip requires PowerShell 3.0 or above.

You’ve updated your PowerShell help using the Update-Help cmdlet and you are pretty sure that you’ve got help files for PSWorkflow and PSScheduledJob modules as well. If you look into their folders, you can see the help files:

PS> echo PSworkflow,PSScheduledJob | foreach { dir $pshome\Modules\$_\en-US }
Directory: C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\PSworkflow\en-US
Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----

-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM      28323 about_ActivityCommonParameters.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM       3221 about_Checkpoint-Workflow.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM       3199 about_Foreach-Parallel.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM       4655 about_InlineScript.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM       1706 about_Parallel.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM       3315 about_Sequence.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM       4464 about_Suspend-Workflow.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM      16166 about_WorkflowCommonParameters.help.txt
-a---        10/31/2012  11:23 AM      12046 about_Workflows.help.txt
-a---         11/6/2012  10:18 AM      61184 Microsoft.PowerShell.Workflow.ServiceCore.dll-help.xml

Directory: C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\PSScheduledJob\en-US
Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
-a---         9/27/2012  10:44 AM      11695 about_Scheduled_Jobs.help.txt
-a---         9/27/2012  10:44 AM       9913 about_Scheduled_Jobs_Advanced.help.txt
-a---         9/27/2012  10:44 AM      11214 about_Scheduled_Jobs_Basics.help.txt
-a---         9/27/2012  10:44 AM      21071 about_Scheduled_Jobs_Troubleshooting.help.txt
-a---         10/1/2012  12:33 AM     390801 Microsoft.PowerShell.ScheduledJob.dll-help.xml

But when you try to output about_WorkflowCommonParameters help topic, for example, you get an error:

PS C:\> Get-Help about_WorkflowCommonParameters
Get-Help : Get-Help could not find about_WorkflowCommonParameters in a help file in this session. To download updated help topics type: "Update-Help". To get help online, search for the help topic in the TechNet library at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=107116.

Why? You are bitten by a bug in the module auto-loading feature implementation. The work around is to import PSWorkflow (or PSScheduledJob) module first:

PS> Import-Module PSWorkflow
PS> Get-Help about_*
Name                              Category  Module          Synopsis
----                              --------  ------          --------
...                               ...       ...             ...
...                               ...       ...             ...
about_ActivityCommonParameters    HelpFile                  Describes the parameters that Windows PowerShell
about_Checkpoint-Workflow         HelpFile                  Describes the Checkpoint-Workflow activity, which
about_Foreach-Parallel            HelpFile                  Describes the ForEach -Parallel language construct in
about_InlineScript                HelpFile                  Describes the InlineScript activity, which runs Windows
about_Parallel                    HelpFile                  Describes the Parallel keyword, which runs the
about_Sequence                    HelpFile                  Describes the Sequence keyword, which runs selected
about_Suspend-Workflow            HelpFile                  Describes the Suspend-Workflow activity, which suspends
about_WorkflowCommonParameters    HelpFile                  This topic describes the parameters that are valid on all Windows
about_Workflows                   HelpFile                  Provides a brief introduction to the Windows

Voilà! You can now enjoy all the knowledge packed in these About help topics.

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