Making an executable take pipelined input in PowerShell

It annoys me when I am working with PowerShell try to pipe the results of a cmdlet into a exe which doesn’t understand pipelined data.  To solve this problem I began aliasing some of the common programs I would like to pipe data to with custom functions.

For example, I have the following function in my profile to alias notepad.exe:

function n($file) {
  if($file -ne $null){
    notepad $file
  } else {
    notepad $input

I can use the function named n whenever I want to open a file using notepad. This function will take a file name either through piping or as a regular argument.

So I can open a file in notepad this way:

n someFile.txt

or this way:

ls *.txt | n

You can create similar functions for other programs as well.  Here is the one I use for Emacs:

$emacs = "emacs.exe -nw --no-splash"
function emacs($file){
  if($file -ne $null){
    Invoke-Expression "$emacs $file"
  else {
    Invoke-Expression "$emacs $input"
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