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The Linux Command Line

Cover of The Linux Command Line by William E. Shotts Jr. Published by No Starch Press

Chapter 21. Formatting Output

In this chapter, we continue our look at text-related tools, focusing on programs that are used to format text output rather than change the text itself. These tools are often used to prepare text for printing, a subject that we will cover in the next chapter. The programs that we will cover in this chapter include the following:

  • nl—Number lines.

  • fold—Wrap each line to a specified length.

  • fmt—A simple text formatter.

  • pr—Format text for printing.

  • printf—Format and print data.

  • groff—A document formatting system.

Simple Formatting Tools

We’ll look at some of the simple formatting tools first. These are mostly single-purpose programs, and a bit unsophisticated in what they do, but they can be used for small tasks and as parts ...

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