WC(1) General Commands Manual WC(1)
wc - word count
wc [ -lwc ] [ name ... ]
Wc counts lines, words and characters in the named files, or in the standard input if no name appears. A word is a maximal string of char-
acters delimited by spaces, tabs or newlines.
If an argument beginning with one of ``lwc'' is present, the specified counts (lines, words, or characters) are selected by the letters l,
w, or c. The default is -lwc.
4th Berkeley Distribution April 29, 1985 WC(1)
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wc(1) General Commands Manual wc(1)
wc - Counts the lines, words, characters, and bytes in a file
wc [-c | -m] [-lw] [file...]
The wc command counts the lines, words, and characters or bytes in a file, or in the standard input if you do not specify any files, and
writes the results to standard output. It also keeps a total count for all named files.
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards as follows:
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about industry standards and associated tags.
Counts bytes in the input. Counts lines in the input. Counts characters in the input. Counts words in the input.
Specifies the pathname of the input file. If this operand is omitted, standard input is used.
A word is defined as a string of characters delimited by white space as defined in the X/Open Base Definitions for XCU4.
The wc command counts lines, words, and bytes by default. Use the appropriate options to limit wc output. Specifying wc without options
is the equivalent of specifying wc -lwc. If any options are specified, only the requested information is output.
The order in which counts appear in the output line is lines, words, bytes. If an option is omitted, then the corresponding field in the
output is omitted. If the -m option is used, then character counts replace byte counts.
When you specify one or more files, wc displays the names of the files along with the counts. If standard input is used, then no file name
The following exit values are returned: Successful completion. An error occurred.
To display the number of lines, words, and bytes in the file text, enter: wc text
This results in the following output: 27 185 722 text
The numbers 27, 185, and 722 are the number of lines, words, and bytes, respectively, in the file text. To display only one or two
of the three counts include the appropriate options. For example, the following command displays only line and byte counts: wc -cl
27 722 text To count lines, words, and bytes in more than one file, use wc with more than one input file or with a file name pat-
tern. For example, the following command can be issued in a directory containing the files text, text1, and text2: wc -l text*
27 text 112 text1 5 text2 144 total
The numbers 27, 112, and 5 are the numbers of lines in the files text, text1, and text2, respectively, and 144 is the total number
of lines in the three files. The file name is always appended to the output. To obtain a pure number for things like reporting
purposes, pipe all input to the wc command using cat. For example, the following command will report the total count of characters
in all files in a directory. echo There are `cat *.c | wc -c` characters in *.c files
There are 1869 characters in *.c files
The following environment variables affect the execution of wc: Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that are
unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization vari-
ables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of the variables had been defined. If set to a non-empty string value,
overrides the values of all the other internationalization variables. Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes
of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multibyte characters in arguments and input files) and which characters
are defined as white space characters. Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error
and informative messages written to standard output. Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of LC_MESSAGES.
Commands: cksum(1), ls(1)