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Linux 2.6 - man page for paste (linux section 1posix)

PASTE(P)			    POSIX Programmer's Manual				 PASTE(P)

NAME
       paste - merge corresponding or subsequent lines of files

SYNOPSIS
       paste [-s][-d list] file...

DESCRIPTION
       The  paste utility shall concatenate the corresponding lines of the given input files, and
       write the resulting lines to standard output.

       The default operation of paste shall concatenate the  corresponding  lines  of  the  input
       files.  The  <newline>  of  every  line	except the line from the last input file shall be
       replaced with a <tab>.

       If an end-of-file condition is detected on one or more input  files,  but  not  all  input
       files,  paste shall behave as though empty lines were read from the files on which end-of-
       file was detected, unless the -s option is specified.

OPTIONS
       The paste utility shall conform to the Base Definitions	volume	of  IEEE Std 1003.1-2001,
       Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.

       The following options shall be supported:

       -d  list
	      Unless  a backslash character appears in list, each character in list is an element
	      specifying a delimiter character. If a backslash character  appears  in  list,  the
	      backslash character and one or more characters following it are an element specify-
	      ing a delimiter character as described below. These elements specify  one  or  more
	      delimiters  to  use,  instead of the default <tab>, to replace the <newline> of the
	      input lines. The elements in list shall be used circularly; that is, when the  list
	      is exhausted the first element from the list is reused. When the -s option is spec-
	      ified:

	       * The last <newline> in a file shall not be modified.

	       * The delimiter shall be reset to the first element of list after each file  oper-
		 and is processed.

       When the -s option is not specified:

	       * The <newline>s in the file specified by the last file operand shall not be modi-
		 fied.

	       * The delimiter shall be reset to the first element of list each time  a  line  is
		 processed from each file.

       If  a backslash character appears in list, it and the character following it shall be used
       to represent the following delimiter characters:

       \n
	      <newline>.

       \t
	      <tab>.

       \\
	      Backslash character.

       \0
	      Empty string (not a null character). If '\0' is immediately followed by the charac-
	      ter  'x'	, the character 'X' , or any character defined by the LC_CTYPE digit key-
	      word (see the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Chapter 7,  Locale),
	      the results are unspecified.

       If any other characters follow the backslash, the results are unspecified.

       -s     Concatenate all of the lines of each separate input file in command line order. The
	      <newline> of every line except the last line in each input file shall  be  replaced
	      with the <tab>, unless otherwise specified by the -d option.

OPERANDS
       The following operand shall be supported:

       file   A  pathname of an input file. If '-' is specified for one or more of the files, the
	      standard input shall be used; the standard input shall be read one line at a  time,
	      circularly,  for each instance of '-' . Implementations shall support pasting of at
	      least 12 file operands.

STDIN
       The standard input shall be used only if one or more file operands is '-' . See the  INPUT
       FILES section.

INPUT FILES
       The input files shall be text files, except that line lengths shall be unlimited.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of paste:

       LANG   Provide  a  default  value for the internationalization variables that are unset or
	      null. (See the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 8.2, Inter-
	      nationalization Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used
	      to determine the values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the  other  interna-
	      tionalization variables.

       LC_CTYPE
	      Determine  the  locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as
	      characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters	in  argu-
	      ments and input files).

       LC_MESSAGES
	      Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format and contents of diag-
	      nostic messages written to standard error.

       NLSPATH
	      Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES .

ASYNCHRONOUS EVENTS
       Default.

STDOUT
       Concatenated lines of input files shall be separated by the  <tab>  (or	other  characters
       under the control of the -d option) and terminated by a <newline>.

STDERR
       The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.

OUTPUT FILES
       None.

EXTENDED DESCRIPTION
       None.

EXIT STATUS
       The following exit values shall be returned:

	0     Successful completion.

       >0     An error occurred.

CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS
       If  one	or more input files cannot be opened when the -s option is not specified, a diag-
       nostic message shall be written to standard error, but no output is  written  to  standard
       output.	If the -s option is specified, the paste utility shall provide the default behav-
       ior described in Utility Description Defaults .

       The following sections are informative.

APPLICATION USAGE
       When the escape sequences of the list option-argument are used in  a  shell  script,  they
       must be quoted; otherwise, the shell treats the '\' as a special character.

       Conforming  applications  should  only  use the specific backslash escaped delimiters pre-
       sented in this volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001. Historical  implementations  treat  '\x'	,
       where 'x' is not in this list, as 'x' , but future implementations are free to expand this
       list to recognize other common escapes similar to those accepted by printf and other stan-
       dard utilities.

       Most  of  the  standard	utilities work on text files. The cut utility can be used to turn
       files with arbitrary line lengths into a set of text files containing the same  data.  The
       paste  utility  can be used to create (or recreate) files with arbitrary line lengths. For
       example, if file contains long lines:

	      cut -b 1-500 -n file > file1
	      cut -b 501- -n file > file2

       creates file1 (a text file) with lines no longer than 500 bytes (plus the  <newline>)  and
       file2  that  contains  the  remainder of the data from file. Note that file2 is not a text
       file if there are lines in file that are longer than 500 + {LINE_MAX} bytes. The  original
       file can be recreated from file1 and file2 using the command:

	      paste -d "\0" file1 file2 > file

       The commands:

	      paste -d "\0" ...
	      paste -d "" ...

       are   not  necessarily  equivalent;  the  latter  is  not  specified  by  this  volume  of
       IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 and may result in an error. The construct '\0' is used  to	mean  "no
       separator"  because historical versions of paste did not follow the syntax guidelines, and
       the command:

	      paste -d"" ...

       could not be handled properly by getopt().

EXAMPLES
	1. Write out a directory in four columns:

	   ls | paste - - - -

	2. Combine pairs of lines from a file into single lines:

	   paste -s -d "\t\n" file

RATIONALE
       None.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS
       None.

SEE ALSO
       Utility Description Defaults , cut , grep , pr

COPYRIGHT
       Portions of this text are reprinted and	reproduced  in	electronic  form  from	IEEE  Std
       1003.1,	2003  Edition,	Standard  for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System
       Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003  by
       the  Institute  of  Electrical  and  Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the
       event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE  and  The  Open  Group
       Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The orig-
       inal Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .

IEEE/The Open Group			       2003					 PASTE(P)


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