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EXPAND(1) BSD General Commands Manual EXPAND(1)
expand, unexpand -- expand tabs to spaces, and vice versa
expand [-t tabstop] [-t tab1,tab2,...,tabn] [file ...]
unexpand [-a] [-t tab1,tab2,...,tabn] [file ...]
expand processes the named files or the standard input writing the standard output with tabs
changed into blanks. Backspace characters are preserved into the output and decrement the
column count for tab calculations. expand is useful for pre-processing character files
(before sorting, looking at specific columns, etc.) that contain tabs.
If a single tabstop argument is given, then tabs are set tabstop spaces apart instead of the
default 8. If multiple tabstops are given then the tabs are set at those specific columns.
unexpand puts tabs back into the data from the standard input or the named files and writes
the result on the standard output.
Option (with unexpand only):
-a By default, only leading blanks and tabs are reconverted to maximal strings of tabs.
If the -a option is given, then tabs are inserted whenever they would compress the
resultant file by replacing two or more characters.
The expand command appeared in 3.0BSD.
BSD December 20, 2008 BSD
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