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COL(1) BSD General Commands Manual COL(1)
col -- filter reverse line feeds from input
col [-bfhpx] [-l num]
The col utility filters out reverse (and half reverse) line feeds so that the output is in
the correct order with only forward and half forward line feeds, and replaces white-space
characters with tabs where possible. This can be useful in processing the output of
nroff(1) and tbl(1).
The col utility reads from the standard input and writes to the standard output.
The options are as follows:
-b Do not output any backspaces, printing only the last character written to each col-
-f Forward half line feeds are permitted (``fine'' mode). Normally characters printed
on a half line boundary are printed on the following line.
-h Don't output multiple spaces instead of tabs (default).
-l num Buffer at least num lines in memory. By default, 128 lines are buffered.
-p Force unknown control sequences to be passed through unchanged. Normally, col will
filter out any control sequences from the input other than those recognized and
interpreted by itself, which are listed below.
-x Output multiple spaces instead of tabs.
The control sequences for carriage motion that col understands and their decimal values are
listed in the following table:
ESC-7 reverse line feed (escape then 7)
ESC-8 half reverse line feed (escape then 8)
ESC-9 half forward line feed (escape then 9)
backspace moves back one column (8); ignored in the first column
carriage return (13)
newline forward line feed (10); also does carriage return
shift in shift to normal character set (15)
shift out shift to alternate character set (14)
space moves forward one column (32)
tab moves forward to next tab stop (9)
vertical tab reverse line feed (11)
All unrecognized control characters and escape sequences are discarded.
The col utility keeps track of the character set as characters are read and makes sure the
character set is correct when they are output.
If the input attempts to back up to the last flushed line, col will display a warning mes-
expand(1), nroff(1), tbl(1)
The col utility conforms to Version 2 of the Single UNIX Specification (``SUSv2'').
A col command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
BSD June 29, 1993 BSD
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