CUT(1) BSD General Commands Manual CUT(1)
cut -- select portions of each line of a file
cut -b list [-n] [file ...]
cut -c list [file ...]
cut -f list [-d delim] [-s] [file ...]
The cut utility selects portions of each line (as specified by list) from each file and
writes them to the standard output. If no file arguments are specified, or a file argument
is a single dash ('-'), cut reads from from the standard input. The items specified by list
can be in terms of column position or in terms of fields delimited by a special character.
Column numbering starts from 1.
The list option argument is a comma or whitespace separated set of increasing numbers and/or
number ranges. Number ranges consist of a number, a dash ('-'), and a second number and
select the fields or columns from the first number to the second, inclusive. Numbers or
number ranges may be preceded by a dash, which selects all fields or columns from 1 to the
first number. Numbers or number ranges may be followed by a dash, which selects all fields
or columns from the last number to the end of the line. Numbers and number ranges may be
repeated, overlapping, and in any order. It is not an error to select fields or columns not
present in the input line.
The options are as follows:
The list specifies byte positions.
The list specifies character positions.
Use the first character of delim as the field delimiter character instead of the tab
The list specifies fields, delimited in the input by a single tab character. Output
fields are separated by a single tab character.
-n Do not split multi-byte characters.
-s Suppress lines with no field delimiter characters. Unless specified, lines with no
delimiters are passed through unmodified.
The LANG, LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE environment variables affect the execution of cut if the -n
option is specified. Their effect is described in environ(7).
Extract users' login names and shells from the system passwd(5) file as ``name:shell''
cut -d : -f 1,7 /etc/passwd
Show the names and login times of the currently logged in users:
who | cut -c 1-16,26-38
The cut utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
The cut utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').
A cut command appeared in AT&T System III UNIX.
The -c option is a synonym for the -b option, which causes incorrect behaviour in locales
that support multibyte characters.
When operating on fields (-f option is specified), cut does not recognise multibyte charac-
ters, and the delim character is recognised in the middle of multibyte sequences.
BSD June 6, 1993 BSD