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PASTE(1) BSD General Commands Manual PASTE(1)
paste -- merge corresponding or subsequent lines of files
paste [-s] [-d list] file ...
The paste utility concatenates the corresponding lines of the given input files, replacing
all but the last file's newline characters with a single tab character, and writes the
resulting lines to standard output. If end-of-file is reached on an input file while other
input files still contain data, the file is treated as if it were an endless source of empty
The options are as follows:
-d list Use one or more of the provided characters to replace the newline characters
instead of the default tab. The characters in list are used circularly, i.e.,
when list is exhausted the first character from list is reused. This continues
until a line from the last input file (in default operation) or the last line in
each file (using the -s option) is displayed, at which time paste begins select-
ing characters from the beginning of list again.
The following special characters can also be used in list:
\n newline character
\t tab character
\\ backslash character
\0 Empty string (not a null character).
Any other character preceded by a backslash is equivalent to the character
-s Concatenate all of the lines of each separate input file in command line order.
The newline character of every line except the last line in each input file is
replaced with the tab character, unless otherwise specified by the -d option.
If '-' is specified for one or more of the input files, the standard input is used; standard
input is read one line at a time, circularly, for each instance of '-'.
List the files in the current directory in three columns:
ls | paste - - -
Combine pairs of lines from a file into single lines:
paste -s -d '\t\n' myfile
Number the lines in a file, similar to nl(1):
sed = myfile | paste -s -d '\t\n' - -
Create a colon-separated list of directories named bin, suitable for use in the PATH envi-
find / -name bin -type d | paste -s -d : -
The paste utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
The paste utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compatible.
A paste command appeared in Version 32V AT&T UNIX.
Multibyte character delimiters cannot be specified with the -d option.
BSD September 20, 2001 BSD
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