How to remove alphabets/special characters/space in the 5th field of a tab delimited file?


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Top Forums Shell Programming and Scripting How to remove alphabets/special characters/space in the 5th field of a tab delimited file?
# 1  
Tools How to remove alphabets/special characters/space in the 5th field of a tab delimited file?

Thank you for 4 looking this post.

We have a tab delimited file where we are facing problem in a lot of funny character. I have tried using awk but failed that is not working.
In the 5th field ID which is supposed to be a integer only of that file, we are getting corrupted data as below.
I want to remove the entire corrupted data for the corresponding row & replace it with empty value.

i am not sure what are these symbles are and what command can replace these funny junk chars.

Your suggestion are appreciated.

Example:
Code:
record 1 - 
"14"    "50603" "1012"  "123"      "12ռ4�Z{>�}ŪiY2���3�'�ݐ؍>N�C�7>S"      "19-Mar-2014 14:58:26" 
record 2 - 
"14"    "50603" "1012"  "37164455"      "ռ4�Z>S"     "19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"

Output Should be like:

Code:
"14"    "50603" "1012"  "123"      ""     "19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"  
"14"    "50603" "1012"  "37164455"      ""      "19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"


Last edited by Don Cragun; 05-07-2014 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: Add CODE tags.
# 2  
You didn't say anything about removing numeric characters. Why isn't the output for the 5th field in record 1 "124237"? Why isn't the output for the 5th field in record 2 "4"?
# 3  
try:
Code:
awk -F"\t" 'NF>4{
  f=$5;
  sub("^\"", "", f);
  sub("\"$", "", f);
  f = (f ~ /^[0-9]*$/) ? f : "";
  $5="\"" f "\"";
  print;
}' infile

# 4  
For your request to remove field 5, this might suffice:
Code:
awk '{$5="\"\""}1' OFS="\t" file
"14"    "50603"    "1012"    "123"    ""    "19-Mar-2014    14:58:26"
"14"    "50603"    "1012"    "37164455"    ""    "19-Mar-2014    14:58:26"

But, as Don Cragun says, it might be worthwhile to consider repair instead of remove, and to try to track down the cause of the unwanted behaviour.
# 5  
Hi DON,

We need to remove the entire field if it contains any funny characters. we dont need to maintain the numeric characters in that field if it contains funny characters. So the output of the 5 th field should be " " for both the cases.


Thanks !
# 6  
You could try something like:
Code:
awk '
BEGIN {	FS = OFS = "\t"
}
/^"/ {	if($5 !~ /^"[0-9]*"$/) $5 = "\"\""
	print
}' file

If you want to try this on a Solaris/SunOS system change awk to /usr/xpg4/bin/awk, /usr/xpg6/bin/awk, or nawk.
If file contains:
Code:
record 1 - 
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"123"	"12ռ4�Z{>�}ŪiY2���3�'�ݐ؍>N�C�7>S"	"19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"	
record 2 - 
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"37164455"	"ռ4�Z>S"	"19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"
record 3 - 
"1"	"2"	"3"	"4"	"5"	"08-May-2014 11:14:59"

this will produce:
Code:
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"123"	""	"19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"	
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"37164455"	""	"19-Mar-2014 14:58:26"
"1"	"2"	"3"	"4"	"5"	"08-May-2014 11:14:59"

# 7  
Hi DON,

Thanks for you reply. It helped me a lot. But that is not working for one scenario. If that corrupted records is splitted into 3 lines (as mentioned in example) then it is removing the entire data in the 5th field & also from the successive fields. Let's see some examples:

Input:

Code:
Record 1 :
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"2131609"	"18��#��nz�S^l�����
��`��Z�/*�������ˮ7d_�gˉ�RB�nx����R�
9gd,�P�X�O"	"02-May-2014 04:11:54"

Expected Output:
Code:
Record 1 :
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"2131609"	""	"02-May-2014 04:11:54"

Actual Output: (6th field is cutted from the row)
Code:
Record 1 :
"14"	"50603"	"1012"	"2131609"	""

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