columnating text

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# 1  
Old 01-09-2008
columnating text

I have a file /T, where the text of that file is:


I wish to change that to a two-column format

column </T --(output set to new document) gets:
1 2 3 4 5 6
which probably makes sense as I have no option and no argument.

column -c <T (output set to new document) yields nothing, which makes sense because I haven't specified an argument

column -c 2 </T -- (output set to new document) I expect

1 2
3 4
5 6

BUT get


It would seem I'm specifying the argument incorrectly. If that's true, what is the proper syntax?

And, if I can get past the above problem, what's the story with an -x option; it doesn't appear in the "man column" I've looked at, but elsewhere I've seen it stated that (with that option) I should get:

1 4
2 5
3 6

help? TIA
# 2  
Old 01-10-2008
I have never used this command before, but there's a first time for everything. Playing around a little I get...
$ column -c20 < ./T
1       4
2       5
3       6
$ column -c20 -x < ./T
1       2
3       4
5       6

# 3  
Old 01-10-2008

I think the columns command is somewhat deceiving. The option "-c" does allow you to specify "columns", but it is the column-width of the display area, not "columns" of data.

A useful exercise might be to find the length of the file in lines, split the file, and use paste to read the splits -- provided the data fits into data-columns within the display-columns Smilie ... cheers, drl
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