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COL(1)                    BSD General Commands Manual                   COL(1)

NAME
     col - filter reverse line feeds from input

SYNOPSIS
     col [-bfpx] [-l num]

DESCRIPTION
     Col filters out reverse (and half reverse) line feeds so 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).

     Col reads from standard input and writes to standard output.

     The options are as follows:

     -b     Do not output any backspaces, printing only the last character written to each column position.

     -f     Forward half line feeds are permitted (''fine'' mode).  Normally characters printed on a half line bound-
            ary are printed on the following line.

     -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.

     -lnum  Buffer at least num lines in memory.  By default, 128 lines are buffered.

     The control sequences for carriage motion that col understands and their decimal values are listed in the follow-
     ing 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.

     Col 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 message.

SEE ALSO
     expand(1), nroff(1), tbl(1)

STANDARDS
     The col utility conforms to the Single UNIX Specification, Version 2. The -l option is an extension to the stan-
     dard.

HISTORY
     A col command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

AVAILABILITY
     The col command is part of the util-linux-ng package and is available from ftp://ftp.ker-
     nel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux-ng/.

BSD                              June 17, 1991                             BSD