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PASTE(1P)                  POSIX Programmer's Manual                 PASTE(1P)



PROLOG
       This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.  The Linux implementation of this interface may dif-
       fer (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface  may  not  be
       implemented on Linux.

NAME
       paste - merge corresponding or subsequent lines of files

SYNOPSIS
       paste [-s][-d list] file...

DESCRIPTION
       The  paste  utility shall concatenate the corresponding lines of the given input files, and write the resulting
       lines to standard output.

       The default operation of paste shall concatenate the corresponding lines of the input files. The  <newline>  of
       every line except the line from the last input file shall be replaced with a <tab>.

       If an end-of-file condition is detected on one or more input files, but not all input files, paste shall behave
       as though empty lines were read from the files on which end-of-file was detected, unless the -s option is spec-
       ified.

OPTIONS
       The  paste  utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 12.2, Utility
       Syntax Guidelines.

       The following options shall be supported:

       -d  list
              Unless a backslash character appears in list, each character in list is an element specifying  a  delim-
              iter  character. If a backslash character appears in list, the backslash character and one or more char-
              acters following it are an element specifying a delimiter character as described below.  These  elements
              specify  one  or  more  delimiters to use, instead of the default <tab>, to replace the <newline> of the
              input lines. The elements in list shall be used circularly; that is, when  the  list  is  exhausted  the
              first element from the list is reused. When the -s option is specified:

               * The last <newline> in a file shall not be modified.


               * The delimiter shall be reset to the first element of list after each file operand is processed.


       When the -s option is not specified:

               * The <newline>s in the file specified by the last file operand shall not be modified.


               * The  delimiter  shall  be  reset to the first element of list each time a line is processed from each
                 file.


       If a backslash character appears in list, it and the character following it shall be used to represent the fol-
       lowing delimiter characters:

       \n
              <newline>.

       \t
              <tab>.

       \\
              Backslash character.

       \0
              Empty string (not a null character). If '\0' is immediately followed by the character 'x', the character
              'X', or any character defined by the  LC_CTYPE  digit  keyword  (see  the  Base  Definitions  volume  of
              IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Chapter 7, Locale), the results are unspecified.


       If any other characters follow the backslash, the results are unspecified.

       -s     Concatenate  all  of the lines of each separate input file in command line order. The <newline> of every
              line except the last line in each input file shall be replaced with the <tab>, unless  otherwise  speci-
              fied by the -d option.


OPERANDS
       The following operand shall be supported:

       file   A  pathname of an input file. If '-' is specified for one or more of the files, the standard input shall
              be used; the standard input shall be read one line at a time, circularly, for each  instance  of  '-'  .
              Implementations shall support pasting of at least 12 file operands.


STDIN
       The standard input shall be used only if one or more file operands is '-' . See the INPUT FILES section.

INPUT FILES
       The input files shall be text files, except that line lengths shall be unlimited.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of paste:

       LANG   Provide  a  default  value  for the internationalization variables that are unset or null. (See the Base
              Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 8.2, Internationalization Variables for  the  prece-
              dence of internationalization variables used to determine the values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the other internationalization variables.

       LC_CTYPE
              Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters (for  exam-
              ple, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters in arguments and input files).

       LC_MESSAGES
              Determine  the locale that should be used to affect the format and contents of diagnostic messages writ-
              ten to standard error.

       NLSPATH
              Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES .


ASYNCHRONOUS EVENTS
       Default.

STDOUT
       Concatenated lines of input files shall be separated by the <tab> (or other characters under the control of the
       -d option) and terminated by a <newline>.

STDERR
       The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.

OUTPUT FILES
       None.

EXTENDED DESCRIPTION
       None.

EXIT STATUS
       The following exit values shall be returned:

        0     Successful completion.

       >0     An error occurred.


CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS
       If  one or more input files cannot be opened when the -s option is not specified, a diagnostic message shall be
       written to standard error, but no output is written to standard output. If the  -s  option  is  specified,  the
       paste utility shall provide the default behavior described in Utility Description Defaults .

       The following sections are informative.

APPLICATION USAGE
       When  the  escape sequences of the list option-argument are used in a shell script, they must be quoted; other-
       wise, the shell treats the '\' as a special character.

       Conforming applications should only use the specific backslash escaped delimiters presented in this  volume  of
       IEEE Std 1003.1-2001.  Historical implementations treat '\x', where 'x' is not in this list, as 'x', but future
       implementations are free to expand this list to recognize other common escapes similar  to  those  accepted  by
       printf and other standard utilities.

       Most  of  the  standard  utilities work on text files. The cut utility can be used to turn files with arbitrary
       line lengths into a set of text files containing the same data. The paste utility can be  used  to  create  (or
       recreate) files with arbitrary line lengths. For example, if file contains long lines:


              cut -b 1-500 -n file > file1
              cut -b 501- -n file > file2

       creates  file1  (a  text file) with lines no longer than 500 bytes (plus the <newline>) and file2 that contains
       the remainder of the data from file. Note that file2 is not a text file if there are lines  in  file  that  are
       longer than 500 + {LINE_MAX} bytes. The original file can be recreated from file1 and file2 using the command:


              paste -d "\0" file1 file2 > file

       The commands:


              paste -d "\0" ...
              paste -d "" ...

       are  not  necessarily  equivalent;  the  latter is not specified by this volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 and may
       result in an error. The construct '\0' is used to mean "no separator" because historical versions of paste  did
       not follow the syntax guidelines, and the command:


              paste -d"" ...

       could not be handled properly by getopt().

EXAMPLES
        1. Write out a directory in four columns:


           ls | paste - - - -


        2. Combine pairs of lines from a file into single lines:


           paste -s -d "\t\n" file


RATIONALE
       None.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS
       None.

SEE ALSO
       Utility Description Defaults, cut, grep, pr

COPYRIGHT
       Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition, Stan-
       dard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base  Specifica-
       tions  Issue  6,  Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The
       Open Group. In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Stan-
       dard,  the  original  IEEE  and  The  Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be
       obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .



IEEE/The Open Group                  2003                            PASTE(1P)