newform - change the format of a text file
newform [ options ] [ files ]
newform reads lines from the named files, or the standard input if no
input file is named, and reproduces the lines on the standard output.
Lines are reformatted in accordance with command line options in effect.
Except for -s, command line options may appear in any order, may be
repeated, and may be intermingled with the optional files. Command line
options are processed in the order specified. This means that option
sequences like ``-e15 -l60'' will yield results different from ``-l60
-e15''. Options are applied to all files on the command line.
-s Shears off leading characters on each line up to the first tab
and places up to 8 of the sheared characters at the end of the
line. If more than 8 characters (not counting the first tab)
are sheared, the eighth character is replaced by a * and any
characters to the right of it are discarded. The first tab is
An error message and program exit will occur if this option is
used on a file without a tab on each line. The characters
sheared off are saved internally until all other options
specified are applied to that line. The characters are then
added at the end of the processed line.
For example, to convert a file with leading digits, one or more
tabs, and text on each line, to a file beginning with the text,
all tabs after the first expanded to spaces, padded with spaces
out to column 72 (or truncated to column 72), and the leading
digits placed starting at column 73, the command would be:
newform -s -i -l -a -e file-name
-itabspec Input tab specification: expands tabs to spaces, according to
the tab specifications given. Tabspec recognizes all tab
specification forms described in tabs(1). In addition, tabspec
may be --, in which newform assumes that the tab specification
is to be found in the first line read from the standard input
(see fspec(4)). If no tabspec is given, tabspec defaults to
-8. A tabspec of -0 expects no tabs; if any are found, they
are treated as -1.
-otabspec Output tab specification: replaces spaces by tabs, according
to the tab specifications given. The tab specifications are
the same as for -itabspec. If no tabspec is given, tabspec
defaults to -8. A tabspec of -0 means that no spaces will be
converted to tabs on output.
-bn Truncate n characters from the beginning of the line when the
line length is greater than the effective line length (see
-ln). Default is to truncate the number of characters
necessary to obtain the effective line length. The default
value is used when -b with no n is used. This option can be
used to delete the sequence numbers from a COBOL program as
newform -l1 -b7 file-name
-en Same as -bn except that characters are truncated from the end
of the line.
-pn Prefix n characters (see -ck) to the beginning of a line when
the line length is less than the effective line length.
Default is to prefix the number of characters necessary to
obtain the effective line length.
-an Same as -pn except characters are appended to the end of a
-f Write the tab specification format line on the standard output
before any other lines are output. The tab specification
format line which is printed will correspond to the format
specified in the last -o option. If no -o option is specified,
the line which is printed will contain the default
specification of -8.
-ck Change the prefix/append character to k. Default character for
k is a space.
-ln Set the effective line length to n characters. If n is not
entered, -l defaults to 72. The default line length without
the -l option is 80 characters. Note that tabs and backspaces
are considered to be one character (use -i to expand tabs to
The -l1 must be used to set the effective line length shorter than any
existing line in the file so that the -b option is activated.
All diagnostics are fatal.
usage: ... newform was called with a bad option.
not -s format There was no tab on one line.
can't open file Self-explanatory.
internal line too long A line exceeds 512 characters after being
expanded in the internal work buffer.
tabspec in error A tab specification is incorrectly
formatted, or specified tab stops are not
tabspec indirection illegal A tabspec read from a file (or standard
input) may not contain a tabspec referencing
another file (or standard input).
0 - normal execution
1 - for any error
csplit(1), tabs(1), fspec(4)
newform normally only keeps track of physical characters; however, for
the -i and -o options, newform will keep track of backspaces in order to
line up tabs in the appropriate logical columns.
newform will not prompt the user if a tabspec is to be read from the
standard input (by use of -i-- or -o--).
If the -f option is used, and the last -o option specified was -o--, and
was preceded by either a -o-- or a -i--, the tab specification format
line will be incorrect.
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