pr - print files
pr [+page] [-column] [-adfFmrt] [[-e] [char] [gap]] [-h
[char] [gap]] [-l lines] [-o offset] [[-s] [char]] [[-n]
[width]] [-w width] [-] [file ...]
The pr utility is a printing and pagination filter for text
multiple input files are specified, each is read, formatted,
to standard output. By default, the input is separated into
pages, each with
+o A 5-line header with the page number, date, time,
and the pathname
of the file.
+o A 5-line trailer consisting of blank lines.
Optionally, the trailer can be replaced by a <form-feed>
where this is
more appropriate for the output device being used and <tab>s
can be expanded
to input relative <spaces>s or <space>s can be contracted to output
relative <tab>s. The pr utility also interprets
<form-feed>s in the
input as the logical end of pages.
When multiple column output is specified, text columns are
width. By default text columns are separated by at least
Input lines that do not fit into a text column are truncated, except in
the default single columns output mode.
If standard output is associated with a terminal, diagnostic
suppressed until the pr utility has completed processing.
In the following option descriptions, column, lines, offset,
width are positive decimal integers and gap is a non-negative decimal integer.
The options are as follows:
+page Begin output at page number page of the formatted
Produce output that is columns wide (default is 1)
that is written
vertically down each column in the order in
which the text is
received from the input file. The options -e and -i
This option should not be used with -m. When used
with -t, the
minimum number of lines is used to display the output.
-a Modify the effect of the -column option so that the
filled across the page in a round-robin order (e.g.,
is 2, the first input line heads column 1, the second heads column
2, the third is the second line in column 1,
etc.). This option
requires the use of the -column option.
-d Produce output that is double spaced. An extra
is output following every <newline> found in the
Expand each input <tab> to the next greater column
by the formula n*gap+1, where n is an integer
> 0. If gap
is zero or is omitted the default is 8. All <tab>
the input are expanded into the appropriate number
If any nondigit character, char, is specified, it is
used as the
input tab character.
-F Use a <form-feed> character for new pages, instead
of the default
behavior that uses a sequence of <newline> characters.
-f Same as the -F option.
Use the string header to replace the file name in
In output, replace multiple <space>s with <tab>s
whenever two or
more adjacent <space>s reach column positions gap+1,
etc. If gap is zero or omitted, default <tab> settings at every
eighth column position is used. If any nondigit
is specified, it is used as the output <tab> character.
Override the 66 line default and reset the page
length to lines.
If lines is not greater than the sum of both the
trailer depths (in lines), the pr utility suppresses
both the header and trailer, as if the -t option
were in effect.
-m Merge the contents of multiple files. One line from
specified by a file operand is written side by side
columns of equal fixed widths, in terms of the number of column
positions. The number of text columns depends on
the number of
file operands successfully opened. The maximum number of files
merged depends on page width and the per process
open file limit.
The options -e and -i are assumed.
Provide width digit line numbering. The default for
not specified, is 5. The number occupies the first
positions of each text column or each line of -m
output. If char
(any nondigit character) is given, it is appended to
number to separate it from whatever follows. The
char is a <tab>. Line numbers longer than width
Each line of output is preceded by offset <spaces>s.
If the -o
option is not specified, the default is zero. The
space taken is
in addition to the output line width.
-r Write no diagnostic reports on failure to open a
Separate text columns by the single character char
instead of by
the appropriate number of <space>s (default for char
is the <tab>
-t Print neither the five-line identifying header nor
trailer usually supplied for each page. Quit printing after the
last line of each file without spacing to the end of
Set the width of the line to width column positions
text-column output only. If the -w option is not
the -s option is not specified, the default width is
72. If the
-w option is not specified and the -s option is
default width is 512.
file A pathname of a file to be printed. If no file
specified, or if a file operand is ``-'', the standard input is
used. The standard input is used only if no file
specified, or if a file operand is ``-''.
The -s option does not allow the option letter to be separated from its
argument, and the options -e, -i, and -n require that both
present, not be separated from the option letter.
If pr receives an interrupt while printing to a terminal, it
accumulated error messages to the screen before terminating.
The pr utility exits 0 on success, and 1 if an error occurs.
Error messages are written to standard error during the
(if output is redirected) or after all successful file
printing is complete
(when printing to a terminal).
The interpretation of <form-feed>s in the input stream is
that they are
special <newline>s which have the side effect of causing a
While this works correctly for all cases, strict interpretation also implies
that the common convention of placing a <form-feed> on
a line by
itself is actually interpreted as a blank line, page break,
The pr utility is intended to paginate input containing basic ascii(7)
text formatting and input streams containing non-printing
characters>, <escape-sequences> or long lines may result in
The pr utility does not currently understand over-printing
space> or <return> characters, and except in the case of unmodified single-column
output, use of these characters will cause formatting errors.
cat(1), more(1), ascii(7)
The pr utility is IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compatible;
standard is relatively silent concerning the handling of input characters
beyond the behavior dictated by the pr required command options.
A pr command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
The lack of a line wrapping option, and the specification
does not apply to single-column output frequently results in
errors when input lines are longer than actual line width of
The default width of 72 is archaic and non-obvious since it
ignored in the default single column mode. Using the -m option with one
column provides a way to truncate single column output but
there's no way
to wrap long lines to a fixed line width.
The default of <tab> for the separator for the -n and -s options often
results in lines apparently wider than expected.
OpenBSD 3.6 June 6, 1993
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