paste -- merge corresponding or subsequent lines of files
paste [-s] [-d list] file ...
The paste utility concatenates the corresponding lines of the given input
files, replacing all but the last file's newline characters with a single
tab character, and writes the resulting lines to standard output. If
end-of-file is reached on an input file while other input files still
contain data, the file is treated as if it were an endless source of
The options are as follows:
-d list Use one or more of the provided characters to replace the
newline characters instead of the default tab. The characters
in list are used circularly, i.e., when list is
exhausted the first character from list is reused. This continues
until a line from the last input file (in default
operation) or the last line in each file (using the -s
option) is displayed, at which time paste begins selecting
characters from the beginning of list again.
The following special characters can also be used in list:
\n newline character
\t tab character
\\ backslash character
\0 Empty string (not a null character).
Any other character preceded by a backslash is equivalent to
the character itself.
-s Concatenate all of the lines of each separate input file in
command line order. The newline character of every line
except the last line in each input file is replaced with the
tab character, unless otherwise specified by the -d option.
If `-' is specified for one or more of the input files, the standard
input is used; standard input is read one line at a time, circularly, for
each instance of `-'.
List the files in the current directory in three columns:
ls | paste - - -
Combine pairs of lines from a file into single lines:
paste -s -d '\t\n' myfile
Number the lines in a file, similar to nl(1):
sed = myfile | paste -s -d '\t\n' - -
Create a colon-separated list of directories named bin, suitable for use
in the PATH environment variable:
find / -name bin -type d | paste -s -d : -
The paste utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
The paste utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compatible.
A paste command appeared in Version 32V AT&T UNIX.
Multibyte character delimiters cannot be specified with the -d option.
FreeBSD 5.2.1 September 20, 2001 FreeBSD 5.2.1 [ Back ]