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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     fmt - simple text formatter

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     fmt [-cmnps] [-d chars] [-l num] [-t num] [goal [maximum]  |
-width | -w
         width] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     fmt is a simple text formatter which reads the concatenation
of input
     files (or standard input if none are given) and produces  on
standard output
  a  version of its input with lines as close to the goal
length as possible
 without exceeding the maximum.  The  goal  length  defaults to 65 and
     the maximum to 10 more than the goal length.  Alternatively,
a single
     width parameter can be specified either by prepending a  hyphen to it or
     by  using  -w.  For example, ``fmt -w 72'', ``fmt -72'', and
``fmt 72 72''
     all produce identical output.  The spacing at the  beginning
of the input
     lines is preserved in the output, as are blank lines and interword spacing.
  Lines are joined or split only at  white  space;  that
is, words are
     never joined or hyphenated.

     The options are as follows:

     -c       Center  the text, line by line.  In this case, most
of the other
             options are ignored;  no  splitting  or  joining  of
lines is done.

     -m      Try to format mail header lines contained in the input sensibly.

     -n      Format lines beginning with a `.'  (dot)  character.
Normally, fmt
             does  not  fill  these lines, for compatibility with
troff(1) and

     -p      Allow indented paragraphs.  Without the -p flag, any
change in
             the  amount of whitespace at the start of a line results in a new
             paragraph being begun.

     -s      Collapse whitespace inside lines, so  that  multiple
             characters  are turned into a single space.  (Or, at
the end of a
             sentence, a double space.)

     -d chars
             Treat the chars (and no others)  as  sentence-ending
             By  default  the sentence-ending characters are full
stop (`.'),
             question mark (`?') and exclamation mark (`!').  Remember that
             some  characters  may  need to be escaped to protect
them from your

     -l number
             Replace multiple spaces with tabs at  the  start  of
each output
             line,  if  possible.  number spaces will be replaced
with one tab.

     -t number
             Assume that the  input  files'  tabs  assume  number
spaces per tab
             stop.  The default is 8.

     fmt  is  meant to format mail messages prior to sending, but
may also be
     useful for other simple tasks.  For instance, within  visual
mode of the
     ex(1) editor (e.g., vi(1)) the command


     will reformat a paragraph, evening the lines.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     mail(1), nroff(1), troff(1)

HISTORY    [Toc]    [Back]

     The fmt command appeared in 3BSD.

     The  version  described herein is a complete rewrite and appeared in OpenBSD

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Kurt Shoens
     Liz Allen (added goal length concept)
     Gareth McCaughan (wrote this version)

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The program was designed to be simple and fast  -  for  more
complex operations,
  the  standard  text processors are likely to be more

     When the first line of an indented paragraph  is  very  long
(more than
     about  twice the goal length), the indentation in the output
can be wrong.

     fmt is not infallible in guessing what lines are mail  headers and what
     lines are not.

OpenBSD      3.6                           June      6,      1993
[ Back ]
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