wc - word, line, and byte or character count
wc [-c | -m] [-lw] [file ...]
The wc utility reads one or more input text files, and, by
writes the number of lines, words, and bytes contained in
each input file
to the standard output. If more than one input file is
specified, a line
of cumulative count(s) for all named files is output on a
following the last file count. wc considers a word to be a
string of characters delimited by whitespace. Whitespace
the set of characters for which the isspace(3) function returns true.
The options are as follows:
-c The number of bytes in each input file is written to
-l The number of lines in each input file is written to
-m The number of characters in each input file is written to the
-w The number of words in each input file is written to
When an option is specified, wc only reports the information
that option. The default action is equivalent to the flags
been specified. The -c and -m options are mutually exclusive.
The following operands are available:
file A pathname of an input file.
If no file names are specified, the standard input is used
and a file
name is not output. The resulting output is one line of the
count(s) with the cumulative sum of all files read in via
By default, the standard output contains a line for each input file of
lines words bytes file_name
If the -m option is specified, the number of bytes is replaced by the
number of characters in the listing above. The counts for
and bytes (or characters) are integers separated by spaces.
The wc utility exits 0 on success or >0 if an error occurred.
Historically, the wc utility was documented to define a word
as a ``maximal
string of characters delimited by <space>, <tab> or
The implementation, however, didn't handle nonprinting characters
correctly so that `` ^D^E '' counted as 6 spaces,
``foo^D^Ebar'' counted as 8 characters. 4BSD systems after
the implementation to be consistent with the documentation. This
implementation defines a ``word'' in terms of the isspace(3)
required by IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').
The wc utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992
A wc utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
OpenBSD 3.6 April 19, 1994
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