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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       fmt - Formats mail messages prior to sending

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       fmt [-width] file...

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       The fmt command reads the input file or files, or standard
       input if no files are specified, and  writes  to  standard
       output  a  version  of the input with lines of a length as
       close as possible to width columns. (Because fmt is internationalized
  software,  the  number of display columns is
       not necessarily equivalent to the number of bytes.)

       The fmt command both joins and splits lines to achieve the
       desired width, but words are never joined or split; spaces
       are always preserved, and lines are split at spaces  only.
       In effect, fmt ignores newline characters in the input and
       wraps words to make lines a close  as  possible  to  width
       columns,  resulting  in individual lines of varying length
       but a consistent (new) text width overall.  Because  blank
       lines  are always preserved, fmt does not merge paragraphs
       separated by blank lines.

       If you specify more than one file, the files are  concatenated
  as input to fmt.  If you do not specify -width, the
       default line length is 72 columns.  Spacing at the  beginning
 of input lines is always preserved in the output.

       The  fmt command is generally used to format mail messages
       to improve their appearance before they are sent.  It  may
       also  be  useful,  however,  for  other  simple formatting
       tasks.  For example, when you are using vi,  you  can  use
       the  command  :%!fmt -60 to reformat your text so that all
       lines are approximately 60 columns long.

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

       The fmt command is  a  fast,  simple  formatting  program.
       Standard  text  editing programs are more appropriate than
       fmt for complex formatting operations.  Do not use the fmt
       command  if the message contains embedded messages or preformatted
 information from other files.  This command formats
  the heading information in embedded messages and may
       change the format of preformatted information.

EXAMPLES    [Toc]    [Back]

       file1 contains these lines:

              Australia is an island-continent, home to many very
              interesting plants and animals.

              To  reformat  this text to a narrower width, enter:
              fmt -30 file1

              This results in the following,  displayed  on  your
              screen:  Australia  is an island-continent, home to
              many very interesting plants and animals.

              To make file1 wider, enter: fmt -60 file1

              This results in: Australia is an  island-continent,
              home  to  many very interesting plants and animals.
              To format a message you have created with the mailx
              editor, at the left margin enter: ~|fmt

              After  you  enter the command, your message is formatted,
 in this case to the default line length  of
              72  columns,  and the word continue is displayed to
              indicate that you can  enter  more  information  or
              send your message.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       Commands:  mail(1), mailx(1), vi(1)

[ Back ]
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