COLUMN(1)                       User Commands                      COLUMN(1)

NAME         top

       column - columnate lists

SYNOPSIS         top

       column [options] [file...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       The column utility formats its input into multiple columns.  By
       default, columns are filled before rows.  Input is taken from file,
       or otherwise from standard input.  Empty lines are ignored.

OPTIONS         top

       -c, --output-width width
              Output is formatted to a width specified as number of
              characters. The original name of this option is --columns;
              this name deprecated since v2.30.

       -o, --output-separator string
              Specify the columns delimiter for table output (default is two

       -s, --separator separators
              Specify the possible input item delimiters (default is

       -t, --table
              Determine the number of columns the input contains and create
              a table.  Columns are delimited with whitespace, by default,
              or with the characters supplied using the --output-separator
              option.  Table output is useful for pretty-printing.

       -x, --fillrows
              Fill rows before filling columns.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -h, --help
              Display help text and exit.

ENVIRONMENT         top

       The environment variable COLUMNS is used to determine the size of the
       screen if no other information is available.

EXAMPLES         top

       sed 's/#.*//' /etc/fstab | column -t

BUGS         top

       Version 2.23 changed the -s option to be non-greedy, for example:

       printf "a:b:c\n1::3\n" | column  -t -s ':'

       Old output:
       a  b  c
       1  3

       New output (since util-linux 2.23):
       a  b  c
       1     3

SEE ALSO         top

       colrm(1), ls(1), paste(1), sort(1)

HISTORY         top

       The column command appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno.

AVAILABILITY         top

       The column command is part of the util-linux package and is available

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository 
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2017-03-13.  If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
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util-linux                      January 2017                       COLUMN(1)