col(1) — Linux manual page


COL(1)                        User Commands                       COL(1)

NAME         top

       col - filter reverse line feeds from input

SYNOPSIS         top

       col [options]

DESCRIPTION         top

       col filters out reverse (and half-reverse) line feeds so the
       output is in the correct order, with only forward and half-
       forward line feeds.  It also replaces any whitespace characters
       with tabs where possible.  This can be useful in processing the
       output of nroff(1) and tbl(1).

       col reads from standard input and writes to standard output.

OPTIONS         top

       -b, --no-backspaces
              Do not output any backspaces, printing only the last
              character written to each column position.

       -f, --fine
              Permit half-forward line feeds.  Normally characters
              destined for a half-line boundary are printed on the
              following line.

       -h, --tabs
              Output tabs instead of multiple spaces.

       -l, --lines number
              Buffer at least number lines in memory.  By default, 128
              lines are buffered.

       -p, --pass
              Force unknown control sequences to be passed through
              unchanged.  Normally col will filter out any control
              sequences other than those recognized and interpreted by
              itself, which are listed below.

       -x, --spaces
              Output multiple spaces instead of tabs.

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

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

CONFORMING TO         top

       The col utility conforms to the Single UNIX Specification,
       Version 2.  The -l option is an extension to the standard.

NOTES         top

       The control sequences for carriage motion that col understands
       and their decimal values are listed in the following table:

              ESC-7  reverse line feed (escape then 7)
              ESC-8  half reverse line feed (escape then 8)
              ESC-9  half forward line feed (escape then 9)
                     moves back one column (8); ignored in the first
                     forward line feed (10); also does carriage return
              carriage return
              shift in
                     shift to normal character set (15)
              shift out
                     shift to alternate character set (14)
              space  moves forward one column (32)
              tab    moves forward to next tab stop (9)
              vertical tab
                     reverse line feed (11)

       All unrecognized control characters and escape sequences are

       col keeps track of the character set as characters are read and
       makes sure the character set is correct when they are output.

       If the input attempts to back up to the last flushed line, col
       will display a warning message.

HISTORY         top

       A col command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

SEE ALSO         top

       expand(1), nroff(1), tbl(1)

AVAILABILITY         top

       The col command is part of the util-linux package and is
       available from Linux Kernel Archive 

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
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       2021-03-21.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2021-03-19.)  If you
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util-linux                      July 2014                         COL(1)

Pages that refer to this page: colcrt(1)grotty(1)