Linux Command Library
commands
Commands
basic
Basic
tips
Tips

column

columnate lists

- Format output for a 30 characters wide display:
printf "header1 header2\nbar foo\n" | column -c [30]

- Specify column delimiter character for the -t option (i.e. "," for csv); default is whitespace:
printf "header1,header2\nbar,foo\n" | column -s[,]

- Split columns automatically and auto-align in a tabular format:
printf "header1 header2\nbar foo\n" | column -t

- Fill columns before filling rows:
printf "header1\nbar\nfoobar\n" | column -c [30] -x

[-entx ] [-c columns ] [-s sep ] [file ... ]

The utility formats its input into multiple columns. Rows are filled before columns. Input is taken from file operands, or, by default, from the standard input. Empty lines are ignored unless the -e option is used.

The options are as follows:

-c
Output is formatted for a display columns wide.
-s
Specify a set of characters to be used to delimit columns for the -t option.
-t
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 -s option. Useful for pretty-printing displays.
-x
Fill columns before filling rows.
-n
By default, the column command will merge multiple adjacent delimiters into a single delimiter when using the -t option; this option disables that behavior. This option is a Debian GNU/Linux extension.
-e
Do not ignore empty lines.

The COLUMNS , LANG , LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE environment variables affect the execution of as described in environ(7).

Ex -std

(printf "PERM LINKS OWNER GROUP SIZE MONTH DAY " ; \
printf "HH:MM/YEAR NAME\n" ; \
ls -l | sed 1d) | column -t

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

The command appeared in BSD 4.3 Reno

Input lines are limited to 512 times LINE_MAX (1M) wide characters in length.

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