printf

write formatted output

TLDR

Print a text message

$ printf "[%s\n]" "[Hello world]"
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Print an integer in bold blue

$ printf "[\e[1;34m%.3d\e[0m\n]" [42]
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Print a float number with the Unicode Euro sign

$ printf "[\u20AC %.2f\n]" [123.4]
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Print a text message composed with environment variables

$ printf "[var1: %s\tvar2: %s\n]" "[$VAR1]" "[$VAR2]"
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Store a formatted message in a variable (does not work on zsh)

$ printf -v [myvar] ["This is %s = %d\n" "a year" 2016]
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SYNOPSIS

printf FORMAT [ARGUMENT]...
printf OPTION

DESCRIPTION

Print ARGUMENT(s) according to FORMAT, or execute according to OPTION:

--help

display this help and exit

--version

output version information and exit

FORMAT controls the output as in C printf. Interpreted sequences are:

\"

double quote

\\

backslash

\a

alert (BEL)

\b

backspace

\c

produce no further output

\e

escape

\f

form feed

\n

new line

\r

carriage return

\t

horizontal tab

\v

vertical tab

\NNN

byte with octal value NNN (1 to 3 digits)

\xHH

byte with hexadecimal value HH (1 to 2 digits)

\uHHHH

Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character with hex value HHHH (4 digits)

\UHHHHHHHH

Unicode character with hex value HHHHHHHH (8 digits)

%%

a single %

%b

ARGUMENT as a string with '\' escapes interpreted, except that octal escapes are of the form \0 or \0NNN

%q

ARGUMENT is printed in a format that can be reused as shell input, escaping non-printable characters with the proposed POSIX $'' syntax.

and all C format specifications ending with one of diouxXfeEgGcs, with ARGUMENTs converted to proper type first. Variable widths are handled.

NOTE: your shell may have its own version of printf, which usually supersedes the version described here. Please refer to your shell's documentation for details about the options it supports.

REPORTING BUGS

GNU coreutils online help: <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
Report any translation bugs to <https://translationproject.org/team/>

COPYRIGHT

Copyright © 2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

SEE ALSO

printf(3) Full documentation <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/printf> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) printf invocation'

AUTHOR

Written by David MacKenzie.

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