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Mac OS X Tiger in a Nutshell by Jason McIntosh, Chuck Toporek, Chris Stone, Andy Lester

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Name

printf

Synopsis

                     
                        printf
                      
                     string [arguments]

Format the arguments according to string. Works like the C library printf function. Standard printf percent-sign formats are recognized in string, such as %i for integer. Escape sequences such as \n can be included in string and are automatically recognized; if you want to include them in arguments, specify a string of %b. You can escape characters in arguments to output a string suitable for input to other commands by specifying a string of %q.

Examples

    $ printf "Previous command: %i\n" "$(($HISTCMD-1))"
    Previous command: 534
    $ echo $PAGER
    less -E
    $ printf "%q\n" "\t$PAGER"
    \\tless\ -E

The last command would probably be used to record a setting in a file where it could be read and assigned by another shell script.

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