Chapter 21. Formatting Output

In this chapter, we continue our look at text-related tools, focusing on programs that are used to format text output rather than change the text itself. These tools are often used to prepare text for printing, a subject that we will cover in the next chapter. The programs that we will cover in this chapter include the following:

  • nl—Number lines.

  • fold—Wrap each line to a specified length.

  • fmt—A simple text formatter.

  • pr—Format text for printing.

  • printf—Format and print data.

  • groff—A document formatting system.

Simple Formatting Tools

We’ll look at some of the simple formatting tools first. These are mostly single-purpose programs, and a bit unsophisticated in what they do, but they can be used for small tasks and as parts ...

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