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col

col [options ]

A postprocessing filter that handles reverse linefeeds and escape characters, allowing output from tbl (or nroff , occasionally) to appear in reasonable form on a terminal.

Options

-b

Ignore backspace characters; helpful when printing manpages.

-f

Process half-line vertical motions, but not reverse line motion. (Normally, half-line input motion is displayed on the next full line.)

-p

Print unknown escape sequences (normally ignored) as regular characters. This option can garble output, so its use is not recommended.

-x

Normally, col saves printing time by converting sequences of spaces to tabs. Use -x to suppress this conversion.

Examples

Run file through tbl and nroff , then capture output on screen by filtering through col and more :

tbl 

file
 | nroff | col | more

Save manpage output in file .print , stripping out backspaces (which would otherwise appear as ^H ):

man 

file
 | col -b >

 file
.print


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