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nl [options ] [file ]

Number the lines of file in logical page segments. Numbering resets to 1 at the start of each logical page. Pages consist of a header, body, and footer; each section may be empty. It is the body that gets numbered. The sections are delimited by special standalone lines as indicated next; the delimiter lines are copied to the output as empty lines.

Section Delimiters

\:\:\: Start of header
\:\: Start of body
\: Start of footer


-b type

Number lines according to type . Values are:

a All lines.
n No lines.

Text lines only (the default).

p" exp "

Lines matching the regular expression exp only.

-d xy

Use characters xy to delimit logical pages (default is \: ).

-f type

Like -b , but number footer (default type is n ).

-h type

Like -b , but number header (default type is n ).

-i n

Increment each line number by n (default is 1).

-l n

Count n consecutive blank lines as one line.

-n format

Set line number format . Values are:


Left-justify, omit leading zeros.


Right-justify, omit leading zeros (default).




Do not reset numbering at start of pages.

-s c

Separate text from line number with character(s) c (default is a tab).

-v n

Number each page starting at n (default is 1).

-w n

Use n columns to show line number (default is 6).


List the current directory, numbering files as 1), 2), etc.:

ls | nl -w3 -s')  '

Number C source code and save it:

nl prog.c > print_prog

Number only lines that begin with #include :

nl -bp"^#include" prog.c

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