35.18 Pasting Things in Columns
For example, to create a three-column file from files x , y , and z :
To make paste
read standard input, use the -
The "standard input" option is also handy when used with cut (35.14 ) . You can cut data from one position on a line and paste it back on another.
The separate data streams being merged are separated by default with a tab, but you can change this with the -d option. Unlike the -d option to cut , you need not specify a single character; instead, you can specify a list of characters, which will be used in a circular fashion. (I haven't figured a use for this - maybe you can.)
The characters in the list can be any regular character or the following escape sequences:
Use quoting (8.14 ) , if necessary, to protect characters from the shell.
There's also a -s option that lets you merge subsequent lines from one file. For example, to merge each pair of lines onto a single line: