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UNIX Power Tools

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Part V: Text Editing

On many systems, when you talk about editing, you're talking about word processing, more or less. And while modern word processing programs have many nifty features and can be very easy to learn and use, it can be quite striking just how much they lack.

When you talk about text editing under UNIX, you are talking about some real power tools-"word processors" that let you write what amount to "editing programs" that automate repetitive editing and give you enormous power to make global changes to many files at once.

If you're coming to UNIX from a system with a friendly modern word processor, you're likely to be appalled at your first encounter with vi or Emacs-but if you stick with it, and go on from there to programs like sed and awk , you'll look back on your former smugness with chagrin. Yes, there are many features you'll miss when using these relics of an earlier age. And yes, "There were giants on the earth in those days."

For all their features, modern text processing programs still have a lot of catching up to do.


Chapter 30: vi Tips and Tricks
Chapter 31: Creating Custom Commands in vi
Chapter 32: GNU Emacs
Chapter 33: Batch Editing
Chapter 34: The sed Stream Editor
Chapter 35: You Can't Quite Call This Editing
Chapter 36: Sorting
Chapter 37: Perl, a Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister

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