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28.5. String Editing (Colon) Operators

When the C shells, zsh, and bash do history substitutions (Section 30.8) they can also edit the substitution. The C shells and zsh -- but not bash -- can also edit variable substitutions (Section 35.9). (bash has a different syntax, which zsh understands, too.) For instance, in the first example below, when !$ contains /a/b/c, adding the "head" operator :h will give just the head of the pathname, /a/b.

For a complete but very terse list of these operators, see the csh manual page. We hope the examples below will help you understand these useful operators.

[Wait, Dan, what about & on the right-hand side to repeat the previous substitution? And there's more since Dan wrote this article (in 1983!). tcsh also has :u to convert the first lowercase letter to uppercase and :l to convert the first uppercase letter to lowercase. In zsh, :u converts all letters to uppercase and :l converts all letter to lowercase. zsh also has f and F to repeat a substitution until it fails -- and even more. Check your shell's manual page. -- JP]

-- DR

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