Awk One Liners


    Unix:  awk '/pattern/ {print "$1"}'    # standard Unix shells
 DOS/Win:  awk '/pattern/ {print "$1"}'    # okay for DJGPP compiled
           awk "/pattern/ {print \"$1\"}"  # required for Mingw32

Most of my experience comes from version of GNU awk (gawk) compiled for
Win32. Note in particular that DJGPP compilations permit the awk script
to follow Unix quoting syntax '/like/ {"this"}'. However, the user must
know that single quotes under DOS/Windows do not protect the redirection
arrows (<, >) nor do they protect pipes (|). Both are special symbols
for the DOS/CMD command shell and their special meaning is ignored only
if they are placed within "double quotes." Likewise, DOS/Win users must
remember that the percent sign (%) is used to mark DOS/Win environment
variables, so it must be doubled (%%) to yield a single percent sign
visible to awk.

If I am sure that a script will NOT need to be quoted in Unix, DOS, or
CMD, then I normally omit the quote marks. If an example is peculiar to
GNU awk, the command 'gawk' will be used. Please notify me if you find
errors or new commands to add to this list (total length under 65
characters). I usually try to put the shortest script first.


 # double space a file
 awk '1;{print ""}'
 awk 'BEGIN{ORS="\n\n"};1'

 # double space a file which already has blank lines in it. Output file
 # should contain no more than one blank line between lines of text.
 # NOTE: On Unix systems, DOS lines which have only CRLF (\r\n) are
 # often treated as non-blank, and thus 'NF' alone will return TRUE.
 awk 'NF{print $0 "\n"}'

 # triple space a file
 awk '1;{print "\n"}'


 # precede each line by its line number FOR THAT FILE (left alignment).
 # Using a tab (\t) instead of space will preserve margins.
 awk '{print FNR "\t" $0}' files*

 # precede each line by its line number FOR ALL FILES TOGETHER, with tab.
 awk '{print NR "\t" $0}' files*

 # number each line of a file (number on left, right-aligned)
 # Double the percent signs if typing from the DOS command prompt.
 awk '{printf("%5d : %s\n", NR,$0)}'

 # number each line of file, but only print numbers if line is not blank
 # Remember caveats about Unix treatment of \r (mentioned above)
 awk 'NF{$0=++a " :" $0};{print}'
 awk '{print (NF? ++a " :" :"") $0}'

 # count lines (emulates "wc -l")
 awk 'END{print NR}'

 # print the sums of the fields of every line
 awk '{s=0; for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) s=s+$i; print s}'

 # add all fields in all lines and print the sum
 awk '{for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) s=s+$i}; END{print s}'

 # print every line after replacing each field with its absolute value
 awk '{for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) if ($i < 0) $i = -$i; print }'
 awk '{for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) $i = ($i < 0) ? -$i : $i; print }'

 # print the total number of fields ("words") in all lines
 awk '{ total = total + NF }; END {print total}' file

 # print the total number of lines that contain "Beth"
 awk '/Beth/{n++}; END {print n+0}' file

 # print the largest first field and the line that contains it
 # Intended for finding the longest string in field #1
 awk '$1 > max {max=$1; maxline=$0}; END{ print max, maxline}'

 # print the number of fields in each line, followed by the line
 awk '{ print NF ":" $0 } '

 # print the last field of each line
 awk '{ print $NF }'

 # print the last field of the last line
 awk '{ field = $NF }; END{ print field }'

 # print every line with more than 4 fields
 awk 'NF > 4'

 # print every line where the value of the last field is > 4
 awk '$NF > 4'


 # IN UNIX ENVIRONMENT: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format
 awk '{sub(/\r$/,"");print}'   # assumes EACH line ends with Ctrl-M

 # IN UNIX ENVIRONMENT: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format
 awk '{sub(/$/,"\r");print}

 # IN DOS ENVIRONMENT: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format
 awk 1

 # IN DOS ENVIRONMENT: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format
 # Cannot be done with DOS versions of awk, other than gawk:
 gawk -v BINMODE="w" '1' infile >outfile

 # Use "tr" instead.
 tr -d \r <infile >outfile            # GNU tr version 1.22 or higher

 # delete leading whitespace (spaces, tabs) from front of each line
 # aligns all text flush left
 awk '{sub(/^[ \t]+/, ""); print}'

 # delete trailing whitespace (spaces, tabs) from end of each line
 awk '{sub(/[ \t]+$/, "");print}'

 # delete BOTH leading and trailing whitespace from each line
 awk '{gsub(/^[ \t]+|[ \t]+$/,"");print}'
 awk '{$1=$1;print}'           # also removes extra space between fields

 # insert 5 blank spaces at beginning of each line (make page offset)
 awk '{sub(/^/, "     ");print}'

 # align all text flush right on a 79-column width
 awk '{printf "%79s\n", $0}' file*

 # center all text on a 79-character width
 awk '{l=length();s=int((79-l)/2); printf "%"(s+l)"s\n",$0}' file*

 # substitute (find and replace) "foo" with "bar" on each line
 awk '{sub(/foo/,"bar");print}'           # replaces only 1st instance
 gawk '{$0=gensub(/foo/,"bar",4);print}'  # replaces only 4th instance
 awk '{gsub(/foo/,"bar");print}'          # replaces ALL instances in a line

 # substitute "foo" with "bar" ONLY for lines which contain "baz"
 awk '/baz/{gsub(/foo/, "bar")};{print}'

 # substitute "foo" with "bar" EXCEPT for lines which contain "baz"
 awk '!/baz/{gsub(/foo/, "bar")};{print}'

 # change "scarlet" or "ruby" or "puce" to "red"
 awk '{gsub(/scarlet|ruby|puce/, "red"); print}'

 # reverse order of lines (emulates "tac")
 awk '{a[i++]=$0} END {for (j=i-1; j>=0;) print a[j--] }' file*

 # if a line ends with a backslash, append the next line to it
 # (fails if there are multiple lines ending with backslash...)
 awk '/\\$/ {sub(/\\$/,""); getline t; print $0 t; next}; 1' file*

 # print and sort the login names of all users
 awk -F ":" '{ print $1 | "sort" }' /etc/passwd

 # print the first 2 fields, in opposite order, of every line
 awk '{print $2, $1}' file

 # switch the first 2 fields of every line
 awk '{temp = $1; $1 = $2; $2 = temp}' file

 # print every line, deleting the second field of that line
 awk '{ $2 = ""; print }'

 # print in reverse order the fields of every line
 awk '{for (i=NF; i>0; i--) printf("%s ",i);printf ("\n")}' file

 # remove duplicate, consecutive lines (emulates "uniq")
 awk 'a !~ $0; {a=$0}'

 # remove duplicate, nonconsecutive lines
 awk '! a[$0]++'                     # most concise script
 awk '!($0 in a) {a[$0];print}'      # most efficient script

 # concatenate every 5 lines of input, using a comma separator
 # between fields
 awk 'ORS=%NR%5?",":"\n"' file


 # print first 10 lines of file (emulates behavior of "head")
 awk 'NR < 11'

 # print first line of file (emulates "head -1")
 awk 'NR>1{exit};1'

  # print the last 2 lines of a file (emulates "tail -2")
 awk '{y=x "\n" $0; x=$0};END{print y}'

 # print the last line of a file (emulates "tail -1")
 awk 'END{print}'

 # print only lines which match regular expression (emulates "grep")
 awk '/regex/'

 # print only lines which do NOT match regex (emulates "grep -v")
 awk '!/regex/'

 # print the line immediately before a regex, but not the line
 # containing the regex
 awk '/regex/{print x};{x=$0}'
 awk '/regex/{print (x=="" ? "match on line 1" : x)};{x=$0}'

 # print the line immediately after a regex, but not the line
 # containing the regex
 awk '/regex/{getline;print}'

 # grep for AAA and BBB and CCC (in any order)
 awk '/AAA/; /BBB/; /CCC/'

 # grep for AAA and BBB and CCC (in that order)
 awk '/AAA.*BBB.*CCC/'

 # print only lines of 65 characters or longer
 awk 'length > 64'

 # print only lines of less than 65 characters
 awk 'length < 64'

 # print section of file from regular expression to end of file
 awk '/regex/,0'
 awk '/regex/,EOF'

 # print section of file based on line numbers (lines 8-12, inclusive)
 awk 'NR==8,NR==12'

 # print line number 52
 awk 'NR==52'
 awk 'NR==52 {print;exit}'          # more efficient on large files

 # print section of file between two regular expressions (inclusive)
 awk '/Iowa/,/Montana/'             # case sensitive


 # delete ALL blank lines from a file (same as "grep '.' ")
 awk NF
 awk '/./'