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column — columnate lists


column [-entx] [-c columns] [-s sep] [file ...]


The column utility formats its input into multiple columns. Rows are filled before columns.
Input is taken from file operands, or, by default, from the standard input. Empty lines are
ignored unless the -e option is used.

The options are as follows:

-c Output is formatted for a display columns wide.

-s Specify a set of characters to be used to delimit columns for the -t option.

-t Determine the number of columns the input contains and create a table. Columns are
delimited with whitespace, by default, or with the characters supplied using the -s
option. Useful for pretty-printing displays.

-x Fill columns before filling rows.

-n By default, the column command will merge multiple adjacent delimiters into a single
delimiter when using the -t option; this option disables that behavior. This option
is a Debian GNU/Linux extension.

-e Do not ignore empty lines.


The COLUMNS, LANG, LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE environment variables affect the execution of column
as described in environ(7).


The column utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


printf "HH:MM/YEAR NAME\n" ; \
ls -l | sed 1d) | column -t

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