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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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The Sed Editor
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Substitute replacement for pattern on each addressed line. If pattern addresses are used, the pattern // represents the last pattern address specified. The following flags can be specified:


Replace nth instance of /pattern/ on each addressed line. n is any number in the range 1 to 512; the default is 1.


Replace all instances of /pattern/ on each addressed line, not just the first instance.


Print the line if a successful substitution is done. If several successful substitutions are done, multiple copies of the line will be printed.

w file

Write the line to a file if a replacement was done. A maximum of 10 different files can be opened.


Here are some short, commented scripts:

# Change third and fourth quote to ( and ):
# Remove all quotes on a given line:
# Remove first colon or all quotes; print resulting lines:
# Change first "if" but leave "ifdef" alone:
/ifdef/!s/if/   if/

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