|cut+paste||Do you ever wish you could paste two (or even three) files side by side? You can, if you have the System V paste program (or the public-domain implementation on the disc).|
For example, to create a three-column file from files x, y, and z:
paste x y z > file
To make paste read standard input, use the - option, and
- for every column you want.
For example, to make an old broken System V ls (which lists
files in a single column) list files in four columns:
ls | paste - - - -
The "standard input" option is also handy when used with. You can cut data from one position on a line and paste it back on another.
The separate data streams being merged are separated by default with a tab, but you can change this with the -d option. Unlike the -d option to cut, you need not specify a single character; instead, you can specify a list of characters, which will be used in a circular fashion. (I haven't figured a use for this - maybe you can.)
The characters in the list can be any regular character or the following escape sequences:
Use, if necessary, to protect characters from the shell.
There's also a -s option that lets you merge subsequent lines from one file. For example, to merge each pair of lines onto a single line:
paste -s -d"\t\n" list