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43.10 Filename Headers Above Files Without pr

The pr command (43.7) displays your files with a nice header above them. But it can also add a bunch of blank lines to fill a page and break the file to add more headers in the middle if the file is longer than a page. This article shows alternatives to pr that print a single header followed by the entire file, with no extra blank lines or page breaks.

  1. When you redirect the output of more (25.3) (or pg) somewhere besides a terminal, it doesn't stop at the end of a screenful. It prints a little header above each file and outputs all the files at once. Instead of redirecting the output to a file, you could pipe it to another program - like your print spooler:

    
cat 
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    % more file* > package
    % cat package
    ::::::::::::::
    file1
    ::::::::::::::
    ...contents of file1....
    ::::::::::::::
    file2
    ::::::::::::::
    ...contents of file2....
    ...

    Another way to get similar headers is a feature of head (25.20): when you give multiple filenames, it adds a header above each. To be sure head gives you all of your file (not just the head), use a line count bigger than any of your files, with a command like head -10000.

  2. Bourne shell for loops with redirected output (45.22) let you combine a bunch of commands and grab the output of all of them at once. Here's a loop that runs ls -l on each file. It uses awk (33.11) to print just the file's permissions (field 1), last modification date (fields 6-8), and name (field 9, not including any name from a symbolic link). (You could pipe use more awk formatting to make a fancier heading - and get rid of the echo commands, too.) The output is redirected to a file named printme; as already stated, a pipe to your printer program will also work.

    $ for f in file*
    > do
    > echo =====================================
    > ls -l $f | awk '{print $1, $6, $7, $8, $9}'
    > echo =====================================
    > cat $f
    > done > printme
    $ cat printme
    =============================================
    -rw-r----- Oct 28 07:28 file1
    =============================================
    ...contents of file1....
    =============================================
    -r--r--r-- Nov  3 09:35 file2
    =============================================
    ...contents of file2....
    ...

If you use those last two tricks a lot, you might put them into an alias, function, or shell script (10.1).

- JP


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