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CUT (1) | General commands | Unix Manual Pages | :man


cut - select portions of each line of a file


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cut -b list [-n] [] cut -c list [] cut -f list [-d delim] [-s] []


The cut utility selects portions of each line (as specified by list) from each file and writes them to the standard output. If no file arguments are specified, or a file argument is a single dash (''), cut reads from the standard input. The items specified by list can be in terms of column position or in terms of fields delimited by a special character. Column numbering starts from 1.

The list option argument is a comma or whitespace separated set of increasing numbers and/or number ranges. Number ranges consist of a number, a dash ('-'), and a second number and select the fields or columns from the first number to the second, inclusive. Numbers or number ranges may be preceded by a dash, which selects all fields or columns from 1 to the first number. Numbers or number ranges may be followed by a dash, which selects all fields or columns from the last number to the end of the line. Numbers and number ranges may be repeated, overlapping, and in any order. It is not an error to select fields or columns not present in the input line.

The options are as follows:

-b list
The list specifies byte positions.
-c list
The list specifies character positions.
-d delim
Use delim as the field delimiter character instead of the tab character.
-f list
The list specifies fields, separated in the input by the field delimiter character (see the -d option.) Output fields are separated by a single occurrence of the field delimiter character.
-n Do not split multi-byte characters. Characters will only be output if at least one byte is selected, and, after a prefix of zero or more unselected bytes, the rest of the bytes that form the character are selected.
-s Suppress lines with no field delimiter characters. Unless specified, lines with no delimiters are passed through unmodified.


The LANG, LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE environment variables affect the execution of the cut utility. Their effect is described in environ(7).


.Ex -std


Extract users’ login names and shells from the system passwd(5) file as "name:shell" pairs:

"cut -d : -f 1,7 /etc/passwd"

Show the names and login times of the currently logged in users:

"who | cut -c 1-16,26-38"


colrm(1), paste(1)



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