May 24, 2006

Useful AWK script

HANDY ONE-LINERS FOR AWK                                  22 July 2003
compiled by Eric Pement version 0.22
Latest version of this file is usually at:


Unix: awk '/pattern/ {print "$1"}' # standard Unix shells
DOS/Win: awk '/pattern/ {print "$1"}' # okay for DJGPP compiled
awk "/pattern/ {print \"$1\"}" # required for Mingw32

Most of my experience comes from version of GNU awk (gawk) compiled for Win32. Note in particular that DJGPP compilations permit the awk script to follow Unix quoting syntax '/like/ {"this"}'. However, the user must know that single quotes under DOS/Windows do not protect the redirection arrows (<, >) nor do they protect pipes (|). Both are special symbols for the DOS/CMD command shell and their special meaning is ignored only if they are placed within "double quotes." Likewise, DOS/Win users must remember that the percent sign (%) is used to mark DOS/Win environment variables, so it must be doubled (%%) to yield a single percent sign visible to awk.

If I am sure that a script will NOT need to be quoted in Unix, DOS, or CMD, then I normally omit the quote marks. If an example is peculiar to GNU awk, the command 'gawk' will be used. Please notify me if you find errors or new commands to add to this list (total length under 65 characters). I usually try to put the shortest script first.


# double space a file
awk '1;{print ""}'
awk 'BEGIN{ORS="\n\n"};1'

# double space a file which already has blank lines in it. Output file
# should contain no more than one blank line between lines of text.
# NOTE: On Unix systems, DOS lines which have only CRLF (\r\n) are
# often treated as non-blank, and thus 'NF' alone will return TRUE.
awk 'NF{print $0 "\n"}'

# triple space a file
awk '1;{print "\n"}'


# precede each line by its line number FOR THAT FILE (left alignment).
# Using a tab (\t) instead of space will preserve margins.
awk '{print FNR "\t" $0}' files*

# precede each line by its line number FOR ALL FILES TOGETHER, with tab.
awk '{print NR "\t" $0}' files*

# number each line of a file (number on left, right-aligned)
# Double the percent signs if typing from the DOS command prompt.
awk '{printf("%5d : %s\n", NR,$0)}'

# number each line of file, but only print numbers if line is not blank
# Remember caveats about Unix treatment of \r (mentioned above)
awk 'NF{$0=++a " :" $0};{print}'
awk '{print (NF? ++a " :" :"") $0}'

# count lines (emulates "wc -l")
awk 'END{print NR}'

# print the sums of the fields of every line
awk '{s=0; for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) s=s+$i; print s}'
# add all fields in all lines and print the sum awk
'{for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) s=s+$i}; END{print s}'
# print every line after replacing each field with its absolute value awk
'{for (i=1; i<=NF; i++) if ($i < i =" -$i;" i="1;" i =" ($i" total =" total"> max {max=$1; maxline=$0};
END{ print max, maxline}'

# print the number of fields in each line, followed by the line
awk '{ print NF ":" $0 } '

# print the last field of each line
awk '{ print $NF }'

# print the last field of the last line
awk '{ field = $NF }; END{ print field }'

# print every line with more than 4 fields
awk 'NF > 4'

# print every line where the value of the last field is > 4
awk '$NF > 4'


# IN UNIX ENVIRONMENT: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format
awk '{sub(/\r$/,"");print}' # assumes EACH line ends with Ctrl-M

# IN UNIX ENVIRONMENT: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format
awk '{sub(/$/,"\r");print}

# IN DOS ENVIRONMENT: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format
awk 1

# IN DOS ENVIRONMENT: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format
# Cannot be done with DOS versions of awk, other than gawk:
gawk -v BINMODE="w" '1' infile >outfile

# Use "tr" instead.
tr -d \r outfile # GNU tr version 1.22 or higher

# delete leading whitespace (spaces, tabs) from front of each line
# aligns all text flush left
awk '{sub(/^[ \t]+/, ""); print}'

# delete trailing whitespace (spaces, tabs) from end of each line
awk '{sub(/[ \t]+$/, "");print}'

# delete BOTH leading and trailing whitespace from each line
awk '{gsub(/^[ \t]+|[ \t]+$/,"");print}'
awk '{$1=$1;print}' # also removes extra space between fields

# insert 5 blank spaces at beginning of each line (make page offset)
awk '{sub(/^/, " ");print}'

# align all text flush right on a 79-column width
awk '{printf "%79s\n", $0}' file*

# center all text on a 79-character width
awk '{l=length();s=int((79-l)/2); printf "%"(s+l)"s\n",$0}' file*

# substitute (find and replace) "foo" with "bar" on each line
awk '{sub(/foo/,"bar");print}' # replaces only 1st instance
gawk '{$0=gensub(/foo/,"bar",4);print}' # replaces only 4th instance
awk '{gsub(/foo/,"bar");print}' # replaces ALL instances in a line

# substitute "foo" with "bar" ONLY for lines which contain "baz"
awk '/baz/{gsub(/foo/, "bar")};{print}'

# substitute "foo" with "bar" EXCEPT for lines which contain "baz"
awk '!/baz/{gsub(/foo/, "bar")};{print}'

# change "scarlet" or "ruby" or "puce" to "red"
awk '{gsub(/scarlet|ruby|puce/, "red"); print}'

# reverse order of lines (emulates "tac")
awk '{a[i++]=$0} END {for (j=i-1; j>=0;) print a[j--] }' file*

# if a line ends with a backslash, append the next line to it
# (fails if there are multiple lines ending with backslash...)
awk '/\\$/ {sub(/\\$/,""); getline t; print $0 t; next}; 1' file*

# print and sort the login names of all users
awk -F ":" '{ print $1 | "sort" }' /etc/passwd

# print the first 2 fields, in opposite order, of every line
awk '{print $2, $1}' file

# switch the first 2 fields of every line
awk '{temp = $1; $1 = $2; $2 = temp}' file

# print every line, deleting the second field of that line
awk '{ $2 = ""; print }'

# print in reverse order the fields of every line
awk '{for (i=NF; i>0; i--) printf("%s ",i);printf ("\n")}' file

# remove duplicate, consecutive lines (emulates "uniq")
awk 'a !~ $0; {a=$0}'

# remove duplicate, nonconsecutive lines
awk '! a[$0]++' # most concise script
awk '!($0 in a) {a[$0];print}' # most efficient script

# concatenate every 5 lines of input, using a comma separator
# between fields
awk 'ORS=%NR%5?",":"\n"' file


# print first 10 lines of file (emulates behavior of "head")
awk 'NR <>1{exit};1'

# print the last 2 lines of a file (emulates "tail -2")
awk '{y=x "\n" $0; x=$0};END{print y}'

# print the last line of a file (emulates "tail -1")
awk 'END{print}'

# print only lines which match regular expression (emulates "grep")
awk '/regex/'

# print only lines which do NOT match regex (emulates "grep -v")
awk '!/regex/'

# print the line immediately before a regex, but not the line
# containing the regex
awk '/regex/{print x};{x=$0}'
awk '/regex/{print (x=="" ? "match on line 1" : x)};{x=$0}'

# print the line immediately after a regex, but not the line
# containing the regex
awk '/regex/{getline;print}'

# grep for AAA and BBB and CCC (in any order)
awk '/AAA/; /BBB/; /CCC/'

# grep for AAA and BBB and CCC (in that order)
awk '/AAA.*BBB.*CCC/'

# print only lines of 65 characters or longer
awk 'length > 64'

# print only lines of less than 65 characters
awk 'length < nr="=" nr="=" nr="=" nr="=">

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