Bash The cut command Basic usage


Example

The typical usage is with CSV-type files, where each line consists of fields separated by a delimiter, specified by the option -d. The default delimiter is the TAB character. Suppose you have a data file data.txt with lines like

0 0 755 1482941948.8024
102 33 4755 1240562224.3205
1003 1 644 1219943831.2367

Then

# extract the third space-delimited field
$ cut -d ' ' -f3 data.txt
755
4755
644

# extract the second dot-delimited field
$ cut -d. -f2 data.txt    
8024
3205
2367

# extract the character range from the 20th through the 25th character
$ cut -c20-25 data.txt 
948.80
056222    
943831

As usual, there can be optional spaces between a switch and its parameter: -d, is the same as -d ,

GNU cut allows specifying an --output-delimiter option: (an independent feature of this example is that a semicolon as input delimiter has to be escaped to avoid its special treatment by the shell)

$ cut --output-delimiter=, -d\; -f1,2 <<<"a;b;c;d"
a,b