Content-type: text/html Man page of fmt

fmt

Section: User Commands (1)
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NAME

fmt - Formats mail messages prior to sending  

SYNOPSIS

fmt [-width] file...


 

DESCRIPTION

The fmt command reads the input file or files, or standard input if no files are specified, and writes to standard output a version of the input with lines of a length as close as possible to width bytes.

The fmt command both joins and splits lines to achieve the desired width, but words are never joined or split; spaces are always preserved, and lines are split at spaces only. In effect, fmt ignores newline characters in the input and wraps words to make lines a close as possible to width bytes, resulting in individual lines of varying length but a consistent (new) text width overall. Because blank lines are always preserved, fmt does not merge paragraphs separated by blank lines.

If you specify more than one file, the files are concatenated as input to fmt. If you do not specify -width, the default line length is 72 bytes. Spacing at the beginning of input lines is always preserved in the output.

The fmt command is generally used to format mail messages to improve their appearance before they are sent. It may also be useful, however, for other simple formatting tasks. For example, when you are using vi, you can use the command :%!fmt -60 to reformat your text so that all lines are approximately 60 bytes long.
 

NOTES

The fmt command is a fast, simple formatting program. Standard text editing programs are more appropriate than fmt for complex formatting operations. Do not use the fmt command if the message contains embedded messages or preformatted information from other files. This command formats the heading information in embedded messages and may change the format of preformatted information.
 

EXAMPLES

file1 contains these lines:

Australia is an island-continent, home to many very interesting plants and animals.
To reformat this text to a narrower width, enter: fmt -30 file1
This results in the following, displayed on your screen: Australia is an island-continent, home to many very interesting plants and animals.
To make file1 wider, enter: fmt -60 file1
This results in: Australia is an island-continent, home to many very interesting plants and animals. To format a message you have created with the mailx editor, at the left margin enter: ~|fmt
After you enter the command, your message is formatted, in this case to the default line length of 72, and the word continue is displayed to indicate that you can enter more information or send your message.
 

SEE ALSO

Commands:  mail(1), mailx(1), vi(1)


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
NOTES
EXAMPLES
SEE ALSO

This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 02:42:46 GMT, October 02, 2010