pr(1p) — Linux manual page


PR(1P)                  POSIX Programmer's Manual                 PR(1P)

PROLOG         top

       This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.  The
       Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the
       corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior),
       or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

NAME         top

       pr — print files

SYNOPSIS         top

       pr [+page] [-column] [-adFmrt] [-e[char][gap]] [-h header] [-i[char][gap]]
           [-l lines] [-n[char][width]] [-o offset] [-s[char]] [-w width] [-fp]

DESCRIPTION         top

       The pr utility is a printing and pagination filter. If multiple
       input files are specified, each shall be read, formatted, and
       written to standard output. By default, the input shall be
       separated into 66-line pages, each with:

        *  A 5-line header that includes the page number, date, time,
           and the pathname of the file

        *  A 5-line trailer consisting of blank lines

       If standard output is associated with a terminal, diagnostic
       messages shall be deferred until the pr utility has completed

       When options specifying multi-column output are specified, output
       text columns shall be of equal width; input lines that do not fit
       into a text column shall be truncated. By default, text columns
       shall be separated with at least one <blank>.

OPTIONS         top

       The pr utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of
       POSIX.1‐2017, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines, except
       that: the page option has a '+' delimiter; page and column can be
       multi-digit numbers; some of the option-arguments are optional;
       and some of the option-arguments cannot be specified as separate
       arguments from the preceding option letter. In particular, the -s
       option does not allow the option letter to be separated from its
       argument, and the options -e, -i, and -n require that both
       arguments, if present, not be separated from the option letter.

       The following options shall be supported. In the following option
       descriptions, column, lines, offset, page, and width are positive
       decimal integers; gap is a non-negative decimal integer.

       +page     Begin output at page number page of the formatted

       -column   Produce multi-column output that is arranged in column
                 columns (the default shall be 1) and is written down
                 each column in the order in which the text is received
                 from the input file. This option should not be used
                 with -m.  The options -e and -i shall be assumed for
                 multiple text-column output. Whether or not text
                 columns are produced with identical vertical lengths is
                 unspecified, but a text column shall never exceed the
                 length of the page (see the -l option). When used with
                 -t, use the minimum number of lines to write the

       -a        Modify the effect of the -column option so that the
                 columns are filled across the page in a round-robin
                 order (for example, when column is 2, the first input
                 line heads column 1, the second heads column 2, the
                 third is the second line in column 1, and so on).

       -d        Produce output that is double-spaced; append an extra
                 <newline> following every <newline> found in the input.

                 Expand each input <tab> to the next greater column
                 position specified by the formula n*gap+1, where n is
                 an integer > 0. If gap is zero or is omitted, it shall
                 default to 8. All <tab> characters in the input shall
                 be expanded into the appropriate number of <space>
                 characters. If any non-digit character, char, is
                 specified, it shall be used as the input <tab>.  If the
                 first character of the -e option-argument is a digit,
                 the entire option-argument shall be assumed to be gap.

       -f        Use a <form-feed> for new pages, instead of the default
                 behavior that uses a sequence of <newline> characters.
                 Pause before beginning the first page if the standard
                 output is associated with a terminal.

       -F        Use a <form-feed> for new pages, instead of the default
                 behavior that uses a sequence of <newline> characters.

       -h header Use the string header to replace the contents of the
                 file operand in the page header.

                 In output, replace <space> characters with <tab>
                 characters wherever one or more adjacent <space>
                 characters reach column positions gap+1, 2* gap+1, 3*
                 gap+1, and so on. If gap is zero or is omitted, default
                 tab settings at every eighth column position shall be
                 assumed. If any non-digit character, char, is
                 specified, it shall be used as the output <tab>.  If
                 the first character of the -i option-argument is a
                 digit, the entire option-argument shall be assumed to
                 be gap.

       -l lines  Override the 66-line default and reset the page length
                 to lines.  If lines is not greater than the sum of both
                 the header and trailer depths (in lines), the pr
                 utility shall suppress both the header and trailer, as
                 if the -t option were in effect.

       -m        Merge files. Standard output shall be formatted so the
                 pr utility writes one line from each file specified by
                 a file operand, side by side into text columns of equal
                 fixed widths, in terms of the number of column
                 positions. Implementations shall support merging of at
                 least nine file operands.

                 Provide width-digit line numbering (default for width
                 shall be 5). The number shall occupy the first width
                 column positions of each text column of default output
                 or each line of -m output. If char (any non-digit
                 character) is given, it shall be appended to the line
                 number to separate it from whatever follows (default
                 for char is a <tab>).

       -o offset Each line of output shall be preceded by offset <space>
                 characters. If the -o option is not specified, the
                 default offset shall be zero. The space taken is in
                 addition to the output line width (see the -w option

       -p        Pause before beginning each page if the standard output
                 is directed to a terminal (pr shall write an <alert> to
                 standard error and wait for a <carriage-return> to be
                 read on /dev/tty).

       -r        Write no diagnostic reports on failure to open files.

       -s[char]  Separate text columns by the single character char
                 instead of by the appropriate number of <space>
                 characters (default for char shall be <tab>).

       -t        Write neither the five-line identifying header nor the
                 five-line trailer usually supplied for each page. Quit
                 writing after the last line of each file without
                 spacing to the end of the page.

       -w width  Set the width of the line to width column positions for
                 multiple text-column output only. If the -w option is
                 not specified and the -s option is not specified, the
                 default width shall be 72. If the -w option is not
                 specified and the -s option is specified, the default
                 width shall be 512.

                 For single column output, input lines shall not be

OPERANDS         top

       The following operand shall be supported:

       file      A pathname of a file to be written. If no file operands
                 are specified, or if a file operand is '-', the
                 standard input shall be used.

STDIN         top

       The standard input shall be used only if no file operands are
       specified, or if a file operand is '-'.  See the INPUT FILES

INPUT FILES         top

       The input files shall be text files.

       The file /dev/tty shall be used to read responses required by the
       -p option.


       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of

       LANG      Provide a default value for the internationalization
                 variables that are unset or null. (See the Base
                 Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2017, Section 8.2,
                 Internationalization Variables the precedence of
                 internationalization variables used to determine the
                 values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL    If set to a non-empty string value, override the values
                 of all the other internationalization variables.

       LC_CTYPE  Determine the locale for the interpretation of
                 sequences of bytes of text data as characters (for
                 example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte
                 characters in arguments and input files) and which
                 characters are defined as printable (character class
                 print).  Non-printable characters are still written to
                 standard output, but are not counted for the purpose
                 for column-width and line-length calculations.

                 Determine the locale that should be used to affect the
                 format and contents of diagnostic messages written to
                 standard error.

       LC_TIME   Determine the format of the date and time for use in
                 writing header lines.

       NLSPATH   Determine the location of message catalogs for the
                 processing of LC_MESSAGES.

       TZ        Determine the timezone used to calculate date and time
                 strings written in header lines. If TZ is unset or
                 null, an unspecified default timezone shall be used.


       If pr receives an interrupt while writing to a terminal, it shall
       flush all accumulated error messages to the screen before

STDOUT         top

       The pr utility output shall be a paginated version of the
       original file (or files). This pagination shall be accomplished
       using either <form-feed> characters or a sequence of <newline>
       characters, as controlled by the -F or -f option. Page headers
       shall be generated unless the -t option is specified. The page
       headers shall be of the form:

           "\n\n%s %s Page %d\n\n\n", <output of date>, <file>, <page number>

       In the POSIX locale, the <output of date> field, representing the
       date and time of last modification of the input file (or the
       current date and time if the input file is standard input), shall
       be equivalent to the output of the following command as it would
       appear if executed at the given time:

           date "+%b %e %H:%M %Y"

       without the trailing <newline>, if the page being written is from
       standard input. If the page being written is not from standard
       input, in the POSIX locale, the same format shall be used, but
       the time used shall be the modification time of the file
       corresponding to file instead of the current time. When the
       LC_TIME locale category is not set to the POSIX locale, a
       different format and order of presentation of this field may be

       If the standard input is used instead of a file operand, the
       <file> field shall be replaced by a null string.

       If the -h option is specified, the <file> field shall be replaced
       by the header argument.

STDERR         top

       The standard error shall be used for diagnostic messages and for
       alerting the terminal when -p is specified.

OUTPUT FILES         top




EXIT STATUS         top

       The following exit values shall be returned:

        0    Successful completion.

       >0    An error occurred.



       The following sections are informative.


       A conforming application must protect its first operand, if it
       starts with a <plus-sign>, by preceding it with the "--" argument
       that denotes the end of the options. For example, pr+x could be
       interpreted as an invalid page number or a file operand.

EXAMPLES         top

        1. Print a numbered list of all files in the current directory:

               ls -a | pr -n -h "Files in $(pwd)."

        2. Print file1 and file2 as a double-spaced, three-column
           listing headed by ``file list'':

               pr -3d -h "file list" file1 file2

        3. Write file1 on file2, expanding tabs to columns 10, 19, 28,

               pr -e9 -t <file1 >file2

RATIONALE         top

       This utility is one of those that does not follow the Utility
       Syntax Guidelines because of its historical origins. The standard
       developers could have added new options that obeyed the
       guidelines (and marked the old options obsolescent) or devised an
       entirely new utility; there are examples of both actions in this
       volume of POSIX.1‐2017. Because of its widespread use by
       historical applications, the standard developers decided to
       exempt this version of pr from many of the guidelines.

       Implementations are required to accept option-arguments to the
       -h, -l, -o, and -w options whether presented as part of the same
       argument or as a separate argument to pr, as suggested by the
       Utility Syntax Guidelines. The -n and -s options, however, are
       specified as in historical practice because they are frequently
       specified without their optional arguments. If a <blank> were
       allowed before the option-argument in these cases, a file operand
       could mistakenly be interpreted as an option-argument in
       historical applications.

       The text about the minimum number of lines in multi-column output
       was included to ensure that a best effort is made in balancing
       the length of the columns. There are known historical
       implementations in which, for example, 60-line files are listed
       by pr -2 as one column of 56 lines and a second of 4. Although
       this is not a problem when a full page with headers and trailers
       is produced, it would be relatively useless when used with -t.

       Historical implementations of the pr utility have differed in the
       action taken for the -f option. BSD uses it as described here for
       the -F option; System V uses it to change trailing <newline>
       characters on each page to a <form-feed> and, if standard output
       is a TTY device, sends an <alert> to standard error and reads a
       line from /dev/tty before the first page. There were strong
       arguments from both sides of this issue concerning historical
       practice and as a result the -F option was added. XSI-conformant
       systems support the System V historical actions for the -f

       The <output of date> field in the -l format is specified only for
       the POSIX locale. As noted, the format can be different in other
       locales. No mechanism for defining this is present in this volume
       of POSIX.1‐2017, as the appropriate vehicle is a message catalog;
       that is, the format should be specified as a ``message''.



SEE ALSO         top

       expand(1p), lp(1p)

       The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2017, Chapter 8,
       Environment Variables, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines

COPYRIGHT         top

       Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic
       form from IEEE Std 1003.1-2017, Standard for Information
       Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The
       Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, 2018 Edition, Copyright
       (C) 2018 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
       Engineers, Inc and The Open Group.  In the event of any
       discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The
       Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group
       Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be
       obtained online at .

       Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page
       are most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of
       the source files to man page format. To report such errors, see .

IEEE/The Open Group               2017                            PR(1P)

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