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sed FAQ, version 014


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Archive-name: editor-faq/sed
Posting-Frequency: bimonthly
Last-modified: 2000/04/28
Version: 014
URL: http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sedfaq.html
Maintainer: Eric Pement <epement@jpusa.chi.il.us>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                             THE SED FAQ

                  Frequently Asked Questions about
                       sed, the stream editor

CONTENTS:

1. GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1. Introduction - How this FAQ is organized
1.2. Latest version of the sed FAQ
1.3. FAQ revision information
1.4. How do I add a question/answer to the sed FAQ?
1.5. FAQ abbreviations
1.6. Credits and acknowledgements
1.7. Standard disclaimers

2. BASIC SED
2.1. What is sed?
2.2. What versions of sed are there, and where can I get them?

2.2.1. Free versions

 2.2.1.1. Unix platforms
 2.2.1.2. OS/2
 2.2.1.3. Microsoft Windows (Win3x, Win9x, WinNT, Win2K)
 2.2.1.4. MS-DOS
 2.2.1.5. CP/M

2.2.2. Shareware and Commercial versions

 2.2.2.1. Unix platforms
 2.2.2.2. OS/2
 2.2.2.3. Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000
 2.2.2.4. MS-DOS

2.3. Where can I learn to use sed?

 2.3.1. Books
 2.3.2. Mailing list
 2.3.3. Tutorials, electronic text
 2.3.4. General web and ftp sites

3. TECHNICAL
3.1. More detailed explanation of basic sed
3.2. Common one-line sed scripts. How do I . . . ?

      - double/triple-space a file?
      - convert DOS/Unix newlines?
      - delete leading/trailing spaces?
      - do substitutions on all/certain lines?
      - delete consecutive blank lines?
      - delete blank lines at the top/end of the file?

3.3. Addressing and address ranges
3.4. [reserved]
3.5. [reserved]
3.6. Notes about s2p, the sed-to-perl translator
3.7. GNU/POSIX extensions to regular expressions

4. EXAMPLES
4.1. How do I perform a case-insensitive search?
4.2. How do I make changes in only part of a file?
4.3. How do I change only the first occurrence of a pattern?
4.4. How do I make substitutions in every file in a directory, or in a
     complete directory tree?

 4.4.1 - Perl solution
 4.4.2 - Unix solution
 4.4.3 - DOS solution

4.5. How do I parse a comma-delimited data file?
4.6. How do I insert a newline into the RHS of a substitution?
4.7. How do I represent control-codes or non-printable characters?
4.8. How do I read environment variables with sed?

 4.8.1. - on Unix platforms
 4.8.2. - on MS-DOS or 4DOS platforms

4.9. How do I export or pass variables back into the environment?

 4.9.1. - on Unix platforms
 4.9.2. - on MS-DOS or 4DOS platforms

4.10. How do I handle shell quoting in sed?
4.11. How do I delete a block of text if the block contains a certain
      regular expression?
4.12. How do I locate/print a paragraph of text if the paragraph
      contains a certain regular expression?
4.13. How do I delete a block of _specific_ consecutive lines?
4.14. How do I read (insert/add) a file at the top of a textfile?
4.15. How do I address all the lines between RE1 and RE2, excluding
      the lines themselves?
4.16. How do I replace "/some/UNIX/path" in a substitution?
4.17. How do I replace "C:\SOME\DOS\PATH" in a substitution?
4.18. How do I convert files with toggle characters, like +this+, to
      look like [i]this[/i]?
4.19. How do I delete only the first occurrence of a pattern?
4.20. How do I commify a string of numbers?

5. WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING?
5.1. Why don't my variables like $var get expanded in my sed script?
5.2. I'm using 'p' to print, but I have duplicate lines sometimes.
5.3. Why does my DOS version of sed process a file part-way through
     and then quit?
5.4. My RE isn't matching/deleting what I want it to. (Or, "Greedy vs.
     stingy pattern matching")
5.5. What is CSDPMI*B.ZIP and why do I need it?
5.6. Where are the man pages for GNU sed?
5.7. How do I tell what version of sed I am using?
5.8. Does sed issue an exit code?
5.9. The 'r' command isn't inserting the file into the text.
5.10. Why can't I match or delete a newline using the \n escape               |
      sequence? Why can't I match 2 or more lines using \n?                   |
5.11. My script aborts with an error message, "event not found".              |

6. OTHER ISSUES
6.1. I have a problem that stumps me. Where can I get help?
6.2. How does sed compare with awk, perl, and other utilities?
6.3. When should I use sed?
6.4. When should I NOT use sed?
6.5. When should I ignore sed and use Awk or Perl instead?
6.6. Known limitations among sed versions
6.7. Known bugs among sed versions
6.8. Known incompatibilities between sed versions

 6.8.1. Issuing commands from the command line
 6.8.2. Using comments (prefixed by the '#' sign)
 6.8.3. Special syntax in REs
 6.8.4. Word boundaries
 6.8.5. Range addressing with GNU sed and HHsed
 6.8.6. Commands which operate differently                                    |

------------------------------

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

1.1. Introduction - How this FAQ is organized

   This FAQ is organized to answer common (and some uncommon)
   questions about sed, quickly. If you see a term or abbreviation in
   the examples that seems unclear, see if the term is defined in
   section 1.5. If not, write us and we'll try to clarify it for the
   next version of the FAQ.

1.2. Latest version of the sed FAQ

   The newest version of the sed FAQ is usually here:

      http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sedfaq.html
      http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sedfaq.txt
      http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/~george/sed/sedfaq.html
      http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/~george/sed/sedfaq.txt
      http://www.ptug.org/sed/sedfaq.html
      http://www.faqs.org/faqs/editor-faq/sed
      ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/editor-faq/sed

   Another FAQ file on sed by a different author can be found here:

      http://www.dreamwvr.com/sed-info/sed-faq.html

1.3. FAQ revision information

   Changes to this FAQ since the last version are indicated by a
   vertical bar (|) placed in column 78 of the affected lines. To
   remove the vertical bars (use double quotes for MS-DOS):

      sed 's/  *|$//' sedfaq.txt > sedfaq2.txt

   In the HTML version, vertical bars do not appear. New or altered
   portions of the FAQ are indicated by printing in dark blue type.

   In the text version, words needing emphasis may be surrounded by
   the underscore '_' or the asterisk '*'. In the HTML version, these
   are changed to italics and boldface, respectively.

1.4. How do I add a question/answer to the sed FAQ?

   Word your question succinctly and clearly, and e-mail it Eric
   Pement <epement@jpusa.org>, indicating your proposed addition to
   the FAQ. We'll post it on the sed-users mailing list (see section
   2.3.2, below) and discuss it there. If some agreement, your
   contribution will be included in the next edition of the FAQ.

1.5. FAQ abbreviations:

   files = one or more filenames, separated by whitespace
   RE  = Regular Expressions supported by sed
   LHS = the left-hand side ("find" part) of "s/find/repl/" command
   RHS = the right-hand side ("replace" part) of "s/find/repl/" cmd.

   files: "files" stands for one or more filenames entered on the
   command line. The names may include any wildcards your shell
   understands (such as ``zork*'' or ``Aug[4-9].let''). Sed will
   process each filename passed to it by the shell.

   RE: For the syntax of Basic Regular Expressions (BREs), type "man
   ed" and read the documentation for regular expressions. A technical
   description of BREs from the Single UNIX Specification, Version 2,
   by The Open Group (joint committee on Unix) is available online at
   <http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/7908799/xbd/re.html#tag_007_003>.     |
   Sed normally supports BREs plus '\n' to match a newline in the
   pattern space and '\xREx' as equivalent to '/RE/', where 'x' is any
   character other than another backslash.

   Some versions of sed support supersets of BREs, or "extended
   regular expressions", which offer additional metacharacters for
   increased flexibility. For additional information on extended REs
   in GNU sed, see sections 3.7 ("GNU/POSIX extensions to regular
   expressions") and 6.8.3 ("Special syntax in REs"), below.

   LHS: In sed, the LHS may be a string literal (e.g., "foo") or any
   valid regular expression supported by your version of sed. Some
   versions of sed support things like \t for TAB, \r for carriage
   return, \xNN for direct entry of hex codes, etc. Other versions of
   sed do not support this syntax.

   RHS: The right-hand side (the replacement part in s/find/replace/)
   is almost always a string literal, with no interpolation of the
   metacharacters (.), (^), ($), ([), or \(...\) -- with the following
   exceptions:  \1 through \9 are replaced by the corresponding group,
   if grouping \(...\) was used in the LHS.  If no grouping was used
   in the LHS, then \1 through \9 are replaced by literal digits. '&'
   is replaced by the entire expression matched on the LHS. To enter a
   literal ampersand or backslash in the RHS, type '\&' or '\\'.

1.6. Credits and acknowledgements

   My time spent messing with sed, composing this FAQ, and generally
   doing text manipulation which is unrelated to my job description is
   due to the kind tolerance of the Christian magazine I work for,
   Cornerstone. So, let me say thanks to the mag staff for indulging
   this somewhat unusual "ministry." Please visit this site:

      http://www.cornerstonemag.com

   Many of the ideas for this FAQ were taken from the Awk FAQ
      http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-lang/awk/faq/
      ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.lang.awk/faq

   and from the Perl FAQ
      http://www.perl.com/perl/FAQ
      http://www.perl.com/CPAN/doc/FAQs/FAQ/html/index.html
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/perl/CPAN/doc/FAQs/

   The following individuals have contributed significantly to this
   document, and have provided input and wording suggestions for
   questions, answers, and script examples. Credit goes to these
   contributors (in alphabetical order by last name):

      Al Aab <af137@freenet*toronto*on*ca>
      Yiorgos Adamopoulos <adamo@softlab*ece*ntua*gr>
      Walter Briscoe <walter@wbriscoe*demon*co*uk>
      Jim Dennis <jadestar@rahul*net>
      Carlos Duarte <cdua@algos*inesc*pt>
      Otavio Exel <oexel@economatica*com*br>
      Mark Katz <mark@ispc001*demon*co*uk>
      Eric Pement <epement@jpusa*org>                                         |
      Greg Pfeiffer <gpfeiffe@yahoo*com>
      Ken Pizzini <ken@halcyon*com>
      Niall Smart <nialls@euristix*ie>
      Simon Taylor <staylor@unisolve*com*au>
      Greg Ubben <gsu@romulus*ncsc*mil>

   Note: Periods (.) are replaced with asterisks (*) to foil e-mail
   harvesting and spam-bots.

1.7. Standard disclaimers

   While a serious attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the
   information presented herein, the contributors and maintainers of
   this document do not claim the absence of errors and make no
   warranties on the information provided. If you notice any errors or
   ambiguous wording, please notify the FAQ maintainer so it can be
   fixed for the next edition.

------------------------------

2. BASIC SED

2.1. What is sed?

   "sed" stands for Stream EDitor. Sed is a non-interactive editor,
   written by the late Lee E. McMahon in 1973 or 1974. A brief history
   of sed's origins may be found in an early history of the Unix
   tools, at <http://www.columbia.edu/~rh120/ch106.x09>.

   Instead of the user altering a file interactively by moving the
   cursor on the screen (like with Word Perfect), the user sends a
   script of editing instructions to sed, plus the name of the file to
   edit (or the text to be edited may come as output from a pipe). In
   this sense, sed works like a filter -- deleting, inserting and
   changing characters, words, and lines of text. Its range of
   activity goes from small, simple changes to very complex ones.

   Sed reads its input from stdin (Unix shorthand for "standard
   input," i.e., the console) or from files (or both), and sends the
   results to stdout ("standard output," normally the console or
   screen). Most people use sed first for its substitution features.
   Sed is often used as a find-and-replace tool.

      sed 's/Glenn/Harold/g' oldfile >newfile

   will replace every occurrence of "Glenn" with the word "Harold",
   wherever it occurs in the file. The "find" portion is a regular
   expression ("RE"), which can be a simple word or may contain
   special characters to allow greater flexibility (for example, to
   prevent "Glenn" from also matching "Glennon").

   My very first use of sed was to add 8 spaces to the left side of a
   file, so when I printed it, the printing wouldn't begin at the
   absolute left edge of a piece of paper.

      sed 's/^/        /' myfile >newfile   # my first sed script
      sed 's/^/        /' myfile | lp       # my next sed script

   Then I learned that sed could display only one paragraph of a file,
   beginning at the phrase "and where it came" and ending at the
   phrase "for all people". My script looked like this:

      sed -n '/and where it came/,/for all people/p' myfile

   Sed's normal behavior is to print (i.e., display or show on screen)
   the entire file, including the parts that haven't been altered,
   unless you use the -n switch. The "-n" stands for "no output". This
   switch is almost always used in conjunction with a 'p' command
   somewhere, which says to print only the sections of the file that
   have been specified. The -n switch with the 'p' command allow for
   parts of a file to be printed (i.e., sent to the console).

   Next, I found that sed could show me only (say) lines 12-18 of a
   file and not show me the rest. This was very handy when I needed to
   review only part of a long file and I didn't want to alter it.

      sed -n 12,18p myfile   # the 'p' stands for print

   Likewise, sed could show me everything else BUT those particular
   lines, without physically changing the file on the disk:

      sed 12,18d myfile      # the 'd' stands for delete

   Sed could also double-space my single-spaced file when it came time
   to print it:

      sed G myfile >newfile

   If you have many editing commands (for deleting, adding,
   substituting, etc.) which might take up several lines, those
   commands can be put into a separate file and all of the commands in
   the file applied to file being edited:

      sed -f script.sed myfile  # 'script.sed' is the file of commands
                                # 'myfile' is the file being changed

   It is not our intention to convert this FAQ file into a full-blown
   sed tutorial (for good tutorials, see section 2.3). Rather, we hope
   this gives the complete novice a few ideas of how sed can be used.

2.2. What versions of sed are there, and where can I get them?

2.2.1. Free versions

   Note: "Free" does not mean "public domain" nor does it necessarily
   mean you will never be charged for it. All versions of sed in this
   section except the CP/M versions are based on the GNU general
   public license and are "free software" by that standard (for
   details, see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html). This
   means you can get the source code and develop it further.

   At the URLs listed in this category, sed binaries or source code
   can be downloaded and used without fees or license payments.

2.2.1.1. Unix platforms

   GNU sed v3.02.80
   Now a,i,c commands can accept a string after them. Range syntax now
   supports "/RE/,+n" (next n lines) or "/RE/,~n" (till the next line
   which is a multiple of n). NULs permitted in regexes; \n, \t, \a,
   \f, \xHH hex codes supported on LHS and RHS; more changes. An alpha
   test release which (if found bug-free) will become GNU sed version
   3.03. Supersedes GNU sed-3.02a.
      ftp://alpha.gnu.org/pub/gnu/sed/sed-3.02.80.tar.gz

   GNU sed v3.02a
   Interim version with most of what is now gsed-3.02.80 (above),
   which supersedes it.

   GNU sed v3.02
   This is the latest official version of GNU sed
      ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/sed/sed-3.02.tar.gz

   GNU sed v2.05
   This version is superseded by v3.02 and v3.02.80, above.

   GNU mirror sites. A list of mirror sites is at:
      http://www.ensta.fr/internet/unix/GNU-archives.html

   Precompiled versions:

   GNU sed v3.02-4
   source code and binaries for Debian GNU/Linux
      http://www.debian.org/Packages/unstable/base/sed.html

   GNU sed v3.02-1
   source code and binaries for Debian GNU/Linux
      http://www.debian.org/Packages/stable/base/sed.html

   The 4.4BSD version of sed is available from any 4.4BSD-Lite2 mirror
   site:
      ftp://ftp.ntua.gr/pub/bsd/4.4BSD/usr/src/usr.bin/sed/

   For some time, the GNU project <http://www.gnu.org> used Eric S.
   Raymond's version of sed (ESR sed v1.1), but eventually dropped it
   because it had too many built-in limits. In 1991 Howard Helman
   modified the GNU/ESR sed and produced a flexible version of sed
   v1.5 available at several sites (Helman's version permitted things
   like \<...\> to delimit word boundaries, \xHH to enter hex code and
   \n to indicate newlines in the replace string). This version did
   not catch on with the GNU project and their version of sed has
   moved in a similar but different direction.

   sed v1.3, by Eric Steven Raymond (released 4 June 1998)
      http://earthspace.net/~esr/sed-1.3.tar.gz

   Eric Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com> wrote one of the earliest
   versions of sed. On his website <http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/> which
   also distributes many freeware utilities he has written or worked
   on, he describes sed v1.1 this way:

   "This is the fast, small sed originally distributed in the GNU
   toolkit and still distributed with Minix. The GNU people ditched it
   when they built their own sed around an enhanced regex package --
   but it's still better for some uses (in particular, faster and less
   memory-intensive)." (Version 1.3 fixes an unidentified bug and adds
   the L command to hexdump the current pattern space.)

2.2.1.2. OS/2

   GNU sed v3.02.80                                                           |
      http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~vtgf3mpr/gnu/sed.htm                        |

   GNU sed v2.05 (requires 'emxrt.zip', below)
      http://oak.oakland.edu/pub/os2/editors/gnused.zip
      http://oak.oakland.edu/pub/os2/emx09c/emxrt.zip

   GNU sed v1.06
      http://oak.oakland.edu/pub/os2/editors/sed106.zip

2.2.1.3. Microsoft Windows (Win3x, Win9x, WinNT, Win2K)

   GNU sed v3.02.80
   32-bit binaries and docs, using DJGPP compiler. For details on new
   features, see Unix section, above.
      http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sed3028a.zip     # DOS binaries
      ftp://alpha.gnu.org/pub/gnu/sed/sed-3.02.80.tar.gz # source

   GNU sed v3.02
   32-bit binaries and source, using DJGPP compiler. Requires 80386 SX
   or better. Also requires 3 CWS*.EXE extenders if run under MS-DOS.
   See section 5.5 ("What is CSDPMI*B.ZIP and why do I need it?"),
   below. This version will run under Windows or under MS-DOS.

   The binary archive (sed302b.zip) contains 2 executables, sed.exe
   and gsed.exe.  sed.exe was compiled with the DJGPP regex library,
   which is POSIX.2-compliant and usually runs faster; gsed.exe was
   compiled with the GNU regex library, which though it runs slower
   and is almost POSIX.2-compliant, it has a richer set of regexs and
   will run faster on certain complex regexs which cause the DJGPP
   sed.exe to run extremely slowly.
      ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/.27/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/
      ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/.27/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/

   GNU sed v2.05
   32-bit binaries, no docs. Requires 80386 DX (SX will not run) and
   must be run in a DOS window or in a full screen DOS session under
   Microsoft Windows. Will not run in MS-DOS mode (outside Win/Win95).
   We recommend using GNU sed v3.02 (above) instead.
      http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/win95/prog/gsed205b.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/.27/simtelnet/win95/prog/

   GNU sed v1.03
   modified by Frank Whaley.
      ftp://ftp.itribe.net/pub/virtunix/gnused.zip

   Again, we recommend avoiding versions of GNU sed other than version
   3.02 or 3.02.80. However, this version appears to be built on gsed
   v1.03 beta as a base and then augmented farther. The authors did
   not give this sed its own version number or name. Gsed v1.03 is
   offered in the "Virtually UN*X" set of Win32 utilities at
   <http://www.itribe.net/virtunix/>. It supports Win 95/98/NT long
   filenames, and runs in a DOS session or DOS window under Microsoft
   Windows, but does not run in DOS mode. This version of sed supports
   hex, decimal, binary, and octal representation in expressions.

   The Cygwin toolkit:
      http://sourceware.cygnus.com/cygwin/

   Formerly know as "GNU-Win32 tools." According to their home page,
   "The Cygwin tools are Win32 ports of the popular GNU development
   tools for Windows NT, 95 and 98. They function through the use of
   the Cygwin library which provides a UNIX-like API on top of the
   Win32 API." The version of sed used is GNU sed v3.02.

   Minimalist GNU-Win32 (Mingw32):
      ftp://agnes.dida.physik.uni-essen.de/home/janjaap/mingw32/binaries/sed-2.05.zip
      http://agnes.dida.physik.uni-essen.de/~janjaap/mingw32/download.html

   According to their home page, "The Minimalist GNU-Win32 Package (or
   Mingw32) is simply a set of header files and initialization code
   which allows a GNU compiler to link programs with one of the C
   run-time libraries provided by Microsoft. By default it uses
   CRTDLL, which is built into all Win32 operating systems." The
   download page says Mingw32 programs "behave like you would expect
   from a Windows application. They support drive letters, for
   example. A side effect of using CRTDLL is that Mingw32 is
   thread-safe, while Cygwin32 is not." The version of sed used is GNU
   sed v2.05.

   sed v1.5 (a/k/a HHsed), by Howard Helman
   Compiled with Mingw32 for 32-bit environments described above. This
   version should support Win95 long filenames.
      http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/~george/sed/sed15.exe
      http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sed15exe.zip

2.2.1.4. MS-DOS

   sed v1.5 (a/k/a HHsed), by Howard Helman
   uncompiled source code (Turbo C)
      ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/sed15.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/sed15.zip
      ftp://oak.oakland.edu/pub/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/
      ftp://uiarchive.uiuc.edu/pub/systems/pc/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/

   DOS executable and documentation
      ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/sed15x.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/sed15x.zip
      ftp://oak.oakland.edu/pub/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/
      ftp://uiarchive.uiuc.edu/pub/systems/pc/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/

   sedmod v1.0, by Hern Chen
      http://www.ptug.org/sed/SEDMOD10.ZIP
      http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sedmod10.zip
      ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/unix/
      CompuServe DTPFORUM, "PC DTP Tools" library, file SEDMOD.ZIP

   GNU sed v3.02.80
   See section 2.2.1.3 ("Microsoft Windows"), above.

   GNU sed v3.02
   See section 2.2.1.3 ("Microsoft Windows"), above.

   GNU sed v2.05
   Does not run under MS-DOS.

   GNU sed v1.18
   32-bit binaries and source, using DJGPP compiler. Requires 80386 SX
   or better. Also requires 3 CWS*.EXE extenders on the path. See
   section 5.5 ("What is CSDPMI*B.ZIP and why do I need it?"), below.
   We recommend using GNU sed v3.02 (above) instead.
      http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/sed118b.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/
      http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/sed118s.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/

   GNU sed v1.06
   16-bit binaries and source. Should run under any MS-DOS system.
      http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/gnuish/sed106.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/simtelnet/gnu/gnuish/

2.2.1.5. CP/M

   ssed v2.2, by Chuck A. Forsberg
      http://oak.oakland.edu/pub/cpm/txtutl/ssed22.lbr

   Written for CP/M, ssed (for "small/stupid stream editor) supports
   only the a(ppend), c(hange), d(elete) and i(nsert) options, and
   apparently doesn't support regular expressions. It does have a -u
   option to "unsqueeze" compressed files and was used mainly in
   conjunction with dif.com for source code maintenance.

   change, by Michael M. Rubenstein
      http://oak.oakland.edu/pub/cpm/txtutl/ttools.lbr

   Rubenstein probably felt that "sed" was an obscure name, so he
   renamed it CHANGE.COM (the TTOOLS.LBR archive member CHANGE.CZM is
   a "crunched" file). Unlike ssed, change supports full RE's except
   for grouping and backreferences, and its only function is for
   global substitution.

2.2.2. Shareware and Commercial versions

2.2.2.1. Unix platforms

      ** Information needed **

2.2.2.2. OS/2

   Hamilton Labs:
      http://www.hamiltonlabs.com/cshell.htm

   A sizable set of Unix/C shell utilities designed for OS/2. Price is
   $350 in the US, $395 elsewhere, with FedEx shipping, unconditional
   guarantee, unlimited support and free updates. A demo version of
   the suite can be downloaded from this site, but a stand-alone copy
   of sed is not available.

2.2.2.3. Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000

   Hamilton Labs:
      http://www.hamiltonlabs.com/cshell.htm

   A sizable set of Unix/C shell utilities designed for Win9x, WinNT,
   and Win2K. Price is $350 in the US, $395 elsewhere, with FedEx
   shipping, unconditional guarantee, unlimited support and free
   updates. A demo version of the suite can be downloaded from this
   site, but a stand-alone copy of sed is not available.

   Interix:
      http://www.interix.com

   Interix (formerly known as OpenNT) is advertised as "a complete
   UNIX system environment running natively on Microsoft Windows NT",
   and is licensed and supported by Softway Systems. It offers over
   200 Unix utilities, and supports Unix shells, sockets, networking,
   and more. A single-user edition runs about $200. A free demo or
   evaluation copy will run for 31 days and then quit; to continue
   using it, you must purchase the commercial version.

   MKS NuTCRACKER Professional
      http://www.datafocus.com/products/nutc/

   A different, yet related product line offered by MKS (Mortice Kern
   Systems, below); the awkward spelling "NuTCRACKER" is intentional.
   Various packages offer hundreds of Unix utilities for Win32
   environments. Sed is not available as a separate product.

   UnixDos:
      http://www.unixdos.com

   UnixDos is a suite of 82 Unix utilities ported over to the Windows
   environments. There are 16-bit versions for Win 3.1 and 32-bit
   versions for WinNT/Win95. It is distributed as uncrippled shareware
   for the first 30 days. After the test period, the utilities will
   not run and you must pay the registration fee of $50.

   Their version of sed supports "\n" in the RHS of expressions, and
   increases the length of input lines to 10,000 characters. By
   special arrangement with the owners, persons who want a licensed
   version of sed *only* (without the other utilities) may pay a
   license fee of $10.

   U/WIN:
      http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/

   U/WIN is a suite of Unix utilities created for WinNT and Win95
   systems. It is owned by AT&T, created by David Korn (author of the
   Unix korn shell), and is freely distributed only to educational
   institutions, AT&T employees, or certain researchers; all others
   must pay a fee after a 90-day evaluation period expires. U/WIN
   operates best with the NTFS (WinNT file system) but will run in
   degraded mode with the FAT file system and in further degraded mode
   under Win95. A minimal installation takes about 25 to 30 megs of
   disk space. Sed is not available as a separate file for download,
   but comes with the suite.

2.2.2.4. MS-DOS

   Mix C/Utilities Toolchest                                                  |
      http://www.mixsoftware.com/product/utility.htm                          |

   According to their web page, "The C/Utilities Toolchest adds over          |
   40 powerful UNIX utilities to your MS-DOS operating system. The            |
   result is an environment very similar to UNIX operating systems,           |
   yet 100% compatible with MS-DOS programs and commands." The                |
   toolchest costs $19.95, with source code available for an                  |
   additional fee. Mix C's version of sed is not available separately.        |

   MKS (Mortice Kern Systems) Toolkit
      http://www.mks.com

   Sed comes bundled with the MKS Toolkit, which is distributed only
   as commercial software; it is not available separately.

   Thompson Automation Software
      http://www.teleport.com/~thompson/

   The Thompson Toolkit contains over 100 familiar Unix utilities,
   including a version of the Unix Korn shell. It runs under MS-DOS,
   OS/2, Win 3.0/3.1, Win95, and WinNT. Sed is one of the utilities,
   though Thompson is better known for its version of awk for DOS,
   TAWK. The toolkit runs about $150; sed is not available separately.

2.3. Where can I learn to use sed?

2.3.1. Books

   _Sed & Awk, 2d edition_, by Dale Dougherty & Arnold Robbins
   (Sebastopol, Calif: O'Reilly and Associates, 1997)
   ISBN 1-56592-225-5
      http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/sed2/noframes.html

   About 40 percent of this book is devoted to sed, and maybe 50
   percent is devoted to awk. The other 10 percent is given to regular
   expressions and concepts which are common to both tools. If you
   prefer hard copy, this is definitely the best single place to learn
   to use sed, including its advanced features.

   The first edition is also very useful. Several typos crept into the
   first printing of the first edition (though if you follow the
   tutorials closely, you'll recognize them right away). A list of
   errors from the first printing of _sed & awk_ is available at
   <http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~dzubera/sedawk.txt>, and errors in
   the 2nd are at <http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~dzubera/sedawk2.txt>,
   though most of these were corrected in later printings. The second
   edition tells how POSIX standards have affected these tools and
   covers the popular GNU versions of sed and awk. Price is about (US)
   $30.00

   -----

   _Mastering Regular Expressions_, by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
   (Sebastopol, Calif: O'Reilly and Associates, 1997)
   ISBN 1-56592-257-3
      http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/regex/
      http://enterprise.ic.gc.ca/~jfriedl/regex/index.html

   Knowing how to use "regular expressions" is essential to effective
   use of most Unix tools. This book focuses on how regular
   expressions can be best implemented in utilities such as perl, vi,
   emacs, and awk, but also touches on sed as well. Friedl's home page
   (above) gives links to other sites which help students learn to
   master regular expressions. His site also gives a Perl script for
   determining a syntactically valid e-mail address, using regexes:
      http://enterprise.ic.gc.ca/~jfriedl/regex/email-opt.pl

   -----

   _Awk und Sed_, by Helmut Herold. (Bonn: Addison-Wesley, 1994)
   ISBN 3-89319-685-4
   VVA-Nr. 563-00685-8

   The text of this book is in German. Now out of print.

   -----

   _Linux-Unix-Profitools: awk, sed, lex, yacc und make_, by Helumt
   Herold. (Bonn: Addison-Wesley, 1998)
   ISBN 3-8273-1448-8

      http://www.addison-wesley.de:80/katalog/item.ppml?id=00262

   The text of this book is in German. (Comments from German-speaking
   reviewers appreciated!)

2.3.2. Mailing list

   The informal "seders" mailing list has changed to a Majordomo
   mailing list called "sed-users". Regular and digest versions are
   available. Average mail volume is 12-25 messages per week. For more
   information, address mail to "majordomo@jpusa.org" with any subject        |
   line and the following in the message body:                                |

      info sed-users yourname@your.site                                       |

   To subscribe, mail to "majordomo@jpusa.org" with any subject line          |
   and one of the following in the message body:                              |

      subscribe sed-users yourname@your.site
      subscribe sed-users-digest yourname@your.site

2.3.3. Tutorials, electronic text

   The original users manual for sed, by Lee E. McMahon, from the
   7th edition UNIX Manual (1978), with the classic "Kubla Khan"
   example and tutorial, in formatted text format:
      http://www.urc.bl.ac.yu/manuals/progunix/sed.txt
      http://www.softlab.ntua.gr/unix/docs/sed.txt

   The source code to the preceding manual. Use "troff -ms sed" to
   print this file properly:
      http://plan9.bell-labs.com/7thEdMan/vol2/sed
      http://cm.bell-labs.com/7thEdMan/vol2/sed

   "Do It With Sed", by Carlos Duarte
      http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/~george/sed/sedtut_1.html

   U-SEDIT2.ZIP, by Mike Arst (16 June 1990)
      http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/systems/ibmpc/garbo.uwasa.fi/editor/u-sedit2.zip
      ftp://ftp.cs.umu.se/pub/pc/u-sedit2.zip
      ftp://ftp.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/systems/msdos/util/unixlike/u-sedit2.zip
      ftp://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/vol/d2/garbo/pc/editor/u-sedit2.zip
      ftp://ftp.sogang.ac.kr/.1/msdos_garbo/editor/u-sedit2.zip

   U-SEDIT3.ZIP, by Mike Arst (24 Jan. 1992)
      http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/u-sedit3.zip
      CompuServe DTPFORUM, "PC DTP Utilities" library, file SEDDOC.ZIP

   Another sed FAQ
      http://www.dreamwvr.com/sed-info/sed-faq.html

   sed-tutorial, by Felix von Leitner
      http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~leitner/sed/tutorial.html

   "Manipulating text with sed," chapter 14 of the SCO OpenServer
   "Operating System Users Guide"
      http://dontask.caltech.edu:457/cgi-bin/printchapter/OSUserG/BOOKCHAPTER-14.html
      http://www.multisoft.it:457/OSUserG/_Manipulating_text_with_sed.html

   "Combining the Bourne-shell, sed and awk in the UNIX environment
   for language analysis," by Lothar M. Schmitt and Kiel T.
   Christianson. This basic tutorial on the Bourne shell, sed and awk
   downloads as a 71-page PostScript file (compressed to 290K with
   gzip). You may need to navigate down from the root to get the file.
      ftp://ftp.u-aizu.ac.jp/u-aizu/doc/Tech-Report/1997/97-2-007.tar.gz
      available upon request from Lothar Schmitt <lothar@u-aizu.ac.jp>

2.3.4. General web and ftp sites

   http://seders.icheme.org/                     # Casper Boden-Cummins       |
   http://www.cis.nctu.edu.tw/~gis84806/sed/     # Yao-Jen Chang
   http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/sed/     # Sven Guckes
   http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~leitner/sed/    # Felix von Leitner
   http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/~george/sed/     # Yiorgos Adamopoulos
   http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/            # Eric Pement

   http://spacsun.rice.edu/FAQ/sed.html

   ftp://algos.inesc.pt/pub/users/cdua/scripts/ (Carlos Duarte)
   ftp://algos.inesc.pt/pub/users/cdua/scripts/  (sed & shell script)

   "Handy One-Liners For Sed", compiled by Eric Pement. A large list
   of 1-line sed commands which can be executed from the command line.
   http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sed1line.txt
   http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/~george/sed/1liners.html

   The Single UNIX Specification, Version 2 (technical man page)
   http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/7908799/xcu/sed.html                   |

   Getting started with sed
   http://ftp.uni-klu.ac.at/sed/sed.html

   Comments in sed
   http://www.bluesky.com.au:457/OSUserG/_Comments_in_sed.html

   "Using sed"
   http://www.multisoft.it:457/OSUserG/_Using_sed_main.html

   masm to gas converter
   http://www.delorie.com/djgpp/faq/converting/asm2s-sed.html

   AltaVista results: "sed script" (744+)
   http://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=q&kl=XX&stype=stext&q=%22sed+script%22

   Google results: "sed script" (668+)
   http://www.google.com/search?q=%22sed+script%22

   HotBot results: "sed script" (190+)
   http://www.hotbot.com/?MT=%22sed+script%22&SM=MC&DV=0&LG=any&DC=10&DE=2

   mail2html.zip
   http://hiwaay.net/~crispen/src/mail2html.zip

   customize VIM to aid writing sed scripts
   http://www.fys.uio.no/~hakonrk/vim/syntax/sed.vim

   sample uses of sed in batch files and scripts (Benny Pederson)
   http://users.cybercity.dk/~bse26236/batutil/help/SED.HTM

------------------------------

3. TECHNICAL

3.1. More detailed explanation of basic sed

   Sed takes a script of editing commands and applies each command, in
   order, to each line of input. After all the commands have been
   applied to the first line of input, that line is output. A second
   input line is taken for processing, and the cycle repeats. Sed
   scripts can address a single line by line number or by matching a
   /RE pattern/ on the line. An exclamation mark '!' after a regex
   ('/RE/!') or line number will select all lines that do NOT match
   that address. Sed can also address a range of lines in the same
   manner, using a comma to separate the 2 addresses.

      $d               # delete the last line of the file
      /[0-9]\{3\}/p    # print lines with 3 consecutive digits
      5!s/ham/cheese/  # except on line 5, replace 'ham' with 'cheese'
      /awk/!s/aaa/bb/  # unless 'awk' is found, replace 'aaa' with 'bb'
      17,/foo/d        # delete all lines from line 17 up to 'foo'

   Following an address or address range, sed accepts curly braces
   '{...}' so several commands may be applied to that line or to the
   lines matched by the address range. On the command line, semicolons
   ';' separate each instruction and must precede the closing brace.

      sed '/Owner:/{s/yours/mine/g;s/your/my/g;s/you/me/g;}' file

   Range addresses operate differently depending on which version of
   sed is used (see section 6.8.5, below). For further information on
   using sed, consult the references in section 2.3, above. The online
   manual ("man pages") on Unix/Linux systems may be helpful (try "man
   sed"), but man pages are notoriously obscure for first-time users.

3.2. Common one-line sed scripts

   A separate document of over 70 handy "one-line" sed commands is
   available at <http://www.cornerstonemag.com/sed/sed1line.txt>. Here
   are fourteen of the most common sed commands for one-line use.
   MS-DOS users should replace single quotes ('...') with double
   quotes ("...") in these examples. A specific filename ("file")
   usually follows the script, though the input may also come via
   piping ("sort somefile | sed 'somescript'").

   # 1. Double space a file
   sed G file

   # 2. Triple space a file
   sed 'G;G' file

   # 3. Under UNIX: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format
   sed 's/.$//' file    # assumes that all lines end with CR/LF
   sed 's/^M$// file    # in bash/tcsh, press Ctrl-V then Ctrl-M

   # 4. Under DOS: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format
   sed 's/$//' file                     # method 1
   sed -n p file                        # method 2

   # 5. Delete leading whitespace (spaces/tabs) from front of each line
   # (this aligns all text flush left). '^t' represents a true tab
   # character. Under bash or tcsh, press Ctrl-V then Ctrl-I.
   sed 's/^[ ^t]*//' file

   # 6. Delete trailing whitespace (spaces/tabs) from end of each line
   sed 's/[ ^t]*$//' file               # see note on '^t', above

   # 7. Delete BOTH leading and trailing whitespace from each line
   sed 's/^[ ^t]*//;s/[ ^]*$//' file    # see note on '^t', above

   # 8. Substitute "foo" with "bar" on each line
   sed 's/foo/bar/' file        # replaces only 1st instance in a line
   sed 's/foo/bar/4' file       # replaces only 4th instance in a line
   sed 's/foo/bar/g' file       # replaces ALL instances within a line

   # 9. Substitute "foo" with "bar" ONLY for lines which contain "baz"
   sed '/baz/s/foo/bar/g' file

   # 10. Delete all CONSECUTIVE blank lines from file except the first.
   # This method also deletes all blank lines from top and end of file.
   # (emulates "cat -s")
   sed '/./,/^$/!d' file       # this allows 0 blanks at top, 1 at EOF
   sed '/^$/N;/\n$/D' file     # this allows 1 blank at top, 0 at EOF

   # 11. Delete all leading blank lines at top of file (only).
   sed '/./,$!d' file

   # 12. Delete all trailing blank lines at end of file (only).
   sed -e :a -e '/^\n*$/{$d;N;};/\n$/ba' file                                 |

   # 13. If a line ends with a backslash, join the next line to it.
   sed -e :a -e '/\\$/N; s/\\\n//; ta' file

   # 14. If a line begins with an equal sign, append it to the
   # previous line (and replace the "=" with a single space).
   sed -e :a -e '$!N;s/\n=/ /;ta' -e 'P;D' file

3.3. Addressing and address ranges

   Sed commands may have an optional "address" or "address range"
   prefix. If there is no address or address range given, then the
   command is applied to all the lines of the input file or text
   stream. Three commands cannot take an address prefix:

   - labels, used to branch or jump within the script
   - the close brace, '}', which ends the '{' "command"
   - the '#' comment character, also technically a "command"

   An address can be a line number (such as 1, 5, 37, etc.), a regular
   expression (written in the form /RE/ or \xREx where 'x' is any
   character other than '\' and RE is the regular expression), or the
   dollar sign ($), representing the last line of the file. An
   exclamation mark (!) after an address or address range will apply
   the command to every line EXCEPT the ones named by the address. A
   null regex ("//") will be replaced by the last regex which was
   used. Also, some seds do not support \xREx as regex delimiters.

      5d               # delete line 5 only
      5!d              # delete every line except line 5
      /RE/s/LHS/RHS/g  # substitute only if RE occurs on the line
      /^$/b label      # if the line is blank, branch to ':label'
      /./!b label      # ... another way to write the same command
      \%.%!b label     # ... yet another way to write this command
      $!N              # on all lines but the last, get the Next line

   Note that an embedded newline can be represented in an address by
   the symbol \n, but this syntax is needed only if the script puts 2
   or more lines into the pattern space via the N, G, or other
   commands. The \n symbol does *not* match the newline at an
   end-of-line because when sed reads each line into the pattern space
   for processing, it strips off the trailing newline, processes the
   line, and adds a newline back when printing the line to standard
   output. To match the end-of-line, use the '$' metacharacter, as
   follows:

      /tape$/       # matches the word 'tape' at the end of a line
      /tape$deck/   # matches the word 'tape$deck' with a literal '$'
      /tape\ndeck/  # matches 'tape' and 'deck' with a newline between

   The following sed commands usually accept *only* a single address.
   All other commands (except labels, '}', and '#') accept both single
   addresses and address ranges.

      =       print to stdout the line number of the current line
      a       after printing the current line, append "text" to stdout
      i       before printing the current line, insert "text" to stdout
      q       quit after the current line is matched
      r file  prints contents of "file" to stdout after line is matched

   Note that we said "usually." If you need to apply the '=', 'a',
   'i', or 'r' commands to each and every line within an address
   range, this behavior can be coerced by the use of braces. Thus,
   "1,9=" is an invalid command, but "1,9{=;}" will print each line
   number followed by its line for the first 9 lines (and then print
   the rest of the rest of the file normally).

   Address ranges occur in the form

      <address1>,<address2>    or    <address1>,<address2>!

   where the address can be a line number or a standard /regex/.
   <address2> can also be a dollar sign, indicating the end of file.
   Under HHsed and gsed302a, <address2> may also be a notation of the
   form +num, indicating the next _num_ lines after <address1> is
   matched.

   Address ranges are:

   (1) Inclusive. The range "/From here/,/eternity/" matches all the
   lines containing "From here" up to and including the line
   containing "eternity". It will not stop on the line just prior to
   "eternity". (If you don't like this, see section 4.15.)

   (2) Plenary. They always match full lines, not just parts of lines.
   In other words, a command to change or delete an address range will
   change or delete whole lines; it won't stop in the middle of a
   line.

   (3) Multilinear. Address ranges normally match 2 lines or more. The
   second address will never match the same line the first address
   did; therefore a valid address range always spans at least two
   lines, with these exceptions which match only one line:

   - if the first address matches the last line of the file
   - if using the syntax "/RE/,3" and /RE/ occurs only once in the
     file at line 3 or below
   - if using HHsed v1.5. See section 6.8.5.

   (4) Minimalist. In address ranges with /regex/ as <address2>, the
   range "/foo/,/bar/" will stop at the first "bar" it finds, provided
   that "bar" occurs on a line below "foo". If the word "bar" occurs
   on several lines below the word "foo", the range will match all the
   lines from the first "foo" up to the first "bar". It will not
   continue hopping ahead to find more "bar"s. In other words, address
   ranges are not "greedy," like regular expressions.

   (5) Repeating. An address range will try to match more than one
   block of lines in a file. However, the blocks cannot nest. In
   addition, a second match will not "take" the last line of the
   previous block.  For example, given the following text,

      start
      stop  start
      stop

   the sed command '/start/,/stop/d' will only delete the first two
   lines. It will not delete all 3 lines.

   (6) Relentless. If the address range finds a "start" match but
   doesn't find a "stop", it will match every line from "start" to the
   end of the file. Thus, beware of the following behaviors:

      /RE1/,/RE2/  # if /RE2/ is not found, matches from /RE1/ to the
                   # end-of-file

      20,/RE/      # if /RE/ is not found, matches from line 20 to the
                   # end-of-file

      /RE/,30      # if /RE/ occurs any time after line 30, each
                   # occurrence will be matched in HHsed, sedmod, and
                   # gsed302. GNU sed v2.05 and 1.18 will match from
                   # the 2nd occurrence of /RE/ to the end-of-file.

   If these behaviors seem strange, remember that they occur because
   sed does not look "ahead" in the file. Doing so would stop sed from
   being a stream editor and have adverse effects on its efficiency.
   If these behaviors are undesirable, they can be circumvented or
   corrected by the use of nested testing within braces. The following
   scripts work under GNU sed 3.02:

      # Execute your_commands on range "/RE1/,/RE2/", but if /RE2/ is
      # not found, do nothing.
      /RE1/{:a;N;/RE2/!ba;your_commands;}

      # Execute your_commands on range "20,/RE/", but if /RE/ is not
      # found, do nothing.
      20{:a;N;/RE/!ba;your_commands;}

   As a side note, once we've used N to "slurp" lines together to test
   for the ending expression, the pattern space will have gathered
   many lines (possibly thousands) together and concatenated them as a
   single expression, with the \n sequence marking line breaks. The
   REs *within* the pattern space may have to be modified (e.g., you
   must write '/\nStart/' instead of '/^Start/' and '/[^\n]*/' instead
   of '/.*/') and other standard sed commands will be unavailable or
   difficult to use.

      # Execute your_commands on range "/RE/,30", but if /RE/ occurs
      # on line 31 or later, do not match it.
      1,30{/RE/,$ your_commands;}

   For related suggestions on using address ranges, see sections 4.2,
   4.15, and 4.19 of this FAQ. Note that HHsed contains a bug or
   nonstandard feature in how it implements address ranges; also, GNU
   sed 3.02a supports a zero (0) in addressing. For more details, see
   section 6.8.5 ("Range addressing with GNU sed and HHsed").

3.4. [reserved]

3.5. [reserved]

3.6. Notes about s2p, the sed-to-perl translator

   s2p (sed to perl) is a Perl program to convert sed scripts into the
   Perl programming language; it is included with many versions of
   Perl. These problems have been found when using s2p:

   (1) Doesn't recognize the semicolon properly after s/// commands.

      s/foo/bar/g;

   (2) Doesn't trim trailing whitespace after s/// commands. Even lone
   trailing spaces, without comments, produce an error.

   (3) Doesn't handle multiple commands within braces. E.g.,

      1,4{=;G;}

   will produce perl code with missing braces, and miss the second "G"
   command as well. In fact, any commands after the first one are 
   missed in the perl output script, and the output perl script will 
   also contain mismatched braces.

3.7. GNU/POSIX extensions to regular expressions

   GNU sed supports "character classes" in addition to regular
   character sets, such as [0-9A-F]. Like regular character sets,
   character classes represent any single character within a set.

   "Character classes are a new feature introduced in the POSIX
   standard. A character class is a special notation for describing
   lists of characters that have a specific attribute, but where the
   actual characters themselves can vary from country to country
   and/or from character set to character set. For example, the notion
   of what is an alphabetic character differs in the USA and in
   France." [quoted from the docs for GNU awk v3.0.3]

   Though character classes don't generally conserve space on the
   line, they help make scripts portable for international use. The
   equivalent character sets *for U.S. users* follow:

      [[:alnum:]]  - [A-Za-z0-9]     Alphanumeric characters
      [[:alpha:]]  - [A-Za-z]        Alphabetic characters
      [[:blank:]]  - [ \x09]         Space or tab characters only
      [[:cntrl:]]  - [\x00-\x19\x7F] Control characters
      [[:digit:]]  - [0-9]           Numeric characters
      [[:graph:]]  - [!-~]           Printable and visible characters
      [[:lower:]]  - [a-z]           Lower-case alphabetic characters
      [[:print:]]  - [ -~]           Printable (non-Control) characters
      [[:punct:]]  - [!-/:-@[-`{-~]  Punctuation characters
      [[:space:]]  - [ \t\v\f]       All whitespace chars
      [[:upper:]]  - [A-Z]           Upper-case alphabetic characters
      [[:xdigit:]] - [0-9a-fA-F]     Hexadecimal digit characters

   Note that [[:graph:]] does not match the space " ", but [[:print:]]
   does. Some character classes may (or may not) match characters in
   the high ASCII range (ASCII 128-255 or 0x80-0xFF), depending on
   which C library was used to compile sed. For non-English languages,
   [[:alpha:]] and other classes may also match high ASCII characters.

------------------------------

4. EXAMPLES

4.1. How do I perform a case-insensitive search?

   Use GNU sed v3.02 (or higher) with the I flag ("/regex/I" or
   "s/LHS/RHS/I"). Or use sedmod with the -i switch on the command
   line. With other versions of sed this is not easy to do, so some
   people use GNU awk (gawk), mawk, or perl, since these programs have
   options for case-insensitive searches. In gawk/mawk, use "BEGIN
   {IGNORECASE=1}" and in perl, "/regex/i". For sed, here are three
   solutions:

   Solution 1: convert everything to upper case and search normally

      # sed script, solution 1
      h;          # copy the original line to the hold space
                  # convert the pattern space to solid caps
      y/abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz/ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ/
                  # now we can search for the word "CARLOS"
      /CARLOS/ {
           # add or insert lines. Note: "s/.../.../" will not work
           # here because we are searching a modified pattern
           # space and are not printing the pattern space.
      }
      x;          # get back the original pattern space
                  # the original pattern space will be printed

   Solution 2: search for both cases

   Often, proper names will either start with all lower-case ("unix"),
   with an initial capital letter ("Unix") or occur in solid caps
   ("UNIX"). There may be no need to search for every possibility.

      /UNIX/b match
      /[Uu]nix/b match

   Solution 3: search for all possible cases

      # If all else fails, search for any possible combination
      /[Ca][Aa][Rr][Ll][Oo][Ss]/...

   Bear in mind that as the pattern length increases, this solution
   becomes an order of magnitude slower than the one of Solution 1, at
   least with some implementations of sed.

4.2. How do I make changes in only part of a file?

   Select parts of a file for changing by naming a range of lines
   either by number (e.g., lines 1-20), by RE (between the words "foo"
   and "bar"), or by some combination of the two. For multiple
   changes, put the substitution command between braces {...}.

      # replace only between lines 1 and 20
      1,20 s/Johnson/White/g

      # replace everywhere EXCEPT between lines 1 and 20
      1,20 !s/Johnson/White/g

      # replace only between words "foo" and "bar"
      /foo/,/bar/ { s/Johnson/White/g; s/Smith/Wesson/g; }

      # replace only from the words "ENDNOTES:" to the end of file
      /ENDNOTES:/,$ { s/Schaff/Herzog/g; s/Kraft/Ebbing/g; }

   For technical details on using address ranges, see section 3.3
   ("Addressing and Address ranges").

4.3. How do I change only the first occurrence of a pattern?

   To replace the regex "LHS" with "RHS", do this:

      gsed '0,/LHS/s//RHS/'                       # GNU sed 3.02a
      sed -e '1s/LHS/RHS/;t' -e '1,/LHS/s//RHS/'  # other seds

   If you know the pattern *won't* occur on the first line, omit the
   first -e and the statement following it.

4.4. How do I make substitutions in every file in a directory, or in a
     complete directory tree?

4.4.1. - Perl solution

   (Yes, we know this is a FAQ file for sed, not perl, but the
   solution is so simple that it has to be noted. Also, perl and
   sed share a very similar syntax here.)

      perl -pi.bak -e 's|foo|bar|g' filelist     # or
      perl -pi.bak -e 's|foo|bar|g' `find /pathname -name "filespec"`

   For each file in the filelist, perl renames the source file to
   "filename.bak"; the modified file gets the original filename.
   Change '-pi.bak' to '-pi' if you don't need backup copies. (Note
   the use of s||| instead of s/// here, and in the scripts below.
   The vertical bars in the 's' command lets you replace '/some/path'
   with '/another/path', accommodating slashes in the LHS and RHS.)

4.4.2. - Unix solution

   For all files in a single directory, assuming they end with *.txt
   and you have no files named "[anything].txt.bak" already, use a
   shell script:

      #! /bin/sh
      # Source files are saved as "filename.txt.bak" in case of error
      # The '&&' after cp is an additional safety feature
      for file in *.txt
      do
         cp $file $file.bak &&
         sed 's|foo|bar|g' $file.bak >$file
      done

   To do an entire directory tree, use the Unix utility find, like so
   (thanks to Jim Dennis <jadestar@rahul.net> for this script):

      #! /bin/sh
      # filename: replaceall
      find . -type f -name '*.txt' -print | while read i
      do
         sed 's|foo|bar|g' $i > $i.tmp && mv $i.tmp $i
      done

   This previous shell script recurses through the directory tree,
   finding only files in the directory (not symbolic links, which will
   be encountered by the shell command "for file in *.txt", above). To
   preserve file permissions and make backup copies, use the 2-line cp
   routine of the earlier script instead of "sed ... && mv ...". By
   replacing the sed command 's|foo|bar|g' with something like

      sed "s|$1|$2|g" ${i}.bak > $i

   using double quotes instead of single quotes, the user can also
   employ positional parameters on the shell script command tail, thus
   reusing the script from time to time. For example,

      replaceall East West

   would modify all your *.txt files in the current directory.

4.4.3. - DOS solution:

   MS-DOS users should use two batch files like this:

      @echo off
      :: MS-DOS filename: REPLACE.BAT
      ::
      :: Create a destination directory to put the new files.
      :: Note: The next command will fail under Novel Netware
      :: below version 4.10 unless "SHOW DOTS=ON" is active.
      if not exist .\NEWFILES\NUL mkdir NEWFILES
      for %%f in (*.txt) do CALL REPL_2.BAT %%f
      echo Done!!
      :: =======End of the first batch file====

      @echo off
      :: MS-DOS filename: REPL_2.BAT
      ::
      sed "s/foo/bar/g" %1 > NEWFILES\%1
      :: =======End of the second batch file===

   When finished, the current directory contains all the original
   files, and the newly-created NEWFILES subdirectory contains the
   modified *.TXT files. Do not attempt a command like

      for %%f in (*.txt) do sed "s/foo/bar/g" %%f >NEWFILES\%%f

   under any version of MS-DOS because the output filename will be
   created as a literal '%f' in the NEWFILES directory before the
   %%f is expanded to become each filename in (*.txt). This occurs
   because MS-DOS creates output filenames via redirection commands
   before it expands "for..in..do" variables.

   To recurse through an entire directory tree in MS-DOS requires a
   batch file more complex than we have room to describe. Examine the
   file SWEEP.BAT in Timo Salmi's great archive of batch tricks,
   TSBAT61.ZIP, located at <ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/ts/tsbat61.zip>,          |
   or get an external program designed for directory recursion. Here          |
   are some recommended programs for directory recursion. The first           |
   one, FORALL, runs under either OS/2 or DOS. Unfortunately, none of         |
   these supports Win9x long filenames.                                       |
      ftp://hobbes.nmsu.edu/pub/os2/util/disk/forall72.zip                    |
      http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/2414/fortn711.zip
      http://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/filefind/target15.zip

4.5. How do I parse a comma-delimited data file?

   Comma-delimited data files can come in several forms, requiring
   increasing levels of complexity in parsing and handling:

   (a) No quotes, no internal commas

      1001,John Smith,PO Box 123,Chicago,IL,60699
      1002,Mary Jones,320 Main,Denver,CO,84100,

   (b) Like (a), with quotes around each field

      "1003","John Smith","PO Box 123","Chicago","IL","60699"
      "1004","Mary Jones","320 Main","Denver","CO","84100"

   (c) Like (b), with embedded commas

      "1005","Tom Hall, Jr.","61 Ash Ct.","Niles","OH","44446"
      "1006","Bob Davis","429 Pine, Apt. 5","Boston","MA","02128"

   (d) Like (c), with embedded commas and quotes

      "1007","Sue "Red" Smith","19 Main","Troy","MI","48055"
      "1008","Joe "Hey, guy!" Hall","POB 44","Reno","NV","89504"

   In each example above, we have 7 fields and 6 commas which function
   as field separators. Case (c) is a very typical form of these data
   files, with double quotes used to enclose each field and to protect
   internal commas (such as "Tom Hall, Jr.") from interpretation as
   field separators. However, many times the data may include both
   embedded quotation marks as well as embedded commas, as seen by
   case (d), above.

   Before handling a comma-delimited data file, make sure that you
   fully understand its format and check the integrity of the data.
   Does each line contain the same number of fields? Should certain
   fields be composed only of numbers or of two-letter state
   abbreviations in all caps? Sed (or awk or perl) should be used to
   validate the integrity of the data file before you attempt to alter
   it or extract particular fields from the file.

   After ensuring that each line has a valid number of fields, use sed
   to locate and modify individual fields, using the \(...\) grouping
   command where needed.

   In case (a):

      sed 's/^[^,]*,[^,]*,[^,]*,[^,]*,/.../'
              ^     ^     ^
              |     |     |_ 3rd field
              |     |_______ 2nd field
              |_____________ 1st field

      # Unix script to delete the second field for case (a)
      sed 's/^\([^,]*\),[^,]*,/\1,,/' file

      # Unix script to change field 1 to 9999 for case (a)
      sed 's/^[^,]*,/9999,/' file

   In cases (b) and (c):

      sed 's/^"[^"]*","[^"]*","[^"]*","[^"]*",/.../'
               1st--   2nd--   3rd--   4th--

      # Unix script to delete the second field for case (c)
      sed 's/^\("[^"]*"\),"[^"]*",/\1,"",/' file

      # Unix script to change field 1 to 9999 for case (c)
      sed 's/^"[^"]*",/"9999",/' file

   In case (d):

   One way to parse such files is to replace the 3-character field
   separator "," with an unused character like the tab or vertical
   bar. (Technically, the field separator is only the comma while the
   fields are surrounded by "double quotes", but the net _effect_ is
   that fields are separated by quote-comma-quote, with quote
   characters added to the beginning and end of each record.) Search
   your datafile _first_ to make sure that your character appears
   nowhere in it!

      sed -n '/|/p' file        # search for any instance of '|'
      # if it's not found, we can use the '|' to separate fields

   Then replace the 3-character field separator and parse as before:

      # sed script to delete the second field for case (d)
      s/","/|/g;                  # global change of "," to bar
      s/^\([^|]*\)|[^|]|/\1||/;   # delete 2nd field
      s/|/","/g;                  # global change of bar back to ","

      # sed script to change field 1 to 9999 for case (d)
      # Remember to accommodate leading and trailing quote marks
      s/","/|/g;
      s/^[^|]*|/"9999|/;
      s/|/","/g;

   Note that this technique works only if _each_ and _every_ field is
   surrounded with double quotes, including empty fields. If your
   datafile does not look like case (d), above, or if it omits quote
   marks around empty fields or numeric values, then the complexity of
   the script would probably not be worth the effort to write it in
   sed. For such a case, you should use perl. This question is
   addressed in the Perl FAQ, at question 4.28: "How can I split a
   [character] delimited string except when inside [character]?"

4.6. How do I insert a newline into the RHS of a substitution?

   Six versions of sed permit '\n' to be typed directly into the RHS,
   which is then converted to a newline on output: gsed-3.02.80,
   gsed-3.02a, gsed103 (with the -x switch), HHsed (a/k/a sed14),
   sedmod, and UnixDOS sed. The _easiest_ solution is to use one of
   these versions.

   For other versions of sed, try one of the following:

   (a) Insert an unused character and pipe the output through tr:

      echo twolines | sed 's/two/& new=/' | tr "=" "\n"   # produces
      two new
      lines

   (b) Use two backslashes (\\) from the shell prompt. Using bash:

      [bash-prompt]$ echo twolines | sed "s/two/& new\\
      >/"
      two new
      lines
      [bash-prompt]$

   (c) Write a multi-line script and use the backslash (\) in the
   middle of the "replace" portion:

      sed -f newline.sed files

      # newline.sed
      s/twolines/two new\
      lines/g

   Some versions of sed may not need the trailing backslash. If so,
   remove it.

   (d) Use the "G" command:

   G appends a newline, plus the contents of the hold space to the end
   of the pattern space. If the hold space is empty, a newline is
   appended anyway. The newline is stored in the pattern space as "\n"
   where it can be addressed by grouping "\(...\)" and moved in the
   RHS. Thus, to change the "twolines" example used earlier, the
   following script will work:

      sed '/twolines/{G;s/\(two\)\(lines\)\(\n\)/\1\3\2/;}'

   (e) Inserting full lines, not breaking lines up:

   If one is not *changing* lines but only inserting complete lines
   before or after a pattern, the procedure is much easier. Use the
   "i" (insert) or "a" (append) command, making the alterations by an
   external script. To insert "This line is new" BEFORE each line
   matching a regex:

      /RE/i This line is new               # HHsed, sedmod, gsed 3.02a
      /RE/{x;s/.*/This line is new/;G;}    # other seds

   To append "This line is new" AFTER each line matching a regex:

      /RE/a This line is new               # HHsed, sedmod, gsed 3.02a
      /RE/{G;s/$/This line is new/;}       # other seds

   To append 2 blank lines after each line matching a regex:

      /RE/{G;G;}                    # assumes the hold space is empty

   To replace each line matching a regex with 5 blank lines:

      /RE/{s/.*//;G;G;G;G;}         # assumes the hold space is empty

   (f) Use the "y///" command if possible:

   On some Unix versions of sed (not GNU sed!), though the s///
   command won't accept '\n' in the RHS, the y/// command does. If
   your Unix sed supports it, a newline after "aaa" can be inserted
   this way (which is not portable to GNU sed or other seds):

      s/aaa/&~/; y/~/\n/;    # assuming no other '~' is on the line!

4.7. How do I represent control-codes or nonprintable characters?

   GNU sed v3.02.80, GNU sed v1.03, and HHsed v1.5 by Howard Helman
   all support all support the notation \xNN, where "NN" are two valid
   hex numbers, 00-FF.

   sed is not intended to process binary or object code, and files
   which contain nulls (0x00) will usually generate errors in most
   versions of sed (GNU sed 3.02a is an exception; it allows nulls in
   the input files and also in regexes).

   On Unix platforms, the 'echo' command may allow insertion of octal
   or hex values, e.g., `echo "\0nnn"` or `echo -n "\0nnn"`. The echo
   command may also support syntax like '\\b' or '\\t' for backspace
   or tab characters. Check the man pages to see what syntax your
   version of echo supports. Some versions support the following:

      # replace 0x1A (32 octal) with ASCII letters
      sed 's/'`echo "\032"`'/Ctrl-Z/g'

      # note the 3 backslashes in the command below
      sed "s/.`echo \\\b`//g"

4.8. How do I read environment variables with sed?

4.8.1. - on Unix platforms

   In Unix, environment variables are words which begin with a dollar
   sign, such as $TERM, $HOME, $user, or $path.  In sed, the dollar
   sign is used to indicate the last line of the input file, the end
   of a line (in the LHS), or a literal symbol (in the RHS). Sed
   cannot access variables directly, so one must pay attention to
   shell quoting requirements to expand the variables properly.

   To ALLOW the Unix shell to interpret the dollar sign (replacing it
   with an environment variable), put the script in double quotes:

      sed "s/_terminal-type_/$TERM/g" input.file >output.file

   To PREVENT the Unix shell from interpreting the dollar sign
   (letting sed define its meaning), put the script in single quotes:

      sed 's/.$//' DOS.file >Unix.file

   To use BOTH Unix $environment_vars and sed /end-of-line$/ pattern
   matching, use single quotes to bracket the sed part 'like so', then
   follow immediately with double quotes "$HERE" when you want the
   shell to substitute the variable, and resume with single quotes
   again where 'sed should set the meaning'. There must be NO SPACE
   between the closing single quotes and the opening double quotes. To
   demonstrate with the example two sentences above:

      sed 'like so'"$HERE"'sed should set the meaning'  # rough idea
      sed "s/$user"'$/root/' input.file >output.file    # sample use

   In the sample use above, we search for the user's name (which is
   stored as an environment variable) when it occurs at the end of the
   line ($), and we substitute the word "root" in all these occasions.

   In writing shell scripts, we likewise begin with single quote marks
   ('), close them upon encountering the variable, enclose the
   variable name in double quotes ("), and resume with single quotes,
   closing them at the end of the sed script.  Example:

      #! /bin/sh
      # lower to upper, that could be changed
      FROM='abcdefgh'
      TO='ABCDEFGH'
      ... misc commands that pipe data into a longer sed script.
      sed '
      ...
      # do the conversion
      y/'"$FROM"'/'"$TO"'/
      # some more commands go here . . .
      # last line is a single quote mark
      '

   Thus, each variable named $FROM is replaced by $TO, and the single
   quotes are used to glue the multiple lines together in the script.
   (See also section 4.10, "How do I handle shell quoting in sed?")

4.8.2. - on MS-DOS and 4DOS platforms

   Under 4DOS and MS-DOS version 7.0 (Win95) or 7.10 (Win95 OSR2),
   environment variables can be accessed from the command prompt.
   Under MS-DOS 6.22 and below, environment variables can only be
   accessed from within batch files. Environment variables should be
   enclosed between percent signs and are case-insensitive; i.e.,
   %USER% or %user% will display the USER variable. To generate a true
   percent sign, just enter it twice.

   DOS versions of sed require that sed scripts be enclosed by double
   quote marks "..." (not single quotes!) if the script contains
   embedded tabs, spaces, redirection arrows or the vertical bar. In
   fact, if the input for sed comes from piping, a sed script should
   not contain a vertical bar, even if it is protected by double
   quotes (this seems to be bug in the normal MS-DOS syntax). Thus,

      echo blurk | sed "s/^/ |foo /"     # will cause an error
      sed "s/^/ |foo /" blurk.txt        # will work as expected

   Using DOS environment variables which contain DOS path statements
   (such as a TMP variable set to "C:\TEMP") within sed scripts is
   discouraged because sed will interpret the backslash '\' as a
   metacharacter to "quote" the next character, not as a normal
   symbol. Thus,

      sed "s/^/%TMP% /" somefile.txt

   will not prefix each line with (say) "C:\TEMP ", but will prefix
   each line with "C:TEMP "; sed will discard the backslash, which is
   probably not what you want. Other variables such as %PATH% and
   %COMSPEC% will also lose the backslash within sed scripts.

   Environment variables which do not use backslashes are usually
   workable. Thus, all the following should work without difficulty,
   if they are invoked from within DOS batch files:

      sed "s/=username=/%USER%/g" somefile.txt
      echo %FILENAME% | sed "s/\.TXT/.BAK/"
      grep -Ei "%string%" somefile.txt | sed "s/^/  /"

   while from either the DOS prompt or from within a batch file,

      sed "s/%%/ percent/g" input.fil >output.fil

   will replace each percent symbol in a file with " percent" (adding
   the leading space for readability).

4.9. How do I export or pass variables back into the environment?

4.9.1. - on Unix platforms

   Suppose that line #1, word #2 of the file 'terminals' contains a
   value to be put in your TERM environment variable. Sed cannot
   export variables directly to the shell, but it can pass strings to
   shell commands. To set a variable in the Bourne shell:

      TERM=`sed 's/^[^ ][^ ]* \([^ ][^ ]*\).*/\1/;q' terminals`;
      export TERM

   If the second word were "Wyse50", this would send the shell command
   "TERM=Wyse50".

4.9.2. - on MS-DOS or 4DOS platforms

   Sed cannot directly manipulate the environment. Under DOS, only
   batch files (.BAT) can do this, using the SET instruction, since
   they are run directly by the command shell. Under 4DOS, special
   4DOS commands (such as ESET) can also alter the environment.

   Under DOS or 4DOS, sed can select a word and pass it to the SET
   command. Suppose you want the 1st word of the 2nd line of MY.DAT
   put into an environment variable named %PHONE%. You might do this:

      @echo off
      sed -n "2 s/^\([^ ][^ ]*\) .*/SET PHONE=\1/p;3q" MY.DAT > GO_.BAT
      call GO_.BAT
      echo The environment variable for PHONE is %PHONE%
      :: cleanup
      del GO_.BAT

   The sed script assumes that the first character on the 2nd line is
   not a space and uses grouping \(...\) to save the first string of
   non-space characters as \1 for the RHS. In writing any batch files,
   make sure that output filenames such as GO_.BAT don't overwrite
   preexisting files of the same name.

4.10. How do I handle Unix shell quoting in sed?

   To embed a literal single quote (') in a script, use (a) or (b):

   (a) If possible, put the script in double quotes:

      sed "s/cannot/can't/g" file

   (b) If the script must use single quotes, then close-single-quote
   the script just before the SPECIAL single quote, prefix the single
   quote with a backslash, and use a 2nd pair of single quotes to
   finish marking the script. Thus:

      sed 's/cannot$/can'\''t/g' file

   Though this looks hard to read, it breaks down to 3 parts:

      's/cannot$/can'   \'   't/g'
      ---------------   --   -----

   To embed a literal double quote (") in a script, use (a) or (b):

   (a) If possible, put the script in single quotes. You don't need to
   prefix the double quotes with anything. Thus:

      sed 's/14"/fourteen inches/g' file

   (b) If the script must use double quotes, then prefix the SPECIAL
   double quote with a backslash (\). Thus,

      sed "s/$length\"/$length inches/g" file

   To embed a literal backslash (\) into a script, enter it twice:

      sed 's/C:\\DOS/D:\\DOS/g' config.sys

4.11. How do I delete a block of text if the block contains a certain
      regular expression?

   The following deletes the block between 'start' and 'end'
   inclusively, if and only if the block contains the string
   (optionally a pattern) 'regex'. Written by Russell Davies
   <r@itntl.bhp.com.au>, with comments by the FAQ maintainer:

      :t
      /start/,/end/ {    # For each line between these block markers..
         /end/!{         #   If we are not at the /end/ marker
            $!{          #     nor the last line of the file,                 |
               N;        #     add the Next line to the pattern space
               bt
            }            #   and branch (loop back) to the :t label.
         }               # This line matches the /end/ marker.                |
         /regex/d;       # If /regex/ matches, delete the block.              |
      }                  # Otherwise, the block will be printed.

4.12. How do I locate/print a paragraph of text if the paragraph
      contains a certain regular expression?

   Assume that paragraphs are separated by blank lines. For regexes
   that are single terms, use the following script:

      sed -e '/./{H;$!d;}' -e 'x;/regex/!d'

   To print paragraphs only if they contain 3 specific regular
   expressions (RE1, RE2, and RE3), in any order in the paragraph:

      sed -e '/./{H;$!d;}' -e 'x;/RE1/!d;/RE2/!d;/RE3/!d'

   With this solution and the preceding one, if the paragraphs are
   excessively long (more than 4k in length), you may overflow sed's
   internal buffers. If using HHsed, you must add a "G;" command
   immediately after the "x;" in the scripts above to defeat a bug
   in HHsed (see section 6.7.F(5), below, for a description).

4.13. How do I delete a block of _specific_ consecutive lines?

   If the block of lines always looks like this (with '^' and '$'
   representing the beginning and end of line, respectively):

      ^able$
      ^baker$
      ^charlie$
      ^delta$

   and if there is never any deviation from this format (e.g., "able"
   *always* is followed by "baker", etc.), this will work fine:

      sed '/^able$/,/^delta$/d' files    # most seds
      sed '/^able$/,+3d' files           # HHsed, sedmod, gsed 3.02.80

   However, if the top line sometimes appears alone or is followed by
   other lines, if the block may have additional lines in the middle,
   or if a partial block could possibly occur somewhere in the file, a
   more explicit script is needed.

   The following scripts show how to delete blocks of specific
   consecutive lines. Only an exact match of the block is deleted, and
   partial matches of the block are left alone.

      # sed script to delete 2 consecutive lines: /^RE1\nRE2$/
      $b
      /^RE1$/ {
        $!N
        /^RE1\nRE2$/d
        P;D
      }
      #---end of script---


      # sed script to delete 3 consecutive lines. (This script
      # fails under GNU sed earlier than version 3.02.)
      : more
      $!N
      s/\n/&/2;
      t enough
      $!b more
      : enough
      /^RE1\nRE2\nRE3$/d
      P;D
      #---end of script---

   For example, to delete a block of 5 consecutive lines, the previous
   script must be altered in only two places:

   (1) Change the 2 in "s/\n/&/2;" to a 4 (the trailing semicolon is
   needed to work around a bug in HHsed v1.5).

   (2) Change the regex line to "/^RE1\nRE2\nRE3\nRE4\nRE5$/d",
   modifying the expression as needed.

   Suppose we want to delete a block of two blank lines followed by
   the word "foo" followed by another blank line (4 lines in all).
   Other blank lines and other instances of "foo" should be left
   alone. After changing the '2' to a '3' (always one number less than
   the total number of lines), the regex line would look like this:
   "/^\n\nfoo\n$/d". (Thanks to Greg Ubben for this script.)

   As an alternative for older versions of GNU sed, the following
   script will delete 4 consecutive lines:

      # sed script to delete 4 consecutive lines (gsed-2.05 and below)
      /^RE1$/!b
      $!N
      $!N
      :a
      $b
      N
      /^RE1\nRE2\nRE3\nRE4$/d
      P
      s/^.*\n\(.*\n.*\n.*\)$/\1/
      ba
      #---end of script---

   Its drawback is that it must be modified in 3 places instead of 2
   to adapt it for more lines, and as additional lines are added, the
   's' command is forced to work harder to match the regexes. On the
   other hand, it avoids a problem with gsed-2.05 and shows another
   way to solve the problem of deleting consecutive lines.

4.14. How do I read (insert/add) a file at the top of a textfile?

   Given a textfile, file1, one may wish to prepend or insert an
   external file, fileT, to the top of it before processing the file.
   Normally, this should be done from the Unix or DOS shell before
   passing file1 on to sed (MS-DOS 5.0 or lower needs 3 commands to do
   this; for DOS 6.0 or higher, the MOVE command is available):

      copy fileT+file1 temp                   # MS-DOS command 1
      echo Y | copy temp file1                # MS-DOS command 2
      del temp                                # MS-DOS command 3
      cat fileT file1 >temp; mv temp file1    # Unix commands

   However, if inserting the file must be done from within sed, there
   is a way. The expected sed command "1 r fileT" will not work; it
   first prints line 1 and then inserts fileT between lines 1 and 2.
   The following two-line sed script solves this problem, although
   there must be at least 2 lines in file1 for the script to work
   properly:

      1{ h; r fileT; D; }
      2{ x; G; }

4.15. How do I address all the lines between RE1 and RE2, excluding
      the lines themselves?

   Normally, to address the lines between two regular expressions, RE1
   and RE2, one would do this: '/RE1/,/RE2/{commands;}'. Excluding
   those lines takes an extra step. To put 2 arrows before each line
   between RE1 and RE2, except for those lines:

      sed '1,/RE1/!{ /RE2/,/RE1/!s/^/>>/; }' input.fil

   The preceding script, though short, may be difficult to follow. It
   also requires that /RE1/ cannot occur on the first line of the
   input file. The following script, though it's not a one-liner, is
   easier to read and it permits /RE1/ to appear on the first line:

      /RE1/,/RE2/{
        /RE1/b
        /RE2/b
        s/^/>>/
      }

   Contents of input.fil:         Output of sed script:
      aaa                           aaa
      bbb                           bbb
      RE1                           RE1
      aaa                           >>aaa
      bbb                           >>bbb
      ccc                           >>ccc
      RE2                           RE2
      end                           end

4.16. How do I replace "/some/UNIX/path" in a substitution?

   Technically, the normal meaning of the slash can be disabled by
   prefixing it with a backslash. Thus,

      sed 's/\/some\/UNIX\/path/\/a\/new\/path/g' files

   But this is hard to read and write. There is a better solution.
   The s/// substitution command allows '/' to be replaced by any
   other character (including spaces or alphanumerics). Thus,

      sed 's|/some/UNIX/path|/a/new/path|g' files

   and if you are using variable names in a Unix shell script,

      sed "s|$OLDPATH|$NEWPATH|g" oldfile >newfile

4.17. How do I replace "C:\SOME\DOS\PATH" in a substitution?

   For MS-DOS users, every backslash must be doubled. Thus, to replace
   "C:\SOME\DOS\PATH" with "D:\MY\NEW\PATH" --

      sed "s|C:\\SOME\\DOS\\PATH|D:\\MY\\NEW\\PATH|g" infile >outfile

   Remember that DOS pathnames are not case sensitive and can appear
   in upper or lower case in the input file. If this concerns you, use
   gsed v3.02 with the "i" flag or sedmod with the -i switch to ignore
   case on the LHS:

      @echo off
      :: sample MS-DOS batch file to alter path statements
      set old=C:\\SOME\\DOS\\PATH
      set new=D:\\MY\\NEW\\PATH
      gsed "s|%old%|%new%|gi" infile >outfile
      :: or
      ::     sedmod -i "s|%old%|%new%|g" infile >outfile
      set old=
      set new=

   Also, remember that under Win95 long filenames may be stored in two
   formats: e.g., as "C:\Program Files" or as "C:\PROGRA~1".

4.18. How do I convert files with toggle characters, like +this+, to
      look like [i]this[/i]?

   Input files, especially message-oriented text files, often contain
   toggle characters for emphasis, like ~this~, *this*, or =this=. Sed
   can make the same input pattern produce alternating output each
   time it is encountered. Typical needs might be to generate HMTL
   codes or print codes for boldface, italic, or underscore. This
   script accomodates multiple occurrences of the toggle pattern on
   the same line, as well as cases where the pattern starts on one
   line and finishes several lines later, even at the end of the file:

      # sed script to convert +this+ to [i]this[/i]
      :a
      /+/{ x;        # If "+" is found, switch hold and pattern space
        /^ON/{       # If "ON" is in the (former) hold space, then ..
          s///;      # .. delete it
          x;         # .. switch hold space and pattern space back
          s|+|[/i]|; # .. turn the next "+" into "[/i]"
          ba;        # .. jump back to label :a and start over
        }
      s/^/ON/;       # Else, "ON" was not in the hold space; create it
      x;             # Switch hold space and pattern space
      s|+|[i]|;      # Turn the first "+" into "[i]"
      ba;            # Branch to label :a to find another pattern
      }
      #---end of script---

   This script uses the hold space to create a "flag" to indicate
   whether the toggle is ON or not. We have added remarks to
   illustrate the script logic, but in most versions of sed remarks
   are not permitted after 'b'ranch commands or labels.

   If you are sure that the +toggle+ characters never cross line
   boundaries (i.e., never begin on one line and end on another), this
   script can be reduced to one line:

      s|+\([^+][^+]*\)+|[i]\1[/i]|g

   If your toggle pattern contains regex metacharacters (such as * and
   +, in the case of HHsed), remember to quote them with backslashes.

4.19. How do I delete only the first occurrence of a pattern?

   To delete only the first line that contains the pattern RE, where
   "RE" is any regular expression, but leave all other lines
   containing RE alone, do this:

      gsed '0,/RE/{//d}' file                     # GNU sed 3.02.80
      sed '/RE/{x;/Y/!{s/^/Y/;h;d;};x;}' file     # other seds

   And if you *know* the pattern will not occur on line 1 and you
   don't use GNU sed, this will work:

      sed '1,/RE/{/RE/d;}' file

4.20. How do I commify a string of numbers?

   Use the simplest script necessary to accomplish your task. As
   variations of the line increase, the sed script must become more
   complex to handle additional conditions. Whole numbers are
   simplest, followed by decimal formats, followed by embedded words.

   Case 1: simple strings of whole numbers separated by spaces or
   commas, with an optional negative sign. To convert this:

      4381, -1222333, and 70000: - 44555666 1234567890 words
      56890  -234567, and 89222  -999777  345888777666 chars

   to this:

      4,381, -1,222,333, and 70,000: - 44,555,666 1,234,567,890 words
      56,890  -234,567, and 89,222  -999,777  345,888,777,666 chars

   use one of these one-liners:

      sed ':a;s/\B[0-9]\{3\}\>/,&/;ta'                      # GNU sed
      sed -e :a -e 's/\(.*[0-9]\)\([0-9]\{3\}\)/\1,\2/;ta'  # other seds

   Case 2: strings of numbers which may have an embedded decimal
   point, separated by spaces or commas, with an optional negative
   sign. To change this:

      4381,  -6555.1212 and 70000,  7.18281828  44906982.071902
      56890   -2345.7778 and 8.0000:  -49000000 -1234567.89012

   to this:

      4,381,  -6,555.1212 and 70,000,  7.18281828  44,906,982.071902
      56,890   -2,345.7778 and 8.0000:  -49,000,000 -1,234,567.89012

   use the following command for GNU sed:

      sed ':a;s/\(^\|[^0-9.]\)\([0-9]\+\)\([0-9]\{3\}\)/\1\2,\3/g;ta'

   and for other versions of sed:

      sed -f case2.sed files

      # case2.sed
      s/^/ /;                 # add space to start of line
      :a
      s/\( [-0-9]\{1,\}\)\([0-9]\{3\}\)/\1,\2/g
      ta
      s/ //;                  # remove space from start of line
      #---end of script---

------------------------------

5. WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING?

5.1. Why don't my variables like $var get expanded in my sed script?

   Because your sed script uses 'single quotes' instead of "double
   quotes". Unix shells never expand $variables in single quotes.

   This is probably the most frequently-asked sed question. For more
   info on using variables, see section 4.8.

5.2. I'm using 'p' to print, but I have duplicate lines sometimes.

   Sed prints the entire file by default, so the 'p' command might
   cause the duplicate lines. If you want the whole file printed,
   try removing the 'p' from commands like 's/foo/bar/p'. If you want
   part of the file printed, run your sed script with -n flag to
   suppress normal output, and rewrite the script to get all output
   from the 'p' comand.

   If you're still getting duplicate lines, you are probably finding
   several matches for the same line. Suppose you want to print lines
   with the words "Peter" or "James" or "John", but not the same line
   twice. The following command will fail:

      sed -n '/Peter/p; /James/p; /John/p' files

   Since all 3 commands of the script are executed for each line,
   you'll get extra lines. A better way is to use the 'd' (delete) or
   'b' (branch) commands, like so (with GNU sed):

      sed '/Peter/b; /James/b; /John/b; d' files          # one way
      sed -n '/Peter/{p;d;};/James/{p;d;};/John/p' files  # a 2nd way
      sed -n '/Peter/{p;b;};/James/{p;b;};/John/p' files  # a 3rd way
      sed '/Peter\|James\|John/!d' files                  # best way :-)

   On standard seds, these must be broken down with -e commands:

      sed -e '/Peter/b' -e '/James/b' -e '/John/b' -e d files
      sed -n -e '/Peter/{p;d;}' -e '/James/{p;d;}' -e '/John/p' files

   The 3rd line would require too many -e commands to fit on one line,
   since standard versions of sed require an -e command after each 'b'
   and also after each closing brace '}'.

5.3. Why does my DOS version of sed process a file part-way through
     and then quit?

   First, look for errors in the script. Have you used the -n switch
   without telling sed to print anything to the console?  Have you
   read the docs to your version of sed to see if it has switches or a
   syntax you may have misused? If you are sure your sed script is
   valid, a probable cause is an end-of-file (EOF) marker embedded in
   the file. An EOF marker (a/k/a SUB) is a Control-Z character, with
   the values of 1A hex or 026 decimal. As soon as any DOS version of
   sed encounters a Ctrl-Z character, sed stops processing.

   To locate the EOF character, use Vern Buerg's shareware file viewer
   LIST.COM <http://www.buerg.com/list.html>. In text mode, look for a
   right-arrow symbol; in hex mode (Alt-H), look for a 1A code. With
   Unix utilities ported to DOS, use 'od' (octal dump) to display
   hexcodes in your file, and then use sed to locate the offending
   character:

      od -txC badfile.txt | sed -n "/ 1a /p; / 1a$/p"

   Then edit the input file to remove the offending character(s).

   If you would rather NOT edit the input file, there is still a fix.
   It requires the DJGPP 32-bit port of 'tr', the Unix translate
   program, ver 1.22. This version is included as one of the GNU text
   utilities, available at
      http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2gnu/txt122b.zip
   It is important to get the DJGPP version of 'tr' because other
   versions ported to DOS will stop processing when they encounter the
   EOF character. Use the -d (delete) command:

      tr -d \32 < badfile.txt | sed -f myscript.sed

5.4. My RE isn't matching/deleting what I want it to. (Or, "Greedy vs.
     stingy pattern matching")

   The two most common causes for this problem are: (1) misusing the
   '.' metacharacter, and (2) misusing the '*' metacharacter. The RE
   '.*' is designed to be "greedy" (i.e., matching as many characters
   as possible). However, sometimes users need an expression which is
   "stingy," matching the shortest possible string.

   (1) On single-line patterns, the '.' metacharacter matches any
   single character on the line. ('.' cannot match the newline at the
   end of the line because the newline is removed when the line is put
   into the pattern space; sed adds a newline automatically when the
   pattern space is printed.) On multi-line patterns obtained with the
   'N' or 'G' commands, '.' _will_ match a newline in the middle of the
   pattern space. If there are 3 lines in the pattern space, "s/.*//"
   will delete all 3 lines, not just the first one (leaving 1 blank
   line, since the trailing newline is added to the output).

   Normal misuse of '.' occurs in trying to match a word or bounded
   field, and forgetting that '.' will also cross the field limits.
   Suppose you want to delete the first word in braces:

      echo {one} {two} {three} | sed 's/{.*}/{}/'       # fails
      echo {one} {two} {three} | sed 's/{[^}]*}/{}/'    # succeeds

   's/{.*}/{}/' is not the solution, since the regex '.' will match
   any character, including the close braces. Replace the '.' with
   '[^}]', which signifies a negated character set '[^...]' containing
   anything other than a right brace. FWIW, we know that 's/{one}/{}/'
   would also solve our question, but we're trying to illustrate the
   use of the negated character set: [^anything-but-this].

   A negated character set should be used for matching words between
   quote marks, for fields separated by commas, etc. See also section
   4.5 ("How do I parse a comma-delimited data file?"), above.

   (2) The '*' metacharacter represents zero or more instances of the
   previous expression. The '*' metacharacter looks for the leftmost
   possible match first and will match zero characters. Thus,

      echo foo | sed 's/o*/EEE/'

   will generate 'EEEfoo', not 'fEEE' as one might expect. This is
   because /o*/ matches the null string at the beginning of the word.

   After finding the leftmost possible match, the '*' is GREEDY; it
   always tries to match the longest possible string. When two or
   three instances of '.*' occur in the same RE, the leftmost instance
   will grab the most characters. Consider this example, which uses
   grouping '\(...\)' to save patterns:

      echo bar bat bay bet bit | sed 's/^.*\(b.*\)/\1/'

   What will be displayed is 'bit', never anything longer, because
   the leftmost '.*' took the longest possible match. Remember this
   rule: "leftmost match, longest possible string, zero also matches."

5.5. What is CSDPMI*B.ZIP and why do I need it?

   If you boot to MS-DOS instead of Windows and try to use GNU sed
   v1.18 or 3.02, you may encounter the following error message:

      no DPMI - Get csdpmi*b.zip

   "DPMI" stands for DOS Protected Mode Interface; it's basically a
   means of running DOS in Protected Mode (as opposed to Real Mode),
   which allows programs to share resources in extended memory without
   conflicting with one another. Running HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE is
   not enough. The "CSDPMI*B.ZIP" refers to files written by Charles
   Sandmann to provide DPMI services for 32-bit computers (i.e.,
   386SX, 386DX, 486SX, etc.). Download this file:

      http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2misc/csdpmi4b.zip
      ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/simtelnet/gnu/djgpp/v2misc/

   and extract CWSDPMI.EXE, CWSDPR0.EXE and CWSPARAM.EXE from the ZIP
   file. Put all 3 CWS*.EXE files in the same directory as GSED.EXE
   and you're all set. There are DOC files enclosed, but they're
   nearly incomprehensible for the average computer user. (Another
   case of user-vicious documentation.)

   If you're running Windows and you normally use a DOS session to run
   GNU sed (i.e., you get to a DOS prompt with a resizable window or
   you press Alt-Enter to switch to full-screen mode), you don't need
   the CWS*.EXE files at all, since Windows uses DPMI already.

5.6. Where are the man pages for GNU sed?

   Prior to GNU sed v3.02, there weren't any. Until recently, man
   pages distributed with gsed were borrowed from old sources or from
   other compilations. None of them were "official." Even the man and
   info pages distributed with gsed 3.02 are incomplete. For example,
   they omit special regexes recognized by GNU sed not in most seds;
   see section 6.8.3 ("Special syntax in REs"), below.

5.7. How do I tell what version of sed I am using?

   Try entering "sed" all by itself on the command line, followed by
   no arguments or parameters.  Also, try "sed --version".  In a
   pinch, you can also try this:

      strings sed | grep -i ver

   Your version of 'strings' must be a version of the Unix utility of
   this name. It should not be the DOS utility STRINGS.COM by Douglas
   Boling.

5.8. Does sed issue an exit code?

   Most versions of sed do not, but check the documentation that came
   with whichever version you are using. GNU sed issues an exit code
   of 0 if the program terminated normally, 1 if there were errors in
   the script, and 2 if there were errors during script execution.

5.9. The 'r' command isn't inserting the file into the text.

   On most versions of sed (except HHsed and gsed-3.02), the 'r'
   (read) and 'w' (write) commands must be followed by exactly one
   space, then the filename, and then terminated by a newline. Any
   additional characters before or after the filename are interpreted
   as being part of the filename. Thus "/RE/r  insert.me" would try to
   locate a file called ' insert.me' (note the leading space!). If the
   file was not found, sed says nothing -- not even an error message.

   When sed scripts are used on the command line, every 'r' and 'w'
   must be the last command in that part of the script. Thus,

      sed -e '/regex/{r insert.file;d;}' source         # will fail           |
      sed -e '/regex/{r insert.file' -e 'd;}' source    # will succeed        |

5.10. Why can't I match or delete a newline using the \n escape               |
      sequence? Why can't I match 2 or more lines using \n?                   |

   The \n will never match the newline at the end-of-line because the         |
   newline is always stripped off before the line is placed into the          |
   pattern space. To get 2 or more lines into the pattern space, use          |
   the 'N' command or something similar (such as 'H;...;g;').                 |

   Sed works like this: sed reads one line at a time, chops off the           |
   terminating newline, puts what is left into the pattern space where        |
   the sed script can address or change it, and when the pattern space        |
   is printed, appends a newline to stdout (or to a file). If the             |
   pattern space is entirely or partially deleted with 'd' or 'D', the        |
   newline is *not* added in such cases. Thus, scripts like                   |

      sed 's/\n//' file       # to delete newlines from each line             |
      sed 's/\n/foo\n/' file  # to add a word to the end of each line         |

   will NEVER work, because the trailing newline is removed _before_          |
   the line is put into the pattern space. To perform the above tasks,        |
   use one of these scripts instead:                                          |

      tr -d '\n' < file              # use tr to delete newlines              |
      sed ':a;N;$!ba;s/\n//g' file   # GNU sed to delete newlines             |
      sed 's/$/ foo/' file           # add "foo" to end of each line          |

   Since versions of sed other than GNU sed have limits to the size of        |
   the pattern buffer, the Unix 'tr' utility is to be preferred here.         |
   If the last line of the file contains a newline, GNU sed will add          |
   that newline to the output but delete all others, whereas tr will          |
   delete all newlines.                                                       |
   
   To match a block of two or more lines, there are 3 basic choices:          |
   (1) use the 'N' command to add the Next line to the pattern space;         |
   (2) use the 'H' command at least twice to append the current line          |
   to the Hold space, and then retrieve the lines from the hold space         |
   with x, g, or G; or (3) use address ranges (see section 3.3, above)        |
   to match lines between two specified addresses.                            |
   
   Choices (1) and (2) will put an \n into the pattern space, where it        |
   can be addressed as desired ('s/ABC\nXYZ/alphabet/g'). One example         |
   of using 'N' to delete a block of lines appears in section 4.13            |
   ("How do I delete a block of _specific_ consecutive lines?"). This         |
   example can be modified by changing the delete command to something        |
   else, like 'p' (print), 'i' (insert), 'c' (change), 'a' (append),          |
   or 's' (substitute).                                                       |

   Choice (3) will not put an \n into the pattern space, but it _does_        |
   match a block of consecutive lines, so it may be that you don't            |
   even need the \n to find what you're looking for. Since GNU sed            |
   version 3.02.80 now supports this syntax:                                  |

      sed '/start/,+4d'  # to delete "start" plus the next 4 lines,           |

   in addition to the traditional '/from here/,/to there/{...}' range         |
   addresses, it may be possible to avoid the use of \n entirely.             |

5.11. My script aborts with an error message, "event not found".              |

   This error is generated by the csh or tcsh shells, not by sed. The         |
   exclamation mark (!) is special to csh/tcsh, and if you use it in          |
   command-line or shell scripts--even within single quotes--it must          |
   be preceded by a backslash. Thus, under the csh/tcsh shell:                |

      sed '/regex/!d'      # will fail                                        |
      sed '/regex/\!d'     # will succeed                                     |
   
   The exclamation mark should not be prefixed with a backslash when          |
   the script is called from a file, as "-f script.file".                     |

------------------------------

6. OTHER ISSUES

6.1. I have a certain problem that stumps me. Where can I get help?

   Newsgroups:

      - alt.comp.editors.batch  (best choice)
      - comp.editors
      - comp.unix.questions
      - comp.unix.shell

   Send e-mail to:  owner-sed-users@jpusa.chi.il.us

   Your question will be posted on the "sed-users" mailing list, where
   many sed users will be able to see your question. Sending your
   question will not automatically subscribe you to the list.

6.2. How does sed compare with awk, perl, and other utilities?

   Awk is a much richer language with many features of a programming
   language, including variable names, math functions, arrays, system
   calls, etc. Its command structure is similar to sed:

      address { command(s) }

   which means that for each line or range of lines that matches the
   address, execute the command(s). In both sed and awk, an address
   can be a line number or a RE somewhere on the line, or both.

   In program size, awk is 3-10 times larger than sed. Awk has most
   of the functions of sed, but not all. Notably, sed supports
   backreferences (\1, \2, ...) to previous expressions, and awk does
   not have any comparable function or syntax.

   Perl is a general-purpose programming language, with many features
   beyond text processing and interprocess communication, taking it
   well past awk or other scripting languages. Perl supports every
   feature sed does and has its own set of extended regular
   expressions, which give it extensive power in pattern matching and
   processing. (Note: the standard perl distribution comes with 's2p',
   a sed-to-perl conversion script. See section 3.6 for more info.)
   Like sed and awk, perl scripts do not need to be compiled into
   binary code. Like sed, perl can also run many useful "one-liners"
   from the command line, though with greater flexibility; see
   question 4.3 ("How do I make substitutions in every file in a
   directory, or in a complete directory tree?").

   On the other hand, the current version of perl is from 8 to 35
   times larger than sed in its executables alone (perl's library
   modules and allied files not included!). Further, for most simple
   tasks such as substitution, sed executes more quickly than either
   perl or awk. All these utilities serve to process input text,
   transforming it to meet our needs . . . or our arbitrary whims.

6.3. When should I use sed?

   When you need a small, fast program to modify words, lines, or
   blocks of lines in a textfile.

6.4. When should I NOT use sed?

   You should not use sed when you have "dedicated" tools which can do
   the job faster or with an easier syntax. Do not use sed when you
   only want to:

   - delete individual characters. Instead of "s/[abcd]//g", use

        tr -d "[a-d]"

   - squeeze sequential characters. Instead of "s/ee*/e/g", use

        tr -s "{character-set}"

   - change individual characters. Instead of "y/abcdef/ABCDEF/", use

        tr "[a-f]" "[A-F]"

   - print individual lines, based on patterns within the line itself.
     Instead, use "grep".

   - print blocks of lines, with 1 or more lines of context above
     and/or below a specific regular expression. Instead, use the GNU
     version of grep as follows:

        grep -A{number} -B{number}

   - remove individual lines, based on patterns within the line
     itself. Instead, use "grep -v".

   - print line numbers.  Instead, use "nl" or "cat -n".

   - reformat lines or paragraphs. Instead, use "fold", "fmt" or "par".

   Though sed can perfectly emulate certain functions of cat, grep,
   nl, rev, sort, tac, tail, tr, uniq, and other utilities, producing
   identical output, the native utilities are usually optimized to do
   the job more quickly than sed.

6.5. When should I ignore sed and use Awk or Perl instead?

   If you can write the same script in Awk or Perl and do it in less
   time, then use Perl or Awk. There's no reason to spend an hour
   writing and debugging a sed script if you can do it in Perl in 10
   minutes (assuming that you know Perl already) and if the processing
   time or memory use is not a factor. Don't hunt pheasants with a .22
   if you have a shotgun at your side . . . unless you simply enjoy
   the challenge!

   Specifically, if you need to:

   - heavily comment what your scripts do. Use GNU sed, awk, or perl.
   - do case insensitive searching. Use gsed302, sedmod, awk or perl.
   - count fields (words) in a line. Use awk.
   - count lines in a block or objects in a file. Use awk.
   - check lengths of strings or do math operations. Use awk or perl.
   - handle very long lines or need very large buffers. Use gsed or perl.
   - handle binary data (control characters). Use perl (binmode).
   - loop through an array or list. Use awk or perl.
   - test for file existence, filesize, or fileage. Use perl or shell.
   - treat each paragraph as a line. Use awk or perl.
   - indicate /alternate|options/ in regexes. Use gsed, awk or perl.
   - use syntax like \xNN to match hex codes. Use gsed-3.02.80 or perl.
   - use (nested (regexes)) with backreferences. Use perl.

   Perl lovers: I know that perl can do everything awk can do, but
   please don't write me to complain. Why heft a shotgun when a .45
   will do? As we all know, "There is more than one way to do it."

6.6. Known limitations among sed versions

   Limits on distributed versions, although source code for most
   versions of free sed allows for modification and recompilation.
   The term "no limit" when used below means there is no "fixed"
   limit. Limits are actually determined by one's hardware, memory,
   operating system, and which C library is used to compile sed.

6.6.1. Maximum line length

      GNU sed 3.02: no limit
      GNU sed 2.05: no limit
      sedmod 1.0:   4096 bytes
      HHsed:        4000 bytes

6.6.2. Maximum size for all buffers (pattern space + hold space)

      GNU sed 3.02: no limit
      GNU sed 2.05: no limit
      sedmod 1.0:   4096 bytes
      HHsed:        4000 bytes

6.6.3. Maximum number of files that can be read with read command

      GNU sed 3.02: no limit
      GNU sed 2.05: total no. of r and w commands may not exceed 32
      sedmod 1.0:   total no. of r and w commands may not exceed 20

6.6.4. Maximum number of files that can be written with 'w' command

      GNU sed 3.02: no limit (but typical Unix is 253)
      GNU sed 2.05: total no. of r and w commands may not exceed 32
      sedmod 1.0:   10
      HHsed:        10

6.6.5. Limits on length of label names

      BSD sed:      8 characters
      GNU sed 3.02: no limit
      GNU sed 2.05: no limit
      HHsed:        no limit

6.6.6. Limits on length of write-file names

      BSD sed:      40 characters
      GNU sed 3.02: no limit
      GNU sed 2.05: no limit
      HHsed:        no limit

6.6.7. Limits on branch/jump commands

      HHsed:        50

   As a practical consequence, this means that HHsed will not read
   more than 50 lines into the pattern space via an N command, even if
   the pattern space is only a few hundred bytes in size. HHsed exits
   with an error message, "infinite branch loop at line {nn}".

6.7. Known bugs among sed versions

A. GNU sed v3.02.80

   (1) N does not discard the contents of the pattern space upon              |
   reaching the end of file; not a bug. See section 6.8.6, below.             |

B. GNU sed v3.02

   (1) Affects only v3.02 binaries compiled with DJGPP for MS-DOS and
   MS-Windows: 'l' (list) command does not display a lone carriage
   return (0x0D, ^M) embedded in a line.

   (2) The expression "\<" causes problems when attempting the
   following types of substitutions, which should print "+aaa +bbb":

      echo aaa bbb | sed 's/\</+/g'    # prints "+a+a+a +b+b+b"
      echo aaa bbb | sed 's/\<./+&/g'  # prints "+a+a+a +b+b+b"

   (3) The N command no longer discards the contents of the pattern           |
   space upon reaching the end of file. This is not a bug, it's a             |
   feature. See section 6.8.6 "Commands which operate differently".           |

C. GNU sed v2.05

   (1) If a number follows the substitute command (e.g., s/f/F/10) and
   the number exceeds the possible matches on the pattern space, the
   command 't label' _always_ jumps to the specified label. 't' should
   jump only if the substitution was successful (or returned "true").

   (2) 'l' (list) command does not convert the following characters to
   hex values, but passes them through unchanged: 0xF7, 0xFB, 0xFC,
   0xFD, 0xFE.

   (3) A range address like "/foo/,14d" should delete every line from
   the first occurrence of "foo" until line 14, inclusive, and then if
   /foo/ occurs thereafter, delete only those lines. In gsed 2.05, if
   a second "foo" occurs in the file, that line and everything to the
   end of file will be deleted (since gsed is looking for line 14 to
   occur again!).

   (4) The regex /\'/ is not interpreted as an apostrophe or a single
   quote mark, as it should be. Instead, it is interpreted as $,
   representing the end-of-line! This can be proven by these tests:

      echo hello | gsed "/\'/d"        # entire line is deleted!
      echo hello | gsed "s/\'/YYY/"    # 'YYY' appended to string

   (5) Multiple occurrences of the 'w' command fail, as shown here,
   given that both "aaa" and "bbb" occur within the file:

      gsed -e "/aaa/w FILE" -e "/bbb/w FILE" input.txt

   (6) The expression "\<" causes problems when attempting the
   following type of substitution, which should print "+aaa +bbb":

      echo aaa bbb | sed 's/\</+/g'    # sed hangs up with no output

   The syntax 's/\<./+&/g' issues the proper output.

D. GNU sed v1.18

   (1) same as #1 for GNU sed v2.05, above.

   (2) The following command will lock the computer under Win95. Echos
   is an echo command that does not issue a trailing newline:

      echos any_word | gsed "s/[ ]*$//"

   (3) same as #3 for GNU sed v2.05, above.

E. GNU sed v1.03 (by Frank Whaley)

   (1) The \w and \W escape sequences both match only nonword
   characters. \w is misdefined and should match word characters.

   (2) The underscore is defined as a nonword character; it should be
   defined as a word character.

   (3) same as #3 for GNU sed v2.05, above.

F. HHsed v1.5 (by Howard Helman)

   (1) If a number follows the substitute command (e.g., s/foo/bar/2),
   in a sed script entered from the command line, two semicolons must
   follow the number, or they must be separated by an -e switch.
   Normally, only 1 semicolon is needed to separate commands.

      echo bit bet | HHsed "s/b/n/2;;s/b/B/"          # solution 1
      echo bit bet | HHsed -e "s/b/n/2" -e "s/b/B"    # solution 2

   (2) If the substitute command is followed by a number and a "p"
   flag, when the -n switch is used, the "p" flag must occur first.

      echo aaa | HHsed -n "s/./B/3p"    # bug! nothing prints
      echo aaa | HHsed -n "s/./B/p3"    # prints "aaB" as expected

   (3) The following commands will cause HHsed to lock the computer
   under MS-DOS or Win95. Note that they occur because of malformed
   regular expressions which will match no characters.

      sed -n "p;s/\<//g;" file
      sed -n "p;s/[char-set]*//g;" file

   (4) The range command '/RE1/,/RE2/' in HHsed will match one line if
   both regexes occur on the same line (see section 6.8.5, below).
   Though this could be construed as a feature, it should probably be
   considered a bug since its operation differs from every other
   version of sed. For example, '/----/,/----/{s/^/>>/;}' should put
   two angle brackets ">>" before every line which is sandwiched
   between a row of 4 or more hyphens. With HHsed, this command will
   only prefix the hyphens themselves with the angle brackets.

   (5) If the hold space is empty, the H command copies the pattern
   space to the hold space but fails to prepend a leading newline. The
   H command is supposed to add a newline, followed by the contents of
   the pattern space, to the hold space at all times. A workaround is
   "{G;s/^\(.*\)\(\n\)$/\2\1/;H;s/\n$//;}", but it requires knowing
   that the hold space is empty and using the command only once.
   Another alternative is to use the G or the A command alone at key
   points in the script.

   (6) If grouping is followed by an '*' or '+' operator, HHsed does
   not match the pattern, but issues no warning. See below:

      echo aaa | HHsed "/\(a\)*/d"      # nothing is deleted
      echo aaa | HHsed "/\(a\)+/d"      # nothing is deleted
      echo aaa | HHsed "s/\(a\)*/\1B/"  # nothing is changed
      echo aaa | HHsed "s/\(a\)+/\1B/"  # nothing is changed

   (7) If grouping is followed by an interval expression, HHsed halts
   with the error message "garbled command", in all of the following
   examples:

      echo aaa | HHsed "/\(a\)\{3\}/d"
      echo aaa | HHsed "/\(a\)\{1,5\}/d"
      echo aaa | HHsed "s/\(a\)\{3\}/\1B/"

   (8) In interval expressions, 0 is not supported. E.g., \{0,3\)

G. sedmod v1.0 (by Hern Chen)

   Technically, the following are limits (or features?) of sedmod, not
   bugs, since the docs for sedmod do not claim to support these
   missing features.

   (1) sedmod does not support standard range arguments \{...\}
   present in nearly all versions of sed.

   (2) If grouping is followed by an '*' or '+' operator, sedmod gives
   a "garbled command" message. However, if the grouped expressions
   are strings literals with no metacharacters, a partial workaround
   can be done like so:

      \(string\)\1*    # matches 1 or more instances of 'string'
      \(string\)\1+    # matches 2 or more instances of 'string'

   (3) sedmod does not support a numeric argument after the s///
   command, as in 's/a/b/3', present in nearly all versions of sed.

   The following are bugs in sedmod v1.0:

   (4) When the -i (ignore case) switch is used, the '/regex/d'
   command is not properly obeyed. Sedmod may miss one or more lines
   matching the expression, regardless of where they occur in the
   script. Workaround: use "/regex/{d;}" instead.

H. HP-UX sed

   (1) Versions of HP-UX sed up to and including version 10.20 are
   buggy. According to the README file, which comes with the GNU cc
   at <ftp://ftp.ntua.gr/pub/gnu/sed-2.05.bin.README>:

   "When building gcc on a hppa*-*-hpux10 platform, the `fixincludes'
   step (which involves running a sed script) fails because of a bug
   in the vendor's implementation of sed.  Currently the only known
   workaround is to install GNU sed before building gcc.  The file
   sed-2.05.bin.hpux10 is a precompiled binary for that platform."

I. SunOS 4.1 sed

   (1) Bug occurs in RE pattern matching when a non-null '[char-set]*'
   is followed by a null '\NUM' pattern recall, illustrated here and
   reported by Greg Ubben:

      s/\(a\)\(b*\)cd\1[0-9]*\2foo/bar/  # between '[0-9]*' and '\2'
      s/\(a\{0,1\}\).\{0,1\}\1/bar/      # between '.\{0,1\}' and '\1'

   Workaround: add a do-nothing 'X*' expression which will not match
   any characters on the line between the two components. E.g.,

      s/\(a\)\(b*\)cd\1[0-9]*X*\2foo/bar/
      s/\(a\{0,1\}\).\{0,1\}X*\1/bar/

J. SunOS 5.6 sed

   (1) If grouping is followed by an asterisk, SunOS sed does not match
   the null string, which it should do. The following command:

      echo foo | sed 's/f\(NO-MATCH\)*/g\1/'

   should transform "foo" to "goo" under normal versions of sed.

K. Ultrix 4.3 sed

   (1) If grouping is followed by an asterisk, Ultrix sed replies with
   "command garbled", as shown in the following example:

      echo foo | sed 's/f\(NO-MATCH\)*/g\1/'

   (2) If grouping is followed by a numeric operator such as \{0,9\},
   Ultrix sed does not find the match.

L. Digital Unix sed

   (1) The following comes from the man pages for sed distributed with
   new, 1998 versions of Digital Unix (reformatted to fit our
   margins):

   [Digital]  The h subcommand for sed does not work properly.  When
   you use the  h subcommand to place text into the hold area, only
   the last line of the specified text is saved.  You can use the H
   subcommand to append text to the hold area. The H subcommand and
   all others dealing with the hold area work correctly.

   (2) "$d" command issues an error message, "cannot parse".  Reported
   by Carlos Duarte on 8 June 1998.

6.8. Known incompatibilities between sed versions

6.8.1. Issuing commands from the command line

   Most versions of sed permit multiple commands to issued on the
   command line, separated by a semicolon (;). Thus,

      sed 'G;G' file

   should triple-space a file. However, certain commands REQUIRE
   separate expressions on the command line. These include:

      - all labels (':a', ':more', etc.)
      - all branching instructions ('b', 't')
      - commands to read and write files ('r' and 'w')
      - any closing brace, '}'

   If these commands are used, they must be the LAST commands of an
   expression. Subsequent commands must use another expression
   (another -e switch plus arguments).  E.g.,

      sed  -e :a -e 's/^.\{1,77\}$/ &/;ta' -e 's/\( *\)\1/\1/' files

   GNU sed and HHsed v1.5 allow these commands to be followed by a
   semicolon, and the previous script can be written like this:

      sed  ':a;s/^.\{1,77\}$/ &/;ta;s/\( *\)\1/\1/' files

   Versions differ in implementing the 'a' (append), 'c' (change), and
   'i' (insert) commands:

      sed "/foo/i New text here"              # HHsed/sedmod/gsed-30280
      gsed -e "/foo/i\\" -e "New text here"   # GNU sed
      sed1 -e "/foo/i" -e "New text here"     # one version of sed
      sed2 "/foo/i\ New text here"            # another version

6.8.2. Using comments (prefixed by the '#' sign)

   Most versions of sed permit comments to appear in sed scripts only
   on the first line of the script. Comments on line 2 or thereafter
   are not recognized and will generate an error like "unrecognized
   command" or "command [bad-line-here] has trailing garbage".

   GNU sed, HHsed, sedmod, and HP-UX sed permit comments to appear on
   any line of the script, except after labels and branching commands
   (b,t), *provided* that a semicolon (;) occurs after the command
   itself. This syntax makes sed similar to awk and perl, which use a
   similar commenting structure in their scripts.  Thus,

      # GNU style sed script
      $!N;                        # except for last line, get next line
      s/^\([0-9]\{5\}\).*\n\1.*//;    # if first 5 digits of each line
                                      # match, delete BOTH lines.
      t skip
      P;                              # print 1st line only if no match
      :skip
      D;                    # delete 1st line of pattern space and loop
      #---end of script---

   is a valid script for GNU sed and Helman's sed, but is unrecognized
   for most other versions of sed.

6.8.3. Special syntax in REs

A. GNU sed v2.05 and higher versions

   BEGIN~STEP selection: GNU sed can select a series of lines in the
   form M~N, where M and N are integers (with gsed v2.05, M must be
   less than N). Beginning at line M (M may equal 0), every Nth line
   is selected. Thus,

      gsed '1~3d' file    # delete every 3d line, starting with line 1
                          # deletes lines 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, ...

      gsed -n '2~5p' file # print every 5th line, starting with line 2
                          # prints lines 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, 27, ...

   With gsed v3.02, M may be any valid line number. With gsed v2.05,
   if M is greater than or equal to N (the STEP value), nothing will
   be selected, except in one pointless case, 0~0, which selects every
   line.

   The following expressions can be used for /RE/ addresses or in the
   LHS side of a substitution:

      \`  - matches the beginning of the pattern space (same as "^")
      \'  - matches the end of the pattern space (same as "$")
      \?  - 0 or 1 occurrences of previous character: same as \{0,1\}
      \+  - 1 or more occurrences of previous character: same as \{1,\}
      \|  - matches the string on either side, e.g., foo\|bar
      \b  - boundary between word and nonword chars (reversible)
      \B  - boundary between 2 word or between 2 nonword chars
      \n  - embedded newline (usable after N, G, or similar commands)
      \w  - any word character: [A-Za-z0-9_]
      \W  - any nonword char: [^A-Za-z0-9_]
      \<  - boundary between nonword and word character
      \>  - boundary between word and nonword character

   On \b, \B, \<, and \>, see section 6.8.4 ("Word boundaries"),
   below.

   Beginning with version 3.02.80, the following escape sequences can
   now be used on both sides of a "s///" substitution:

      \a      "alert" beep     (BEL, Ctrl-G, 0x07)
      \f      formfeed         (FF, Ctrl-L, 0x0C)
      \n      newline          (LF, Ctrl-J, 0x0A)
      \r      carriage-return  (CR, Ctrl-M, 0x0D)
      \t      horizontal tab   (HT, Ctrl-I, 0x09)
      \v      vertical tab     (VT, Ctrl-K, 0x0B)
      \oNNN   a character with the octal value NNN
      \dNNN   a character with the decimal value NNN
      \xNN    a character with the hexadecimal value NN

   Note that gsed does not have any syntax for designating characters
   in octal or hex notation. Traditionally, \ooo or \hh or \xhh have
   been used by the GNU project to do this, but they are not (yet)
   implemented in gsed. Note that GNU sed also supports "character
   classes", a POSIX extension to regexes, described in section 3.7,
   above.

B. GNU sed v1.03 (by Frank Whaley)

   When used with the -x (extended) switch on the command line, or
   when '#x' occurs as the first line of a script, Whaley's gsed103
   supports the following expressions in both the LHS and RHS of a
   substitution:

      \|      matches the expression on either side
      ?       0 or 1 occurrences of previous RE: same as \{0,1\}
      +       1 or more occurrence of previous RE: same as \{1,\}
      \a      "alert" beep     (BEL, Ctrl-G, 0x07)
      \b      backspace        (BS, Ctrl-H, 0x08)
      \f      formfeed         (FF, Ctrl-L, 0x0C)
      \n      newline          (LF, Ctrl-J, 0x0A)
      \r      carriage-return  (CR, Ctrl-M, 0x0D)
      \t      horizontal tab   (HT, Ctrl-I, 0x09)
      \v      vertical tab     (VT, Ctrl-K, 0x0B)
      \bBBB   binary char, where BBB are 1-8 binary digits, [0-1]
      \dDDD   decimal char, where DDD are 1-3 decimal digits, [0-9]
      \oOOO   octal char, where OOO are 1-3 octal digits, [0-7]
      \xXX    hex char, where XX are 1-2 hex digits, [0-9A-F]

   In normal mode, with or without the -x switch, the following escape
   sequences are also supported in regex addressing or in the LHS of a
   substitution:

      \`      matches beginning of pattern space: same as /^/
      \'      matches end of pattern space: same as /$/
      \B      boundary between 2 word or 2 nonword characters
      \w      any nonword character [*BUG!* should be a word char]
      \W      any nonword character: same as /[^A-Za-z0-9]/
      \<      boundary between nonword and word char
      \>      boundary between word and nonword char

C. HHsed v1.5 (by Howard Helman)

   The following expressions can be used for /RE/ addresses or in the
   LHS and RHS side of a substitution:

      +    - 1 or more occurrences of previous RE: same as \{1,\}
      \a   - bell         (ASCII 07, 0x07)
      \b   - backspace    (ASCII 08, 0x08)
      \e   - escape       (ASCII 27, 0x1B)
      \f   - formfeed     (ASCII 12, 0x0C)
      \n   - newline      (printed as 2 bytes, 0D 0A or ^M^J, in DOS)
      \r   - return       (ASCII 13, 0x0D)
      \t   - tab          (ASCII 09, 0x09)
      \v   - vertical tab (ASCII 11, 0x0B)
      \xhh - the ASCII character corresponding to 2 hex digits hh.
      \<   - boundary between nonword and word character
      \>   - boundary between word and nonword character

D. sedmod v1.0 (by Hern Chen)

   The following expressions can be used for /RE/ addresses in the LHS
   of a substitution:

      +    - 1 or more occurrences of previous RE: same as \{1,\}
      \a   - any alphanumeric: same as [a-zA-Z0-9]
      \A   - 1 or more alphas: same as \a+
      \d   - any digit: same as [0-9]
      \D   - 1 or more digits: same as \d+
      \h   - any hex digit: same as [0-9a-fA-F]
      \H   - 1 or more hexdigits: same as \h+
      \l   - any letter: same as [A-Za-z]
      \L   - 1 or more letters: same as \l+
      \n   - newline      (read as 2 bytes, 0D 0A or ^M^J, in DOS)
      \s   - any whitespace character: space, tab, or vertical tab
      \S   - 1 or more whitespace chars: same as \s+
      \t   - tab          (ASCII 09, 0x09)
      \<   - boundary between nonword and word character
      \>   - boundary between word and nonword character

   The following expressions can be used in the RHS of a substitution.
   "Elements" refer to \1 .. \9, &, $0, or $1 .. $9:

      &    - insert regexp defined on LHS
      \e   - end case conversion of next element
      \E   - end case conversion of remaining elements
      \l   - change next element to lower case
      \L   - change remaining elements to lower case
      \n   - newline      (printed as 2 bytes, 0D 0A or ^M^J, in DOS)
      \t   - tab          (ASCII 09, 0x09)
      \u   - change next element to upper case
      \U   - change remaining elements to upper case
      $0   - insert pattern space BEFORE the substitution
      $1-$9 - match Nth word on the pattern space

E. UnixDos sed

   The following expressions can be used in text, LHS, and RHS:

      \n   - newline      (printed as 2 bytes, 0D 0A or ^M^J, in DOS)

6.8.4. Word boundaries

   GNU sed, HHsed, and sedmod use certain symbols to define the
   boundary between a "word character" and a nonword character. A word
   character fits the regex "[A-Za-z0-9_]". Note: a word character
   includes the underscore "_" but not the hyphen, probably because
   the underscore is permissible as a label in sed and in other
   scripting languages. (In gsed103, a word character did NOT include
   the underscore; it included alphanumerics only.)

   These symbols include '\<' and '\>' (gsed, HHsed, sedmod) and '\b'
   and '\B' (gsed only). Note that the boundary symbols do not
   represent a character, but a position on the line. Word boundaries
   are used with literal characters or character sets to let you match
   (and delete or alter) whole words without affecting the spaces or
   punctuation marks outside of those words. They can only be used in
   a "/pattern/" address or in the LHS of a 's/LHS/RHS/' command. The
   following table shows how these symbols may be used in HHsed and
   GNU sed. Sedmod matches the syntax of HHsed.

      Match position      Possible word boundaries   HHsed   GNU sed
      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      start of word    [nonword char]^[word char]      \<    \< or \b
      end of word         [word char]^[nonword char]   \>    \> or \b
      middle of word      [word char]^[word char]     none      \B
      outside of word  [nonword char]^[nonword char]  none      \B
      ---------------------------------------------------------------

6.8.5. Range addressing with GNU sed and HHsed

   When addressing a range of lines, as in the following example to
   delete all lines between /RE1/ and /RE2/,

      sed '/RE1/,/RE2/d' file

   if /RE1/ and /RE2/ both occur on the *same* line, HHsed will delete
   that single line and then look forward in the file for the next
   occurrence of /RE1/ to attempt the deletion. GNU sed will match the
   first line containing /RE1/ but will look forward to the next and
   succeeding lines to match /RE2/. If /RE1/ and /RE2/ cannot be found
   on two different lines, nothing will be deleted.

   GNU sed v2.05 has a bug in range addressing (see section 6.7.C(3),
   above). This was fixed in gsed v3.02.

   GNU sed v3.02.80 supports 0 in range addressing, which means that
   the range "0,/RE/" will match every line from the top of the file
   to the first line containing /RE/, inclusive, and if /RE/ occurs on
   the first line of the file, only line 1 will be matched.

6.8.6. Commands which operate differently                                     |

A. GNU sed version 3.02 and 3.02.80                                           |

   The N command no longer discards the contents of the pattern space         |
   upon reaching the end of file. This is not a bug, it's a feature.          |
   However, it breaks certain scripts which relied on the older               |
   behavior of N.                                                             |

   'N' adds the Next line to the pattern space, enabling multiple             |
   lines to be stored and acted upon. Upon reaching the last line of          |
   the file, if the N command was issued again, the contents of the           |
   pattern space would be silently deleted and the script would abort         |
   (this has been the traditional behavior). For this reason, sed             |
   users generally wrote:                                                     |

      $!N;   # to add the Next line to every line but the last one.           |
   
   However, certain sed scripts relied on this behavior, such as the          |
   script to delete trailing blank lines at the end of a file (see            |
   script #12 in section 3.2, "Common one-line sed scripts", above).          |
   Also, classic textbooks such as Dale Dougherty and Arnold Robbins'         |
   _sed & awk_ documented the older behavior.                                 |

   The GNU sed maintainer felt that despite the portability problems          |
   this would cause, changing the N command to print (rather than             |
   delete) the pattern space was more consistent with one's intuitions        |
   about how a command to "append the Next line" _ought_ to behave.           |
   Another fact favoring the change was that "{N;command;}" will              |
   delete the last line if the file has an odd number of lines, but           |
   print the last line if the file has an even number of lines.               |

   To convert scripts which used the former behavior of N (deleting           |
   the pattern space upon reaching the EOF) to scripts compatible with        |
   all versions of sed, change a lone "N;" to "$d;N;".                        |
   

[end-of-file]

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM