PASTE(1) General Commands Manual PASTE(1)
paste – merge corresponding or subsequent lines of files
paste [-s] [-d list] file ...
The paste utility concatenates the corresponding lines of the given input
files, replacing all but the last file's newline characters with a single
tab character, and writes the resulting lines to standard output. If end-
of-file is reached on an input file while other input files still contain
data, the file is treated as if it were an endless source of empty lines.
The options are as follows:
-d list Use one or more of the provided characters to replace the
newline characters instead of the default tab. The characters
in list are used circularly, i.e., when list is exhausted the
first character from list is reused. This continues until a
line from the last input file (in default operation) or the
last line in each file (using the -s option) is displayed, at
which time paste begins selecting characters from the beginning
of list again.
The following special characters can also be used in list:
\n newline character
\t tab character
\\ backslash character
\0 Empty string (not a null character).
Any other character preceded by a backslash is equivalent to
the character itself.
-s Concatenate all of the lines of each separate input file in
command line order. The newline character of every line except
the last line in each input file is replaced with the tab
character, unless otherwise specified by the -d option.
If ‘-’ is specified for one or more of the input files, the standard input
is used; standard input is read one line at a time, circularly, for each
instance of ‘-’.
The paste utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
List the files in the current directory in three columns:
ls | paste - - -
Combine pairs of lines from a file into single lines:
paste -s -d '\t\n' myfile
Number the lines in a file, similar to nl(1):
sed = myfile | paste -s -d '\t\n' - -
Create a colon-separated list of directories named bin, suitable for use in
the PATH environment variable:
find / -name bin -type d | paste -s -d : -
The paste utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”) compatible.
A paste command appeared in Version 32V AT&T UNIX.
macOS 12.1 June 25, 2004 macOS 12.1