CUT(1)CUT(1)NAMEcut - cut out selected fields of each line of a file
SYNOPSIScut-b list [-n] [file]...
cut-c list [file]...
cut-f list [-d delim] [-s] [file]...
Use the cut utility to cut out columns from a table or fields from each
line of a file; in data base parlance, it implements the projection of
a relation. The fields as specified by list can be fixed length, that
is, character positions as on a punched card (-c option) or the length
can vary from line to line and be marked with a field delimiter charac‐
ter like TAB (-f option). cut can be used as a filter.
Either the -b, -c, or -f option must be specified.
Use grep(1) to make horizontal ``cuts'' (by context) through a file, or
paste(1) to put files together column-wise (that is, horizontally). To
reorder columns in a table, use cut and paste.
The following options are supported:
A comma-separated or blank-character-separated list of
integer field numbers (in increasing order), with optional
− to indicate ranges (for instance, 1,4,7; 1−3,8; −5,10
(short for 1−5,10); or 3− (short for third through last
The list following -b specifies byte positions (for
instance, -b1-72 would pass the first 72 bytes of each
line). When -b and -n are used together, list is adjusted
so that no multi-byte character is split.
The list following -c specifies character positions (for
instance, -c1-72 would pass the first 72 characters of
The character following -d is the field delimiter (-f
option only). Default is tab. Space or other characters
with special meaning to the shell must be quoted. delim
can be a multi-byte character.
The list following -f is a list of fields assumed to be
separated in the file by a delimiter character (see -d );
for instance, -f1,7 copies the first and seventh field
only. Lines with no field delimiters will be passed
through intact (useful for table subheadings), unless -s
Do not split characters. When -b list and -n are used
together, list is adjusted so that no multi-byte character
Suppresses lines with no delimiter characters in case of
-f option. Unless specified, lines with no delimiters
will be passed through untouched.
The following operands are supported:
A path name of an input file. If no file operands are speci‐
fied, or if a file operand is −, the standard input will be
See largefile(5) for the description of the behavior of cut when
encountering files greater than or equal to 2 Gbyte (2^31 bytes).
Example 1 Mapping user IDs
A mapping of user IDs to names follows:
example% cut -d: -f1,5 /etc/passwd
Example 2 Setting current login name
To set name to current login name:
example$ name=`who am i | cut-f1 -d' '`
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables
that affect the execution of cut: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES,
The following exit values are returned:
All input files were output successfully.
An error occurred.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
│ ATTRIBUTE TYPE │ ATTRIBUTE VALUE │
│CSI │ Enabled │
│Interface Stability │ Standard │
SEE ALSOgrep(1), paste(1), attributes(5), environ(5), largefile(5), stan‐
cut: -n may only be used with -b
cut: -d may only be used with -f
cut: -s may only be used with -f
cut: cannot open <file>
Either file cannot be read or does not exist. If multiple files
are present, processing continues.
cut: no delimiter specified
Missing delim on -d option.
cut: invalid delimiter
cut: no list specified
Missing list on -b, -c, or -f option.
cut: invalid range specifier
cut: too many ranges specified
cut: range must be increasing
cut: invalid character in range
cut: internal error processing input
cut: invalid multibyte character
cut: unable to allocate enough memory
Apr 29, 1999 CUT(1)