UNIX/LINUX Command – expand


expand—Convert tabs to spaces


expand [–tab1[,tab2[,…]]] [–t tab1[,tab2[,…]]] [–i] [—tabs=tab1[,tab2[,…]]] [–initial] [–help] [–version] [file…]


This manual page documents the GNU version of expand. expand writes the contents of each given file, or the standard input if none are given or when a file named – is given, to the standard output, with tab characters converted to the appropriate number of spaces. By default, expand converts all tabs to spaces. It preserves backspace characters in the output; they decrement the column count for tab calculations. The default action is equivalent to –8 (set tabs every 8 columns).


Options Description
–, –t, –tabs tab1[,tab2[,…]] If only one tab stop is given, set the tabs tab1 spaces apart instead of the default 8. Otherwise, set the tabs at columns tab1, tab2, and so forth (numbered from 0) and replace any tabs beyond the tab stops given with single spaces. If the tab-stops are specified with the –t or –tabs option, they can be separated by blanks as well as by commas.
–i, –initial Only convert initial tabs (those that precede all nonspace or tab characters) on each line to spaces.
–help Print a usage message and exit with a nonzero status.
–version Print version information on standard output then exit.

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