Linux Commands Examples

A great documentation place for Linux commands


convert text files for printing


pr [OPTION]... [FILE]...

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Paginate or columnate FILE(s) for printing.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

begin [stop] printing with page FIRST_[LAST_]PAGE

-COLUMN, --columns=COLUMN

output COLUMN columns and print columns down, unless -a is used. Balance number of lines in the columns on each page

-a, --across

print columns across rather than down, used together with -COLUMN

-c, --show-control-chars

use hat notation (^G) and octal backslash notation

-d, --double-space

double space the output

-D, --date-format=FORMAT

use FORMAT for the header date

-e[CHAR[WIDTH]], --expand-tabs[=CHAR[WIDTH]]

expand input CHARs (TABs) to tab WIDTH (8)

-F, -f, --form-feed

use form feeds instead of newlines to separate pages (by a 3-line page header with -F or a 5-line header and trailer without -F)

-h, --header=HEADER

use a centered HEADER instead of filename in page header, -h "" prints a blank line, don’t use -h""

-i[CHAR[WIDTH]], --output-tabs[=CHAR[WIDTH]]

replace spaces with CHARs (TABs) to tab WIDTH (8)

-J, --join-lines

merge full lines, turns off -W line truncation, no column alignment, --sep-string[=STRING] sets separators

-l, --length=PAGE_LENGTH

set the page length to PAGE_LENGTH (66) lines (default number of lines of text 56, and with -F 63)

-m, --merge

print all files in parallel, one in each column, truncate lines, but join lines of full length with -J

-n[SEP[DIGITS]], --number-lines[=SEP[DIGITS]]

number lines, use DIGITS (5) digits, then SEP (TAB), default counting starts with 1st line of input file

-N, --first-line-number=NUMBER

start counting with NUMBER at 1st line of first page printed (see +FIRST_PAGE)

-o, --indent=MARGIN

offset each line with MARGIN (zero) spaces, do not affect -w or -W, MARGIN will be added to PAGE_WIDTH

-r, --no-file-warnings

omit warning when a file cannot be opened

-s[CHAR], --separator[=CHAR]

separate columns by a single character, default for CHAR is the <TAB> character without -w and ’no char’ with -w -s[CHAR] turns off line truncation of all 3 column options (-COLUMN|-a -COLUMN|-m) except -w is set

-S[STRING], --sep-string[=STRING]

separate columns by STRING, without -S: Default separator <TAB> with -J and <space> otherwise (same as -S" "), no effect on column options

-t, --omit-header

omit page headers and trailers

-T, --omit-pagination

omit page headers and trailers, eliminate any pagination by form feeds set in input files

-v, --show-nonprinting

use octal backslash notation

-w, --width=PAGE_WIDTH

set page width to PAGE_WIDTH (72) characters for multiple text-column output only, -s[char] turns off (72)

-W, --page-width=PAGE_WIDTH

set page width to PAGE_WIDTH (72) characters always, truncate lines, except -J option is set, no interference with -S or -s


display this help and exit


output version information and exit

-t is implied if PAGE_LENGTH <= 10. With no FILE, or when FILE is -, read standard input.


Copyright © 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

reporting bugs

Report pr bugs to bug-coreutils[:at:]gnu[:dot:]org
GNU coreutils home page: <>
General help using GNU software: <>
Report pr translation bugs to <>

see also

The full documentation for pr is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and pr programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info coreutils 'pr invocation'

should give you access to the complete manual.


Written by Pete TerMaat and Roland Huebner.

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