newform - change the format of a text file
newform [-s] [-itabspec] [-otabspec] [-bn] [-en] [-pn] [-an]
[-f] [-cchar] [-ln] [filename...]
newform reads lines from the named filenames, or the stan-
dard input if no input file is named, and reproduces the
lines on the standard output. Lines are reformatted in
accordance with command line options in effect.
Except for -s, command line options may appear in any order,
may be repeated, and may be intermingled with the optional
filenames. Command line options are processed in the order
specified. This means that option sequences like ``-e15
-l60'' will yield results different from ``-l60 -e15''.
Options are applied to all filenames on the command line.
The following options are supported:
-s Shears off leading characters on each line up to the
first tab and places up to 8 of the sheared characters
at the end of the line. If more than 8 characters (not
counting the first tab) are sheared, the eighth char-
acter is replaced by a * and any characters to the
right of it are discarded. The first tab is always
An error message and program exit will occur if this
option is used on a file without a tab on each line.
The characters sheared off are saved internally until
all other options specified are applied to that line.
The characters are then added at the end of the pro-
For example, to convert a file with leading digits,
one or more tabs, and text on each line, to a file
beginning with the text, all tabs after the first
expanded to spaces, padded with spaces out to column
72 (or truncated to column 72), and the leading digits
placed starting at column 73, the command would be:
newform -s -i -l -a -e filename
Input tab specification: expands tabs to spaces,
according to the tab specifications given. Tabspec
recognizes all tab specification forms described in
tabs(1). In addition, tabspec may be -, in which
newform assumes that the tab specification is to be
found in the first line read from the standard input
(see fspec(4)). If no tabspec is given, tabspec
defaults to -8. A tabspec of -0 expects no tabs; if
any are found, they are treated as -1.
Output tab specification: replaces spaces by tabs,
according to the tab specifications given. The tab
specifications are the same as for -itabspec. If no
tabspec is given, tabspec defaults to -8. A tabspec of
-0 means that no spaces will be converted to tabs on
-bn Truncate n characters from the beginning of the line
when the line length is greater than the effective
line length (see -ln). Default is to truncate the
number of characters necessary to obtain the effective
line length. The default value is used when -b with no
n is used. This option can be used to delete the
sequence numbers from a COBOL program as follows:
newform -l1 -b7 filename
-en Same as -bn except that characters are truncated from
the end of the line.
-pn Prefix n characters (see -cchar) to the beginning of a
line when the line length is less than the effective
line length. Default is to prefix the number of char-
acters necessary to obtain the effective line length.
-an Same as -pn except characters are appended to the end
of a line.
-f Write the tab specification format line on the stan-
dard output before any other lines are output. The tab
specification format line which is printed will
correspond to the format specified in the last -o
option. If no -o option is specified, the line which
is printed will contain the default specification of
Change the prefix/append character to char. Default
character for char is a space.
-ln Set the effective line length to n characters. If n is
not entered, -l defaults to 72. The default line
length without the -l option is 80 characters. Note:
Tabs and backspaces are considered to be one character
(use -i to expand tabs to spaces).
The -l1 must be used to set the effective line length
shorter than any existing line in the file so that the
-b option is activated.
The following operand is supported:
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful operation.
1 Operation failed.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWesu |
csplit(1), tabs(1), fspec(4), attributes(5)
All diagnostics are fatal.
newform was called with a bad option.
"not -s format"
There was no tab on one line.
"can't open file"
"internal line too long"
A line exceeds 512 characters after being expanded in
the internal work buffer.
"tabspec in error"
A tab specification is incorrectly formatted, or
specified tab stops are not ascending.
"tabspec indirection illegal"
A tabspec read from a file (or standard input) may not
contain a tabspec referencing another file (or stan-
newform normally only keeps track of physical characters;
however, for the -i and -o options, newform will keep track
of backspaces in order to line up tabs in the appropriate
newform will not prompt the user if a tabspec is to be read
from the standard input (by use of -i- or -o-).
If the -f option is used, and the last -o option specified
was -o-, and was preceded by either a -o- or a -i-, the tab
specification format line will be incorrect.
Man(1) output converted with