bash: Simple way to get n-th column


Using cut you can select any column and define a custom delimiter to support multiple input formats you can select a column (or more) with barely minimum code.

cut -d',' -f2 myFile.csv

The above command will read the file myFile.csv (which is a CSV file) break it down to columns using the ‘,‘ character and then get the second column.

The option -f specifies which field (column) you want to extract, and the option -d specifies what is the field delimiter (column) that is used in the input file.

The -f parameter allows you to select multiple columns at the same time. You can achieve that by defining multiple columns separated using the ‘,‘ and by defining ranges using the - character.

Examples

  • -f1 selects the first column
  • -f1,3,4 selects columns 1, 3 and 4
  • -f1-4 selects all columns in the range 1-4
  • -f1,3,5-7,9 selects columns 1,3,8 and all the columns in the range 5-7

Leave a Reply