— word, line,
and byte or character count
utility reads one or more input text files
and, by default, writes the number of lines, words, and bytes contained in
each input file to the standard output. If more than one input file is
specified, a line of cumulative count(s) for all named files is output on a
separate line following the last file count. wc
considers a word to be a maximal string of characters delimited by whitespace.
Whitespace characters are the set of characters for which the
The options are as follows:
- The number of bytes in each input file is written to the
- Use unit suffixes: Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte,
Terabyte, Petabyte, and Exabyte in order to reduce the number of digits to
four or fewer using powers of 2 for sizes (K=1024, M=1048576, etc.).
- The number of lines in each input file is written to the
- Count characters instead of bytes, and use
iswspace(3) instead of
- The number of words in each input file is written to the
When an option is specified, wc
only reports the
information requested by that option. The default action is equivalent to the
having been specified.
If no file names are specified, the standard input is used and a file name is
not output. The resulting output is one line of the requested count(s) with
the cumulative sum of all files read in via standard input.
By default, the standard output contains a line for each input file of the form:
lines words bytes file_name
The counts for lines, words, and bytes (or characters) are integers separated by
- The character encoding
locale(1). It decides which
byte sequences form characters. If unset or set to “C”,
“POSIX”, or an unsupported value,
-m has the same effect as
utility exits 0 on success,
and >0 if an error occurs.
utility is compliant with the
IEEE Std 1003.1-2008
The flag [-h
] is an
extension to that specification.
utility appeared in
Version 1 AT&T UNIX