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FOLD(1) General Commands Manual FOLD(1)

foldfold long lines for finite width output device

fold [-bs] [-w width] [file ...]

fold is a filter which folds the contents of the specified files, or the standard input if no files are specified, breaking the lines to have a maximum of 80 characters.

The options are as follows:

Count width in bytes rather than column positions.
Fold line after the last blank character within the first width column positions (or bytes).
Specifies a line width to use instead of the default 80 characters.

The fold utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


The fold utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”) specification.

The fold utility first appeared in 1BSD. It was rewritten for 4.3BSD-Reno to improve speed and modernize style. The -b and -s options were added to NetBSD 1.0 for IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”) compliance.

Bill Joy wrote the original version of fold on June 28, 1977. Kevin Ruddy rewrote the command in 1990, and J. T. Conklin added the missing options in 1993.

If underlining (see ul(1)) is present it may be messed up by folding.

width should be a multiple of 8 if tabs are present, or the tabs should be expanded using expand(1) before using fold.

December 28, 2011 OpenBSD-5.8