|FMT(1)||General Commands Manual||FMT(1)|
fmtis a simple text formatter which reads the concatenation of input files (or standard input if none are given) and produces on standard output a version of its input with lines as close to the goal length as possible without exceeding the maximum. The goal length defaults to 65 and the maximum to 10 more than the goal length.
Alternatively, a single width parameter can
be specified either by prepending a hyphen to it or by using
-w. For example, “fmt -w 72”,
“fmt -72”, and “fmt 72 72” all produce identical
output. The spacing at the beginning of the input lines is preserved in the
output, as are blank lines and interword spacing. Lines are joined or split
only at white space; that is, words are never joined or hyphenated.
The options are as follows:
.’), question mark (‘
?’), and exclamation mark (‘
!’). Remember that some characters may need to be escaped to protect them from the shell.
.’ (dot) character. Normally,
fmtdoes not fill these lines, for compatibility with troff and nroff.
-pflag, any change in the amount of whitespace at the start of a line results in a new paragraph being begun.
fmt is meant to format mail messages prior
to sending, but may also be useful for other simple tasks. For instance,
within an editor such as vi(1), the following
command will reformat a paragraph, evening the lines:
fmtutility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs. The latter happens with invalid options, insufficient memory, or when an input file is not found or not readable. The >0 exit value is the sum of all errors up to a maximum of 127; more errors may occur but the counter will only increment to this number.
fmtcommand first appeared in 2BSD.
The version described herein is a complete rewrite and appeared in OpenBSD 2.4.
When the first line of an indented paragraph is very long (more than about twice the goal length), the indentation in the output can be wrong.
fmt is not infallible in guessing what
lines are mail headers and what lines are not.
|October 24, 2016||OpenBSD-current|