paste - join corresponding lines of several files, or subsequent lines
of one file
paste filename1 filename2 ...
paste -dlist filename1 filename2 ...
paste -s [ -dlist ] filename
This command is available with the System V software installation
option. Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
In the first two forms, paste concatenates corresponding lines of the
given input files filename1, filename2, etc. It treats each file as a
column or columns of a table and pastes them together horizontally
(parallel merging). It is the counterpart of cat(1V) which concate-
nates vertically, that is, one file after the other. In the last form
above, paste replaces the function of an older command with the same
name by combining subsequent lines of the input file (serial merging).
In all cases, lines are glued together with the TAB character, or with
characters from an optionally specified list. paste can be used as a
filter, if - is used in place of a filename.
-d Without this option, the NEWLINE characters of each but the last
file (or last line in case of the -s option) are replaced by a
TAB character. This option allows replacing the TAB character
by one or more alternate characters in list. The list is used
circularly; when exhausted, it is reused. In parallel merging
(no -s option), the lines from the last file are always termi-
nated with a NEWLINE character, not from the list. list may
contain the special escape sequences: \n (NEWLINE), \t (tab), \\
(backslash), and \0 (empty string, not a null character). Quot-
ing may be necessary, if characters have special meaning to the
-s Merge subsequent lines rather than one from each input file.
Use TAB for concatenation, unless list is specified with -d.
Regardless of the list, the very last character of the file is
forced to be a NEWLINE.
List directory in four columns:
ls | paste----
Combine pairs of lines into lines:
paste -s -d"\t\n" filename
cat(1V), cut(1V), grep(1V), pr(1V)
line too long
Output lines are restricted to 511 characters.
too many files
Except for -s option, no more than 12 input files may be speci-
17 September 1989 PASTE(1V)