wc - count words, lines, and bytes or characters in a file
wc [-c|-m] [-lw] [file]...
The wc command counts lines, words, and bytes or characters in the
named files, or in the standard input if no file names are specified.
It also keeps a total count for all named files.
A word is a string of characters delimited by spaces, tabs, or
wc recognizes the following options:
-c Report the number of bytes in each input file.
-l Report the number of newline characters in each input file.
-m Report the number of characters in each input file.
-w Report the number of words in each input file.
The c and m options are mutually exclusive. Otherwise, the l, w, and
c or m options can be used in any combination to specify that a subset
of lines, words, and bytes or characters are to be reported.
When any option is specified, wc reports only the information
requested. If no option is specified, the default output is -lwc.
When a file is specified on the command line, its name is printed
along with the counts.
Standard Output (XPG4 only)
By default, the standard output contains an entry for each input file
in the form:
newlines words bytes file
If the -m option is specified, the number of characters replaces the
bytes field in this format.
If any option is specified, the fields for the unspecified options are
If no file operand is specified, neither the file name nor the
preceding blank character is written.
Hewlett-Packard Company - 1 - HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000
If more than one file operand is specified, an additional line is
written at the end of the output, of the same format as the other
lines, except that the word total (in the POSIX locale) is written
instead of a file name and the total of each column is written as
wc exits with one of the following values:
0 Successful completion.
>>>>0 An error occurred.
LC_CTYPE determines the range of graphics and space characters, and
the interpretation of text as single- and/or multibyte characters.
LC_MESSAGES determines the language in which messages are displayed.
If LC_CTYPE or LC_MESSAGES is not specified in the environment or is
null, they default to the value of LANG.
If LANG is not specified or is null, it defaults to C (see lang(5)).
If any internationalization variable contains an invalid setting, they
all default to C. See environ(5).
International Code Set Support
Single- and multibyte character code sets are supported. with a
newline character, the count will be off by one.
The wc command counts the number of newlines to determine the line
count. If a text file has a final line that is not terminated
Print the number of words and characters in file1:
wc -wm file1
The following is printed when the above command is executed:
words chars file1
where words is the number of words and chars is the number of
characters in file1.
wc: SVID2, SVID3, XPG2, XPG3, XPG4, POSIX.2
Hewlett-Packard Company - 2 - HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000