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fspec(4)                         File Formats                         fspec(4)

       fspec - format specification in text files

       It  is  sometimes  convenient to maintain text files on the system with
       non-standard tabs, (tabs that are not set at every eighth column). Such
       files  must  generally be converted to a standard format, frequently by
       replacing all tabs with the appropriate number of spaces,  before  they
       can  be  processed by system commands. A format specification occurring
       in the first line of a text file specifies how tabs are to be  expanded
       in the remainder of the file.

       A  format  specification consists of a sequence of parameters separated
       by blanks and surrounded by the brackets <&lt;: and :>&gt;. Each parameter con-
       sists  of  a  keyletter,  possibly followed immediately by a value. The
       following parameters are recognized:

       ttabs           The t parameter specifies  the  tab  settings  for  the
                       file. The value of tabs must be one of the following:

                         o  A  list  of  column  numbers  separated by commas,
                            indicating tabs set at the specified columns.

                         o  A '-' followed immediately by an integer n,  indi-
                            cating tabs at intervals of n columns.

                         o  A  '-'  followed  by  the name of a ``canned'' tab

                       Standard tabs are specified by  t-8,  or  equivalently,
                       t1,9,17,25,  etc.  The  canned tabs that are recognized
                       are defined by the tabs(1) command.

       ssize           The s parameter specifies  a  maximum  line  size.  The
                       value of size must be an integer. Size checking is per-
                       formed after tabs have been expanded,  but  before  the
                       margin is prepended.

       mmargin         The  m  parameter  specifies  a  number of spaces to be
                       prepended to each line. The value of margin must be  an

       d               The  d parameter takes no value. Its presence indicates
                       that the line containing the format specification is to
                       be deleted from the converted file.

       e               The  e parameter takes no value. Its presence indicates
                       that the  current  format  is  to  prevail  only  until
                       another  format  specification  is  encountered  in the

       Default values, which are assumed for parameters not supplied, are  t-8
       and  m0.  If the s parameter is not specified, no size checking is per-
       formed. If the first line of a file does not contain a format  specifi-
       cation, the above defaults are assumed for the entire file. The follow-
       ing is an example of a line containing a format specification:

              * <&lt;:t5,10,15 s72:>&gt; *

       If a format specification can be disguised as a comment, it is not nec-
       essary to code the d parameter.

       ed(1), newform(1), tabs(1)

SunOS 5.10                        3 Jul 1990                          fspec(4)