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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  pro-
     cessed  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 <: and
     :>. Each parameter consists of a  keyletter,  possibly  fol-
     lowed  immediately  by a value. The following parameters are

     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,
                 indicating 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
           performed after tabs have been  expanded,  but  before
           the margin is prepended.

           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

SunOS 5.9            Last change: 3 Jul 1990                    1

File Formats                                             fspec(4)


     Default values, which are assumed for  parameters  not  sup-
     plied,  are t-8 and m0. If the s parameter is not specified,
     no size checking is performed. If the first line of  a  file
     does  not contain a format specification, the above defaults
     are assumed for the entire file. The following is an example
     of a line containing a format specification:

          * <:t5,10,15 s72:> *

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

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

SunOS 5.9            Last change: 3 Jul 1990                    2