Pretty print tabular data
Consider the following data where the columns are separated by a tab character. However, since the field length in each column changes across rows, it looks really messy if the file is just catted out.
% cat data3.txt clue answer Cotillion honorees debs Contend vie Conductor Maestro
A better way to print it is to use the “column” command from the bsdextrautils package.
% cat data3.txt | column -ts $'\t' clue answer Cotillion honorees debs Contend vie Conductor Maestro
Tested this on a machine running Debian stable (Bookworm) using
% cat /etc/debian_version 12.0 % zsh --version zsh 5.9 (x86_64-debian-linux-gnu) % which column /usr/bin/column % dpkg -S /usr/bin/column bsdextrautils: /usr/bin/column % dpkg -l bsdextrautils | grep ^ii ii bsdextrautils 2.38.1-5+b1 amd64 extra utilities from 4.4BSD-Lite