Copy selected parts of each line of text from a file to standard output.


cut [options] file


-b list extracts the characters at positions specified in the list.

-f list extracts the fields (assumed to be Tab-separated) specified in list.

-d char specifies the character that delimits the fields (the default is Tab).

-s skips lines that do not contain delimited fields (see the -f option).


The cut command extracts specified parts from each line of text in a file and writes those lines out to standard output. You can extract either a range of characters (specified by their positions) from each line or specific fields, where the fields are separated by a special character such as the Tab. For example, to extract characters 1 through 11 and the 56th character onward from a detailed directory listing, use the following command:

ls -l | cut -b 1-11,56- | more total 2056 -rw-r—r— a2ps.cfg -rw-r—r— a2ps-site.cfg -rw-r—r— adjtime drwxr-xr-x aep -rw-r—r— aep.conf -rw-r—r— aeplog.conf drwxr-xr-x alchemist -rw-r—r— aliases -rw-r——- aliases.db (... lines deleted)