An Awk Primer

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  • Author: Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection
  • Format: HTML
  • Price: free

Awk has two faces: it is a utility for performing simple text-processing tasks, and it is a programming language for performing complex text-processing tasks. Awk is useful for simple, quick-and-dirty computational programming. Anybody who can write a BASIC program can use Awk, although Awk’s syntax is different from that of BASIC. Anybody who can write a C program can use Awk with little difficulty, and those who would like to learn C may find Awk a useful stepping stone, with the caution that Awk and C have significant differences beyond their many similarities.

The book is a work in progress, and there may be incomplete or missing chapters.

Chapters include:

  • Awk Overview
  • Awk Command-Line Examples
  • Awk Program Example
  • Awk Invocation and Operation
  • Search Patterns (1)
  • Search Patterns (2)
  • Numbers and Strings
  • Variables
  • Arrays
  • Operations
  • Standard Functions
  • Control Structures
  • Output with print and printf
  • A Digression: The sprintf Function
  • Output Redirection and Pipes
  • Using Awk from the Command Line
  • Awk Program Files
  • A Note on Awk in Shell Scripts
  • Nawk
  • Awk Quick Reference Guide

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