Langue: en

Version: 2004-06-22 (ubuntu - 07/07/09)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


reformat - tool to simple format plain ascii texts


reformat [-h] [-j] [-l margin] [-p] [-w width]


reformat is a simple tool to reformat plain texts. reformat reads from stdin and writes to stdout.

Available options are:

prints usage information
switch justify mode: Each line of a paragraph will have the same width (see -w option). To reach this, spaces (' ') will be added between words. Default: disabled
-l left-margin
Sets the left margin to left-margin. The margin is produced by left-margin spaces (' '), no tabs will be used. Default: 0
Accept lines beginning with a whitespace as usual paragraphs, too.
-w width
Sets the paragraph width to width. No reformatted line will be longer than width (plus defined margins) then. Default: 72


reformat isn't an intelligent program. It just reads a whole paragraph into a buffer and then reformats it. The end of a paragraph is indicated by an empty line (may also contain spaces or tabs) or at a line beginning with whitespaces (if you don't use -p option).

Lines beginning with whitespaces are lines to keep untouched. Nothing happens with them, unless you use -p option (as just mentioned).

reformat doesn't look for hyphenation and hyphens at all. It won't make new lines when reached a hyphen. reformat works word-by-word.
reformat doesn't detect 'small paragraphs' (paragraphs without an empty line).
Check for errors! If reformat detects a word with a length greater than the specified width, it will abort.
reformat has problems with control characters. Some text documents contain the ^L character (0x0c), for example.


Planned features are:
Fix some problems, see ``LIMITATIONS''.
Add an option to declare a string that indicates ``don't reformat'' in the text. Would be nice on reformatting emails, and don't touch the quoteas ('> '-lines).
Add an option (e.g. -i) to keep indenting.


reformat < foo > bar
Reads text from foo, reformats and writes to bar.
reformat -l 15 -j -w 50 < foo
Nice justified, centered text from file foo on an 80x25 terminal.


fold(1) (C) Stephan Beyer <>, 2003-2004, GPL