You're replying to a comment by Vasudev Ram.

June 10, 2010, 20:26

Nice post, Peter.

Referring the one-liner #31 and its info about man commands, here's a related one-liner that is helpful:

$ man keyword | col -bx > keyword.m

will filter the man output through the col tool, and the -bx options cause all the control characters (such as Ctrl-H in particular) to be stripped out. This makes the output much more readable on many terminals. I've used this trick a lot on many versions of UNIX for years, and even on Linux in its earlier versions. Nowadays, though, I've seen that on many modern Linux distributions, the man output does not have those control characters that mess up the display, or, it is automatically piped to the less command, which seems to filter them out. However, this command may still be useful if you want to redirect the man output to a file as in the example I gave above, because then you can open the file in a text editor like vim and not have the screen messed up by the control characters. The main control character which is used in man output is Ctrl-H for backspace, because man output uses that to repeat characters (of a word) many times with backspaces in between the repetitions, which cause bold text output on printers, but messes up screen displays.

- Vasudev

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