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I used to know of a command -- an actual command mind you, not sed/awk magic -- that formatted its input to be aligned in columns. For example, if you ran:

% echo -e "aaaaa bbbbbbb\ncc ddd"
aaaaa bbbbbbb
cc ddd

But if you ran the output through the command which I've forgotten the name of:

% echo -e "aaaaa bbbbbbb\ncc ddd" | mystery_command
aaaaa    bbbbbbb
cc       ddd

Does anyone know the name of that command?

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

It's column. Try for example echo -e "aaaaa bbbbbbb\ncc ddd" | column -t.

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