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I need to view a large tab delimited file using less. There is a column with ~200 characters which I am not interested in seeing but that column pushes all other columns to right making the viewing hard. Is there a way to prevent less from showing more than the tab width in a column?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use 'cut' to delete that column and redirect the output to less.

For eg if its the first column that you don't want to see

cut -f 1 --complement $FILENAME | less

If you have a delimiter other than tab, you can specify that using '-d;

cut -d ',' -f 1 --complement $FILENAME | less
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less -S

does the trick. See also the answers here

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