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I would need to print the contents of a file (e.g., cat $file), but wrap output at a given column width (let's say 80 cols), independently of terminal width.

Is there something in the "standard" Unix arsenal that would give me this functionality?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The basic tool for doing this is fold(1). For example,

fold -s -w 80 $file

will fold the lines in $file to fit within 80 columns and break lines at spaces.

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I knew there had to be something like that, but couldn't find it... BTW, 80 columns are default already, so a simple | fold works perfectly for me. Thanks! – DevSolar Sep 13 '12 at 15:35

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