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In bash is there a way to preview (and/or expand) curly braces when used in arguments (I'd prefer preview but if that's not possible, then expanding would be okay)? I know you can do it with filenames and wildcards by pressing ESC + ?, but what if it's not actual files and simply arguments that you want expanded or to preview the expansion of?

For example, if touch {a,b}{1,2} is entered at the prompt, is there some way to preview that that will expand out to a1 a2 b1 b2 (in whatever order it would expand out to).

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Simple: Use echo.

$ echo touch {a,b}{1,2}
touch a1 a2 b1 b2
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    +1 for a creative solution. I can't help but wonder if there's a native way though. – sa289 Oct 2 '15 at 17:11

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