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WC(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual WC(1)
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wc -- word, line, and byte count
wc [-c | -m] [-Llw] [file ...]
The wc utility displays the number of lines, words, bytes and characters
contained in each input file (or standard input, by default) to the stan-
dard output. A line is defined as a string of characters delimited by a
<newline> character, and a word is defined as a string of characters
delimited by white space characters. White space characters are the set
of characters for which the iswspace(3) function returns true. If more
than one input file is specified, a line of cumulative counts for all the
files is displayed on a separate line after the output for the last file.
The following options are available:
-c The number of bytes in each input file is written to the standard
-L The number of characters in the longest line of each input file
is written to the standard output.
-l The number of lines in each input file is written to the standard
-m The number of characters in each input file is written to the
-w The number of words in each input file is written to the standard
When an option is specified, wc only reports the information requested by
that option. The default action is equivalent to all the flags -clw hav-
ing been specified.
The following operands are available:
file A pathname of an input file.
If no file names are specified, the standard input is used and no file
name is displayed.
By default, the standard output contains a line for each input file of
lines words bytes file_name
The wc utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
Historically, the wc utility was documented to define a word as a ``maxi-
mal string of characters delimited by <space>, <tab> or <newline> charac-
ters''. The implementation, however, didn't handle non-printing charac-
ters correctly so that `` ^D^E '' counted as 6 spaces, while
``foo^D^Ebar'' counted as 8 characters. 4BSD systems after 4.3BSD modi-
fied the implementation to be consistent with the documentation. This
implementation defines a ``word'' in terms of the iswspace(3) function,
as required by IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'').
The -L option is a non-standard extension, compatible with the -L option
of the GNU and FreeBSD wc utilities.
The wc utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').
A wc utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
NetBSD 9.1 September 1, 2019 NetBSD 9.1