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FMT(1) User Commands FMT(1)


fmt - simple optimal text formatter


fmt [-WIDTH] [OPTION]... [FILE]...


Reformat each paragraph in the FILE(s), writing to standard output. The option -WIDTH is an abbreviated form of --width=DIGITS.

With no FILE, or when FILE is -, read standard input.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

preserve indentation of first two lines
reformat only lines beginning with STRING, reattaching the prefix to reformatted lines
split long lines, but do not refill
indentation of first line different from second
one space between words, two after sentences
maximum line width (default of 75 columns)
goal width (default of 93% of width)
display this help and exit
output version information and exit


Written by Ross Paterson.


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Copyright © 2022 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation <>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) fmt invocation'

September 2022 GNU coreutils 9.1