The column command is a nifty tool to align input data column wise. By default, whitespace is used as the input delimiter. Space character is used to align the output columns, so whitespace characters like tab will get converted to spaces.

$ printf 'one two three\nfour five six\n'
one two three
four five six

$ printf 'one two three\nfour five six\n' | column -t
one   two   three
four  five  six

You can use the -s option to customize the input delimiter. Note that the output delimiter will still be made up of spaces only.

$ cat scores.csv

$ column -s, -t scores.csv
Name  Maths  Physics  Chemistry
Ith   100    100      100
Cy    97     98       95
Lin   78     83       80

$ printf '1:-:2:-:3\napple:-:banana:-:cherry\n' | column -s:-: -t
1      2       3
apple  banana  cherry

warning Input should have a newline at the end, otherwise you'll get an error:

$ printf '1 2 3\na   b   c' | column -t
column: line too long
1  2  3

Video demo:

info See my Linux Command Line Computing ebook and man column for more details.