CLI tip 9: awk paragraph mode
awk provides a handy shortcut to process input content paragraph wise. When
RS is set to empty string, one or more consecutive empty lines is used as the input record separator. Consider the below sample file:
$ cat para.txt hi there how are you 2 apples 12 bananas blue sky yellow sun brown earth
Here are some simple examples to filter paragraphs based on some criteria:
# paragraphs containing 'sun' $ awk -v RS= '/sun/' para.txt blue sky yellow sun brown earth # paragraphs containing any digit character $ awk -v RS= '/[0-9]/' para.txt 2 apples 12 bananas # print the first paragraph $ awk -v RS= 'NR==1' para.txt hi there how are you
See Paragraph mode section from my GNU awk ebook for more examples and corner cases.
See my GNU AWK ebook if you are interested in learning about the
GNU awk command in more detail.