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I don't see why you would unless you are running an actual awk script.
Actually it is useful only when you have multiple redirections (to different files) inside the awk script or when the file name is built dinamycally under certain conditions.
@gav251: please follow the advice in the previous posts and show us the content (or just a sample) of the input file. Don't forget to embed it in CODE tags to preserve spacing and tabs (since they might be important to solve the puzzle). To use CODE tags, either put [CODE] and [/CODE] around the text or switch to advanced mode and press the # button.
The .plt file is a new file, > would be ok. .mol file is a large file containing mathematical data about a proteins geometry. I didn't post it since the data is irrelevant. I just need to redirect columns 3, 6 and 7. Sorry for the ambiguity.
Obviously it's not irrelevant, otherwise your awk command would work. So showing one line of the input and the result which is produced by this line would allow to investigate the behavior.
The same from me. The result from such a simple code should be obvious, so most likely the problem resides in the input format: separators, hidden characters and so on. Please post a line of input, the corresponding output (as suggested above) plus the output of the following: