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Old 09-12-2012, 07:55 AM   #1
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How to remove ^L control characters from text files?

Hi All,

When i try to edit the file i m getting this symbol : ^L

its related to clear the screen and redraw so its not letting me to grep any pattern .

1. I want to remove this Symbol : ^L

Thanks in advance.

Basha G
Old 09-12-2012, 08:29 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to LinuxQuestions!

Ctrl-L is a hidden control character that stats for Form Feed or New Paper sheet. You can find it in the ASCII table at position 12, or better:
Dec  Hex  Oct  Char  Description
12   C    014  FF    NP Form Feed, new page
You can reproduce it in a terminal using this sequence of keystrokes
Ctrl-V Ctrl-L
where the first Ctrl-V summons the shell to display a control character. To remove it from a text file, you can either use this sequence of keystrokes or his octal/hex/decimal code taken from the ASCII table.

For example using sed you can do something like this (by typing Ctrl-V and Ctrl-L):
sed 's/^L//' file
or by means of the octal code:
sed 's/\o14//' file
Take in mind that to actually change the content of a file using sed, you have to use the -i option. Without -i the output is sent to the terminal (standard output) which is useful for testing the command until it gives the desired result. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
David the H.
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To be more specific, ^L is the caret notation for that non-printing ascii character.

tr is usually the most efficient solution for simple character removal jobs, although you have to work through at temporary file to do it.

tr -d '\014' <infile.txt >outfile.txt


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