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Old 06-13-2008, 03:18 PM   #1
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Thumbs up How can I conserve the blanks when I assign to env variable?

Hi All,

I'm working on Compaq Computer Corporation Tru64 UNIX V5.1.

see I need store the result of this command in a env variable:
(please where you see "-" is blanks)

$ sed -n 3p file

this is my result:
$ line=`sed -n 3p file`
$ echo $line
0000311CDS 009384 0.00 0.00 0.00

I need conserve the blanks! but these are removed.

IMPORTANT NOTE!: I found the same frustation making this thread!
if i write consecutive blanks these are automatically removed after post, thats is why I replaced the " " by "-".

Could you please help me??
Thanks in advace!!!
Old 06-13-2008, 04:01 PM   #2
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Ignore what I said, the problem was in the quoting, not the field separator.

Last edited by osor; 06-13-2008 at 04:36 PM. Reason: Oops.
Old 06-13-2008, 04:07 PM   #3
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It is probably only removing the blanks when you print (echo), they should still be in the variable. Quoting it should solve the problem.

echo "$line"
Actually, it's not a bad idea to quote all variables in bash, including assignments, unless you explicitly want to word split (automatic word splitting is stupid behaviour IMO).
Old 06-13-2008, 04:11 PM   #4
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Two things are at play here. First, if you post your formated text in [CODE] tags, the formatting will be preserved.
Second, the spaces are kept intact when assigned to your variable. If, however, you pass the variable as an argument to a function or as a commandline argument, the shell will expand it into multiple whitespace-delimited arguments. If you want the variable to be used as a single argument, then enclose it in double quotes:
grep "$line" file
--- rod.
Old 06-17-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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Thanks guys!!!


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