The Unix "cut" command

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$ cat /etc/passwd
root:!:0:0:Super User:/:/bin/ksh 
Jasper:!:200:1:System Administor:/home/jasper:/bin/ksh 
$ cut -d : -f 1,5 /etc/passwd
root:Super User 
Jasper:System Administrator 
$ cut -c 1-6 /etc/passwd


cut [-b] [-c] [-f list] [-n] [-d delim] [-s] [file]

Flags which may be used include

Bytes; a list following -b specifies a range of bytes which will be returned, e.g. cut -b1-66 would return the first 66 bytes of a line. NB If used in conjunction with -n, no multi-byte characters will be split. NNB. -b will only work on input lines of less than 1023 bytes
Characters; a list following -c specifies a range of characters which will be returned, e.g. cut -c1-66 would return the first 66 characters of a line
Specifies a field list, separated by a delimiter
A comma separated or blank separated list of integer denoted fields, incrementally ordered. The - indicator may be supplied as shorthand to allow inclusion of ranges of fields e.g. 4-6 for ranges 4–6 or 5- as shorthand for field 5 to the end, etc.
Used in combination with -b suppresses splits of multi-byte characters
Delimiter; the character immediately following the -d option is the field delimiter for use in conjunction with the -f option; the default delimiter is tab. Space and other characters with special meanings within the context of the shell in use must be enquoted or escaped as necessary.
Bypasses lines which contain no field delimiters when -f is specified, unless otherwise indicated.
The file (and accompanying path if necessary) to process as input. If no file is specified then standard input will be used.