WC(1)                   NetBSD General Commands Manual                   WC(1)

NAME
     wc -- word, line, and byte count

SYNOPSIS
     wc [-c | -m] [-Llw] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION
     The wc utility displays the number of lines, words, bytes and characters
     contained in each input file (or standard input, by default) to the stan-
     dard output.  A line is defined as a string of characters delimited by a
     <newline> character, and a word is defined as a string of characters
     delimited by white space characters.  White space characters are the set
     of characters for which the iswspace(3) function returns true.  If more
     than one input file is specified, a line of cumulative counts for all the
     files is displayed on a separate line after the output for the last file.

     The following options are available:

     -c      The number of bytes in each input file is written to the standard
             output.

     -L      The number of characters in the longest line of each input file
             is written to the standard output.

     -l      The number of lines in each input file is written to the standard
             output.

     -m      The number of characters in each input file is written to the
             standard output.

     -w      The number of words in each input file is written to the standard
             output.

     When an option is specified, wc only reports the information requested by
     that option.  The default action is equivalent to all the flags -clw hav-
     ing been specified.

     The following operands are available:

     file    A pathname of an input file.

     If no file names are specified, the standard input is used and no file
     name is displayed.

     By default, the standard output contains a line for each input file of
     the form:

           lines    words  bytes   file_name

EXIT STATUS
     The wc utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

SEE ALSO
     iswspace(3)

COMPATIBILITY
     Historically, the wc utility was documented to define a word as a ``maxi-
     mal string of characters delimited by <space>, <tab> or <newline> charac-
     ters''.  The implementation, however, didn't handle non-printing charac-
     ters correctly so that ``  ^D^E  '' counted as 6 spaces, while
     ``foo^D^Ebar'' counted as 8 characters.  4BSD systems after 4.3BSD modi-
     fied the implementation to be consistent with the documentation.  This
     implementation defines a ``word'' in terms of the iswspace(3) function,
     as required by IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'').

     The -L option is a non-standard extension, compatible with the -L option
     of the GNU and FreeBSD wc utilities.

STANDARDS
     The wc utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').

NetBSD 6.0                     February 18, 2010                    NetBSD 6.0

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