tr command in Unix/Linux with examples

The tr command in UNIX is a command line utility for translating or deleting characters. It supports a range of transformations including uppercase to lowercase, squeezing repeating characters, deleting specific characters and basic find and replace. It can be used with UNIX pipes to support more complex translation. tr stands for translate.

Syntax :

$ tr [OPTION] SET1 [SET2]

Options



-c : complements the set of characters in string.i.e., operations apply to characters not in the given set
-d : delete characters in the first set from the output.
-s : replaces repeated characters listed in the set1 with single occurrence
-t : truncates set1

Sample Commands

1. How to convert lower case to upper case
To convert from lower case to upper case the predefined sets in tr can be used.

$cat greekfile

Output:

WELCOME TO 
GeeksforGeeks
$cat greekfile | tr “[a-z]” “[A-Z]”

Output:

WELCOME TO
GEEKSFORGEEKS

or

$cat geekfile | tr “[:lower:]” “[:upper:]”

Output:

WELCOME TO
GEEKSFORGEEKS

2. How to translate white-space to tabs
The following command will translate all the white-space to tabs

$ echo "Welcome To GeeksforGeeks" | tr [:space:] '\t'

Output:

Welcome    To    GeeksforGeeks    

3. How to translate braces into parenthesis
You can also translate from and to a file. In this example we will translate braces in a file with parenthesis.


$cat greekfile

Output:

 {WELCOME TO} 
GeeksforGeeks
$ tr '{}' '()'   newfile.txt

Output:

(WELCOME TO) 
GeeksforGeeks

The above command will read each character from “geekfile.txt”, translate if it is a brace, and write the output in “newfile.txt”.

4. How to use squeeze repetition of characters using -s
To squeeze repeat occurrences of characters specified in a set use the -s option. This removes repeated instances of a character.
OR we can say that,you can convert multiple continuous spaces with a single space

$ echo "Welcome    To    GeeksforGeeks" | tr -s [:space:] ' '

Output:

Welcome To GeeksforGeeks

5. How to delete specified characters using -d option
To delete specific characters use the -d option.This option deletes characters in the first set specified.

$ echo "Welcome To GeeksforGeeks" | tr -d 'w'

Output:

elcome To GeeksforGeeks

6. To remove all the digits from the string, use

$ echo "my ID is 73535" | tr -d [:digit:]

Output:

my ID is

7. How to complement the sets using -c option
You can complement the SET1 using -c option. For example, to remove all characters except digits, you can use the following.

$ echo "my ID is 73535" | tr -cd [:digit:]

Output:

73535

This article is contributed by Shivani Ghughtyal. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

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Improved By : saurabhchauhan5