Marjer Marjer - 4 months ago 16x
Bash Question

Remove Leading and trailing space in field in awk

I'm trying to remove leading and trailing space in 2nd column of the below


Name, Order  

Trim, working


i have used the below
to remove leading and trailing space in 2nd column but the awk is not working. What am I missing?

awk -F, '{$2=$2};1' input.txt

This gives the output as:

Name, Order  

Trim, working


Leading and trailing spaces are not removed.


If you want to trim all spaces, only in lines that have a comma, and use awk, then the following will work for you:

awk -F, '/,/{gsub(/ /, "", $0); print} ' input.txt

If you only want to remove spaces in the second column, change the expression to

awk -F, '/,/{gsub(/ /, "", $2); print$1","$2} ' input.txt

Note that gsub substitutes the character in // with the second expression, in the variable that is the third parameter - and does so in-place - in other words, when it's done, the $0 (or $2) has been modified.

Full explanation:

-F,            use comma as field separator 
               (so the thing before the first comma is $1, etc)
/,/            operate only on lines with a comma 
               (this means empty lines are skipped)
gsub(a,b,c)    match the regular expression a, replace it with b, 
               and do all this with the contents of c
print$1","$2   print the contents of field 1, a comma, then field 2
input.txt      use input.txt as the source of lines to process

EDIT I want to point out that @BMW's solution is better, as it actually trims only leading and trailing spaces with two successive gsub commands. Whilst giving credit I will give an explanation of how it works.

gsub(/^[ \t]+/,"",$2);    - starting at the beginning (^) replace all (+ = zero or more, greedy)
                             consecutive tabs and spaces with an empty string
gsub(/[ \t]+$/,"",$2)}    - do the same, but now for all space up to the end of string ($)
1                         - ="true". Shorthand for "use default action", which is print $0
                          - that is, print the entire (modified) line