use echo

Posted on 1998-10-01
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
This is probably a very stupid question but how do you use echo to print multiple carriage returns, without retyping
over and over again.
Question by:platiumstar
LVL 84

Expert Comment

ID: 2007160
echo "\n\n\n"


Expert Comment

ID: 2007161
ozo should get the points for this one.
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 2007162
ozo's answer might work in some cases.
But unfortunately most shells have their own implementation of
echo (shell built-in), and this is, --to make make things more
crazy-- different on several platforms.

/bin/echo "\n\n\n"

If you have HP-UX and you're using csh, try to find mcsh on your
should work anywhere.
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Author Comment

ID: 2007163
that's what I thought, echo "\n\n\n".
but it doesn't work, I tried to get into all the shell's we have but none of them will work.I tried tcsh, csh, sh(bourne shell),
but none of them will work. is there any reason why? I also checked the environmental variables but nothing sets echo.

LVL 84

Expert Comment

ID: 2007164
What does echo "\n\n\n" do for you?
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 2007165
as I said: this is one of the deep secrets (for all those people
who didn't know them;-))

Search for a external program echo:
  find / -name echo -print

Then try following:

   echo "\n\n"
   \echo "\n\n"
   /path/reported/by/find-command/above/echo "\n\n"

you may try it in different shells (sh first).

Expert Comment

ID: 2007166
If you are trying to print lots of text, you could always use a 'here document' instead of echo, thus:

line 1
line 2
line 3

This way you are only using one command, and it is also easier to see how it would be spaced on the screen.

Accepted Solution

davidmwilliams earned 50 total points
ID: 2007167
 Use the -n option to echo - though, note the built-in ksh echo does not have this option, and on certain systems sh may not either, but csh does.  In any case, you will undoubtedly have a binary version of echo that you can use, which supports -n, that is not a shell built-in.
  -n allows you to make up a multi-line echo statement, like this -

echo -n "

   Hi there


and then you will get that entire message, including all the blank lines, echoed out.  This works fine in a shell script, or directly on the command line.

 David Williams

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