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New Line Character search in a text file

How can I highlight a "new line" characters in a text file? Is there a tool I could use to search and replace '\n' so that I can process data.
2 Solutions
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
\n = 0x0a

a text editor will not display it, you will need a binary editor.

You could use notepad ++ to change the format from msdos <> unix format.

What do you want to change the \n to ?

You could make a simple C program to do the change for you.
mohammadzahidAuthor Commented:
Thanks for providing a solution. '\n' appear in a data file that is in text format. When I moved the file to a linux server from a windows workstation, error occured in Python script that processes the file and performs data calculation.

I will examine the file tomorrow morning using Notepad++. Will update this thread soon. Does Notepad++ have search and replace function? Thanks again.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
just need to open it in one format and save it in the desired format.
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I asssume that with "new line" you mean "carriage return" (\r) instead of "line feed" (\n).

Line feed (\n) is the standard line break character on Linux and must stay in place if you want to have "lines" in your text file.

If I'm right with the above assumption -  to remove "\r" from the line ends just do (on Linux):

CR=$(printf "\r")
sed "s/$CR\$//" file.txt > file.unix.txt

Or, to change in place:

CR=$(printf "\r")
sed -i "s/$CR\$//" file.txt

By the way, if you used FTP to transfer the file to Linux it would have been sufficient to use "binary" transfer mode.

And "cat -v file.txt" will show CR ("\r") characters as "^M", no need for a hex editor here.

If you really want to remove "\n" (for what reasons ever) just replace "\r" with "\n" in the respective "printf" statement above.

Finally, if you want to replace "\r" or "\n" with something else throughout the whole file:

OLD=$(printf "\r")
NEW=$(printf "replacement_character")

sed "s/$OLD/$NEW/g" file.txt > file.new.txt
sed -i "s/$OLD/$NEW/g" file.txt
And you could check wether the "dos2unix" command exists on your linux box and gives the desired result

dos2unix yourfile newfile

By the way, if you used FTP to transfer the file to Linux it would have been sufficient to use "binary" transfer mode.

i guess it is is just a typo, but actually, you'd need ascii if you wanted the line endings to be converted


on most unix boxes, the more command will display "^M" if i recollect properly when it sees a "\r"


if dos2unix is not available, you may find tofrodos instead

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