DragonFly On-Line Manual Pages
WC(1) DragonFly General Commands Manual WC(1)
wc -- word, line, character, and byte count
wc [-Lclmw] [file ...]
The wc utility displays the number of lines, words, and bytes contained
in each input file, or standard input (if no file is specified) to the
standard output. A line is defined as a string of characters delimited
by a <newline> character. Characters beyond the final <newline>
character will not be included in the line count.
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:
-L The number of characters in the longest input line is written to
the standard output. When more than one file argument is
specified, the longest input line of all files is reported as the
value of the final ``total''.
-c The number of bytes in each input file is written to the standard
output. This will cancel out any prior usage of the -m option.
-l The number of lines in each input file is written to the standard
-m The number of characters in each input file is written to the
standard output. If the current locale does not support
multibyte characters, this is equivalent to the -c option. This
will cancel out any prior usage of the -c option.
-w The number of words in each input file is written to the standard
When an option is specified, wc only reports the information requested by
that option. The order of output always takes the form of line, word,
byte, and file name. The default action is equivalent to specifying the
-c, -l and -w options.
If no files are specified, the standard input is used and no file name is
displayed. The prompt will accept input until receiving EOF, or [^D] in
The LANG, LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE environment variables affect the execution
of wc as described in environ(7).
The wc utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
Count the number of characters, words and lines in each of the files
report1 and report2 as well as the totals for both:
wc -mlw report1 report2
Find the longest line in a list of files:
wc -L file1 file2 file3 | fgrep total
Historically, the wc utility was documented to define a word as a
``maximal string of characters delimited by <space>, <tab> or <newline>
characters''. The implementation, however, did not handle non-printing
characters correctly so that `` ^D^E '' counted as 6 spaces, while
``foo^D^Ebar'' counted as 8 characters. 4BSD systems after 4.3BSD
modified 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 DragonFly extension, compatible with the
-L option of the GNU wc utility.
The wc utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'').
A wc command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
DragonFly 4.3 January 10, 2016 DragonFly 4.3