I would like to apply some options of the column command of the util-linux to all my columns. I'm particularly interested in the --table-right, it works if a pass the number of the column. But I would like to pass a set and possibly even all.




I found that column doesn't raise any error when passing a range of columns (i.e., 1,2,3,4,etc.) that doesn't match the number of columns in the file. Therefore, it is possible to use seq to make a default range and then pass it to columns.

column -t -s , -o ",  " -R $(seq -s , 1 1 50) file.csv

I'm accepting the answer as I think my question can either be solved with a feature request, as suggested, or with seq as above here.

  • IMHO you should post your edit as an answer Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


This bit in the man page states:

       The argument columns for --table-* options is comma separated list of
       the column names as defined by --table-columns or it's column number
       in order as specified by input. It's possible to mix names and

to create a comma separated list of names and numbers. The man page does not list any shortcuts. You could try asking for a feature request on the github page.

And provides an example in the form of 2 options:

sed 's/#.*//' /etc/fstab | column --table --table-columns 

You will need to write them all out as a list of numbers or list of names.

Mind that "util-linux" is not installed in Ubuntu by default. We use "BSD mainutils". Ours has less options.

  • Thanks, you are right about the util-linux, I compiled it and didn't realize that this makes my question kind of misplaced here. I found that seq may solve my problems at the moment, but thanks for suggesting the feature request, I'll think about it.
    – Peruz
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 2:31

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