I am trying to display all files which contain a specific word on more then three lines.

i.e. file:

Andrew is so nice, 
and Andrew want some ice,
but Andrew doesn't roll the dice.

So this file contains Andrew on more than three lines, so it will be displayed.

I used grep -or '\' but it list all files which contain "word" on at least 1 line.



  grep -c Andrew * | awk -F: '{if ($2 >=3) print $1}'

It works because grep -c prints "file:count" for each file, and -F: tells awk that the colon separates fields.


The following shell script may be useful:


if [ $# -ne 2 ];then
  echo "Usage: `basename $0` DIRECTORY STRING"
  exit 1

for file in $1/* ; do
    if [ `cat $file 2>/dev/null | grep -c $2` -ge 3 ]; then 
        echo $file

The script should be run with two arguments:

  • DIRECTORY - the directory where you want to search for files which contains a word on more then three lines

  • STRING - the word for seeking.

Or, in a single command for files from the current directory and the word "Andrew":

for file in *;do if [ `cat $file 2>/dev/null|grep -c Andrew` -ge 3 ];then echo $file;fi;done
  • 3
    Or more concisely: for f in ./*; do [[ $(grep -c Andrew "$f") -ge 3 ]] && echo "$f"; done – evilsoup Aug 22 '13 at 16:01

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