FMT(1)                                                     FMT(1)

NAME
       fmt - simple optimal text formatter

SYNOPSIS
       fmt  [-cstu] [-width] [-w width] [-p prefix] [--crown-mar-
       gin] [--split-only] [--tagged-paragraph]  [--uniform-spac-
       ing]  [--width=width]  [--prefix=prefix]  [--help] [--ver-
       sion] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION
       This manual page documents the GNU version of fmt.  fmt is
       a simple text formatter that fills and joins lines to pro-
       duce output lines of (up to) the specified width  (default
       75).  However fmt uses a best-fit line breaking algorithm,
       by a simple version of "Breaking Paragraphs  into  Lines",
       Donald  E.  Knuth and Michael F. Plass, Software--Practice
       and Experience 11 (1981) 1119-1184.

       fmt concatenates the files listed as arguments.   If  none
       are given, fmt formats text from the standard input.

       Blank lines are preserved in the output, as is the spacing
       between words (unless -u is used).   In  contrast  to  BSD
       fmt,  tabs are expanded on input and re-introduced on out-
       put.

       Indentation is preserved in the output,  and  input  lines
       with differing indentation are not joined (unless -c or -t
       is used).  Note that although  the  BSD  fmt  manual  also
       states  this,  the BSD version does in fact join following
       lines with less indentation.

       fmt prefers breaking lines at the end of a  sentence,  and
       tries  to avoid line breaks after the first word of a sen-
       tence or before the last word of a sentence.   A  sentence
       break  is  defined  as  either the end of a paragraph or a
       word ending in [.?!], followed by two  spaces  or  end  of
       line, ignoring any intervening parentheses or quotes.

   OPTIONS
       -c, --crown-margin
              Crown margin mode.  Preserve the indentation of the
              first two lines within a paragraph, and  align  the
              left  margin  of  each subsequent line with that of
              the second line.

       -t, --tagged-paragraph
              Tagged paragraph mode: just like crown mode, except
              that  the  indentation of the first line of a para-
              graph must be different from the indentation of the
              second.   Otherwise  the first line is treated as a
              one-line paragraph.

       -s, --split-only
              Split lines only.  Do not join short lines to  form
              longer  ones.   This prevents sample lines of code,
              and other such "formatted" text, from being  unduly
              combined.

       -u, --uniform-spacing
              Uniform  spacing.   Reduce spacing between words to
              one space, except at the end  of  a  sentence  (two
              spaces).

       -width, -w width, --width=width
              Fill  output  lines to up to width columns (default
              75).  fmt prefers to make lines about  7%  shorter,
              to give it room to balance line lengths.

       -p, --prefix=prefix
              Only lines beginning with the prefix (possibly pre-
              ceded by white space) are re-arranged;  the  prefix
              (with  any  preceding  white space) is stripped for
              the formatting and re-attached  to  each  formatted
              output line.  One use is to format certain kinds of
              program comments, while leaving the code unchanged.

       --help Print  a  usage message and exit with a status code
              indicating success.

       --version
              Print version information on standard  output  then
              exit.

FSF                     GNU Text Utilities                      1