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This type of join is clearly documented in the bash manual. Only the first character of IFS is used for the delimiter.
Join command combines lines from two files based on a common field.
Given some images (jpg or other supported formats) in input, you obtain a single PDF file with an image for every page.
Use this BASH trick to create a variable containing the TAB character and pass it as the argument to sort, join, cut and other commands which don't understand the \t notation.
sort -t $'\t' ...
join -t $'\t' ...
cut -d $'\t' ...
Merge files, joining line by line horizontally.
Very useful when you have a lot of files where each line represents an info about an event and you want to join them into a single file where each line has all the info about the same event
See the example for a better understanding