shell function to underline a given string.

underline() { echo $1; for (( i=0; $i<${#1}; i=$i+1)); do printf "${2:-=}"; done; printf "\n"; }
underline() will print $1, followed by a series of '=' characters the width of $1. An optional second argument can be used to replace '=' with a given character. This function is useful for breaking lots of data emitted in a for loop into sections which are easier to parse visually. Let's say that 'xxxx' is a very common pattern occurring in a group of CSV files. You could run grep xxxx *.csv This would print the name of each csv file before each matching line, but the output would be hard to parse visually. for i in *.csv; do printf "\n"; underline $i; grep "xxxx" $i; done Will break the output into sections separated by the name of the file, underlined.
Sample Output
$ underline 'Underline me!'
Underline me!

$ underline 'Underline me with dashes!' '-'
Underline me with dashes!

By: bartonski
2010-02-26 05:46:49

What Others Think

underline() { echo $1; echo "${1//?/${2:-=}}";} or underline() { echo -e "$1\n${1//?/${2:-=}}";}
mitry · 650 weeks and 4 days ago
Nice. I actually thought of this, but couldn't get the substitution to work (now that I re-read the man page, I see that I missed 'If pattern begins with /, all matches of pattern are replaced with string'. I got flummoxed when I found that bash wasn't using a regex match, and stopped reading the man page carefully). I thought I might be able to shave off an extra character by using underline() { printf "$1\n${1//?/${2:-=}}";} but this doesn't put a newline after the underline... ah. I see... that's 'echo -e' which interprets '\n' not 'echo -n' which removes the trailing new line. Thus I could use underline() { printf "$1\n${1//?/${2:-=}}\n";} but I'd be a stroke over par.
bartonski · 650 weeks and 4 days ago
or using escape sequences underline() { echo -e "\E[4m$1\E[0m" } you can colour it too then...
quigybo · 650 weeks and 4 days ago ??? ? ????? ????
seofox · 27 weeks and 6 days ago
seofox · 27 weeks ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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