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How-to Cut With Multi-Character Delimiter

The “cut” command is great for splitting a string on a single character and extracting specific fields. But it will not work with multi-character delimiters. Here’s a simple replacement using awk that will get the job done. Let’s assume you have a string like:

We could extract the value of “arg3” using cut with:

But this assumes that there are always the same number of proceeding args:

Now lets do it with awk:

But what if the args are in different order? The we can use sed:


  • alb76

    Your cut example is messed up. The delimiter is “&” and the field is 3. Same for “=” and 2.