Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

EDIT: the files were changed to tsv to deal better with spaces in text fields

I have 2 csv files in the following form:

File 1: availableText.csv (can be very big)

"id1" , "text1-1"
"id1" , "text1-2"
"id1" , "text1-3"
"id1" , "text1-4"
"id2" , "text2-1"
"id2" , "text2-2"
"id2" , "text2-3"
"id2" , "text2-4"

File 2: wrongText.csv

"id1" , "texta"
"id2" , "textb"
"id3" , "textc"
"id4" , "textd"

For every line in wrongText.csv, I want to filter the available text entries for the same id and suggest the best available option using tre-agrep (a grep-like functions that allows error in the pattern and using -B returns the best match)

For example, for id1:

tre-agrep -B 'texta' (from text1-1:4) | tr "\n" "$"
( will produce something like 'text1-2$text1-4' )

The desired output file would be like this:

"id1" , "texta" , "text1-2$text1-4"
"id2" , "textb" , "text2-1$text2-3$text2-4"


  1. The CSV can be converted to any format, but text may contain spaces (but not special characters)
  2. IDs do contain both special characters and utf-8
  3. Speed does not matter (for now at least)
share|improve this question
Which output produces your tre-agrep command? – user unknown Apr 13 '11 at 17:26
tre-agrep command produces the following: text1-2$text1-4 – jimkont Apr 13 '11 at 18:08

As oneliner with result:

for pattern in $(awk '{print $3}' wrong.csv) ; do tre-agrep -B $pattern available.csv | tr "\n" "$"; echo ; done  
"id1" , "text1-1"$"id1" , "text1-2"$"id1" , "text1-3"$"id1" , "text1-4"$"id2" , "text2-1"$"id2" , "text2-2"$"id2" , "text2-3"$"id2" , "text2-4"$
"id1" , "text1-1"$"id1" , "text1-2"$"id1" , "text1-3"$"id1" , "text1-4"$"id2" , "text2-1"$"id2" , "text2-2"$"id2" , "text2-3"$"id2" , "text2-4"$
"id1" , "text1-1"$"id1" , "text1-2"$"id1" , "text1-3"$"id1" , "text1-4"$"id2" , "text2-1"$"id2" , "text2-2"$"id2" , "text2-3"$"id2" , "text2-4"$
"id1" , "text1-1"$"id1" , "text1-2"$"id1" , "text1-3"$"id1" , "text1-4"$"id2" , "text2-1"$"id2" , "text2-2"$"id2" , "text2-3"$"id2" , "text2-4"$

better readable:

for pattern in $(awk '{print $3}' wrong.csv) 
  tre-agrep -B $pattern available.csv | tr "\n" "$"

Something like that?

share|improve this answer
This didn't work but it inspired me to work it out this way. I'll post the solution later. I 'd vote your answer but I don't have enough reputation ;) – jimkont Apr 14 '11 at 6:38
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I changed the input files to tsv and used the following solution (inspired from 1st answer)

echo "" > wrong_variables.tmp  
while read line  
    var_template=`echo $line | cut -f2`  
    var_parameter=`echo $line | cut -f3`  

    #TODO order by template and cache grep output  
    grep "${var_template}" templ2.tmp  | cut -f2 > tmpfile  
    var_suggest=`tre-agrep -B "$var_parameter" tmpfile | tr "\n" "$"`  

    echo $line \\t $var_suggest >> wrong_variables.tmp
done < $OUTPUT_RAW
share|improve this answer
I haven't read your scripts in detail, but here are a few notes on coping with special characters. Set IFS='' and use read -r line to avoid skipping initial whitespace and interpreting backslashes. Always double quote variable substitutions ("$line") to keep whitespace and \[?* unchanged; and use printf %s "$line" rather than echo. But in fact you can extract tab-separated fields in the shell: tmp=${line#*␉}; var_template=${tmp%%␉*}; line=${tmp#*␉}; var_parameter=${tmp%%␉*} where ␉ is a tab. The last line in the loop should be printf '%s\t%s\n' "$line" "$var_suggest". – Gilles Apr 14 '11 at 21:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.