I want to do a line-by-line comparison of values in, say, column 6 of two files, and then echo the lines and their full contents, piping them into a combined file, say the line from one file and then the line from the next file immediately under it, all separated by a spacer line , when the absolute value of the difference in the values in column 6 from the two files is less than some small maximum value, such as < 0.001. I would not echo or print out all the other lines where the absolute value of the difference in the column 6 values is greater than 0.001, for example, but instead, only the cases where it is < 0.001. How would I do that?

  • Some input/output would be much nicer than a large wall of text :) Dec 5 '14 at 21:51
awk '
  function abs(v) {
    return (v < 0 ? -v : v)
  {l1=$0; f6_1=$6; getline < "file2"; l2=$0; f6_2=$6}
  abs(f6_1 - f6_2) < 0.001 {print l1 "\n" l2 "\n"}' file1

I would pre-process with paste to interleave the lines and then feed to awk

paste -d '\n' file1 file2 |
awk -v threshold=0.001 'NR % 2 {a=$6; b=$0; next};
$6 - a > -threshold && $6 - a  <threshold {print b; print ""; print $0}'

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