The following is the text I want to parse with sed (Mac OS X 10.11.1 bash)

00:25:43,959 --> 00:25:46,502
Here you are, sir.
Main level, please.

I can delete the first line with sed -e 's/[0-9]//'.

But with sed -e 's/^[0-9]//', the first line, i.e. 1 remains there. Since 1 is at the beginning of the first line, shouldn't it be deleted?

head -n1 2001.srt | od -c

0000000  357 273 277   1  \n

Just created a new text file starting with "1". head -n1 2002.srt | od -c

0000000    1  \n

sed -e 's/^[0-9]//' works for this newly created file.

Yes, there's something before "1".

  • 2
    It is probably not at the beginning. Most likely you have a non-printing character there. Please edit your question and post the output of head -n1 file | od -c. – terdon Nov 21 '15 at 12:14
  • In addition to @terdon, you can also say you have proven with sed -e 's/^[0-9]//' that 1 is not the first character. – CousinCocaine Nov 21 '15 at 12:56

Your file starts with a UTF-8 byte order mark. It is unicode symbol U+FEFF which is encoded as three bytes in UTF-8. Those three bytes show up as 357 273 277 when you print them in base 8.

To the sed command those bytes at the start of the line means that 1 is in fact not the first character on that line. Many other tools will treat it the same way.

You need to remove the BOM before doing other processing in order to get a useful result. For instance you could start your sed script with s/^\xef\xbb\xbf// to remove the BOM. Your full command would then become

sed -e 's/^\xef\xbb\xbf//;s/^[0-9]//'

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