I have a file which contains below data

7[label = "ScanStep: T_b0\n(T.a = 1)\na\nb\nc\nd\ne\ndob\ntimestamp1\nUnc: Integer(8)\nUnc: Integer(8)\nUnc: Varchar(80)\nUnc: Numeric(10,2)\nUnc: Varbinary(80)\nUnc: Date(8)\nUnc: Timestamp(8)", color = "brown", shape = "box"];

7[label = "ScanStep: cde_b1\nBuddies: (cde_b1, cde_b0, cde_b2)\n(public.cde.newcol = \'013\')\nssn\nnewcol\nmasked_ssn\nUnc: Numeric(10,2)\nUnc: Varbinary(80)\nUnc: Date(8)\nUnc: Timestamp(8)", color = "brown", shape = "box"];

there are multiple such entries.

I need to print only those entries which comes after "\n(" and before ")\n".

I have tried with awk but unable to provide delimiter.

awk -F "\\n\\\\(" '{print $1}' unset

prints whole line of the file

awk -F "\\n\\(" '{print $1}' unset

prints awk: warning: escape sequence \(' treated as plain(' awk: fatal: Unmatched ( or (: / (/


2 Answers 2


You can accomplish this with sed like so:

sed -e 's,\\n(.*,,' unset

or with awk you have to do a lot of escaping

awk -F'\\\\n\\(' '{print $1}' unset

to get the right escaping for both the \ before the n and to protect against the special interpretation of the (

  • Thanks Eric. It worked and m using this one as awk is bit fast as compare to sed and other stuffs.
    – anurag
    Jun 24, 2016 at 3:21

I used a combination of grep and sed to accomplish your goal of after \n( and before )\n

grep -o '\\n(.*)\\n' test.txt|sed -e 's/\\n//g'

Sample output

(T.a = 1)
(public.cde.newcol = \'013\')

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