everyone. I am quite new with linux and I am learning a lot with all of you reading this site. I am into a bit of trouble with my accounting program and that's why I am recurring to you. I want to move my data from plain text to json, what I believe will give me better results and more flexibility.

I have a folder containing info in separated files. The files are like this:



I want to copy this info in new files where each line is a new json field. Something like this:


I am looking for a script to read the whole directory and build these new files: oldfile.json.

And after that I want to tab results of several of these files in different columns:

file1    field1    field2    field3   field4    field5    field6    field7
file2    field1    field2    field3   field4    field5    field6    field7
file3    field1    field2    field3   field4    field5    field6    field7
file4    field1    field2    field3   field4    field5    field6    field7
file5    field1    field2    field3   field4    field5    field6    field7

Thank you all for your time.

  • 1
    Where is 'Contado' coming from? Where does 'pago' go?
    – DopeGhoti
    Jun 8, 2017 at 18:17
  • what does mean to tab results of several of these files in context of converting to json ? Jun 8, 2017 at 21:24
  • Sorry, my mistake. 'Contado' is 'pago' now in output too. Jun 9, 2017 at 16:35

4 Answers 4


I would solve this using jq tool (a proper JSON parsing/manipulating tool):

for f in *; do
    jq -R -s 'rtrimstr("\n") | split("\n") | to_entries | reduce .[] as $o ({}; .["field" + ($o.key+1|tostring)] |= $o.value )' "$f" > "$f".json; 

  • -R(--raw-input) combined with -s(--slurp) - pass the entire input to the filter as a single long string
for file in *; do
    awk 'BEGIN { print "{" }  END { print "\n}" } { printf( "%s",newrec); printf( "\"field%d\": \"%s\"", NR, $0); newrec=",\n" }' "$file" > "${file}.json"

NR is the Number of Records (or lines) in the file that have been processed so far. It's 1 when working on line one, 2 on line two, and so forth.

$0 is the entire unmodified input record (or line).

If the names of the fields are the same, you can define an array (e. g. labels[]) in the BEGIN stanza, and then refer to them by index (e. g. labels[NR]).

  • It works great, only I don't understand a few thinks about your code. If you could explain what the , NR, $0 stand for ... And would it be possible to obtain the name of the fields from an array? That would be of great help to modify other files i want to transform into json. Jun 9, 2017 at 13:58

Answer to the second part - converting json files to table.

Usage: ./json_to_table.sh *.json


for i in "$@"; do
    file_content=$(sed -n 's/".*":"\(.*\)",\?/\1/p' "$i" | tr '\n' ' ')
    printf "%s %s\n" "$i" "$file_content"
done | column -t

If you don't need pretty table format, then you may remove | column -t part (in the bottom, after done). Then row's fields will be separated by one space, therefore, each will have own width. It is good for parsing by programs, like awk, sed, but inconvenient for humans reading.

Note: after each record in the json file, except last, should be comma. What I mean:

"field8":"310000", <- here
"field9":"si", <-here
"field10":"2017-06-05" <- not here. Last record without comma.
  • That's exactly what I was asking for. Thanks a lot. Jun 9, 2017 at 23:33
  • I changed the code a little bit, use this variant. In the previous variant could be a problem with comma inside the records (tr removes all commas in the text).
    – MiniMax
    Jun 10, 2017 at 10:29

So final script for the first part is:

for file in facturas/*; do
    awk 'BEGIN {
        split("fechae tpago ruc nfactura total iva10 iva5 iva0 archivado fechap",campos)
        print "{" 
    END {
        print "\n}" 
        printf( "%s",newrec)
        printf( "\"%s\":\"%s\"", campos[NR], $0)
    }' "$file" > "${file}.json"

And final result for second part:


for i in "$@"; do
    printf "%s " "$i"
    sed -n 's/".*":"\(.*\)"/\1/p' "$i" | tr ',\n' ' ' 
done | column -t

Thank you everyone for your interest.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .