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Text :

 this *is the* string. 
 this word i want.

Output :

   this *is the* string
   this *is the* word i want

How can I copy "is the" from "this is the string" and paste it between "this word" using either the sed or awk command?

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It's easier to use awk for a solution to this kind of problem, and since you tagged the question with awk in addition to sed, here's an awk answer:

awk 'NR==1{data=$2 " " $3}NR==2{$2=data " " $2}{print}'

Missing from your question was guidance how to identify the items to copy, and how you want to identify the position to paste. So, in my answer I took the liberty of assuming you were scanning a first line for its second and third words, with intent to paste them after the first word of the second line.

  • thanks its working. actually i have multiple pair of the input text inside the file. do you know how to loop this awk command? so i can get the same output for other same line. – aweeey Feb 15 '18 at 5:36
  • If the answer is correct, please mark it as correct! If you have another question, you should really post a separate question. To answer your second question anyway, you don't need a "loop"; you can identify all odd lines in awk by replacing NR==1 with just NR%2 (that's a modulus 2 operation) and all even lines by replacing NR==2 with !NR%2. Also, I edited your question to make it more clear, so please also mark that accepted if it is correct. – user1404316 Feb 15 '18 at 5:47

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