File has control Z( ^Z) characters in them. I tried sed 's/^Z//g' file_name but not working. Even tried perl script but not removing them. Please let me know if there is way to remove this character.


The control character produced by Ctrl+Z is \032 in octal. This can be deleted by tr:

tr -d '\032' <file >newfile

This deletes the characters anywhere in the file and creates a new file called newfile with the modified contents.

Your sed command does not work as the expression ^Z would match a Z character at the start of the line. The ^ anchors the rest of the expression at the start of the line.

  • Note on calculating code for control characters. A is 1, B is 2 … Z is 26. – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 4 '18 at 8:54

You can match Ctrl+Z using \d plus the decimal code of the character (in this case 26).

sed 's/\d26//g' < file > newfile

A "posix" alternative (in bash) could be something like:

sed $( echo 's/@//g' | tr '@' '\032' ) < file > newfile

The tr will replace '@' in regex with the carachter Ctrl+Z (which code is 32 in octal).

  • Only with GNU sed though. – Kusalananda Jul 4 '18 at 8:42
  • @Kusalananda, are you sure? sed --posix 's/\d26//g' works. – andcoz Jul 4 '18 at 8:44
  • With any other sed implementation, s/\d26//g would delete all instances of the literal string d26. Using --posix does not disable extensions in GNU sed's regular expression library. – Kusalananda Jul 4 '18 at 8:47
  • Fascinating. @Kusalananda, you are right (as usual). – andcoz Jul 4 '18 at 10:04
  • The second solution use both sed and tr when tr is good enougth by itself: tr -d '\032' <file >newfile. – Isaac Jul 4 '18 at 16:08
$ sed 's/\^Z//g' filename

NOTE: Special characters should be escaped with '\'.

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