I have several files with two columns : file 1:

1 100
2 103 

file 2

1 200
2 203

and around 600 such files with two columns.

Now, I would like to combine the second column in every file of the first row in the correct sequence to get a single data file like :

. (600 lines)

How do I do that?

  • 1
    Are the files named in such a way that a filename globbing pattern would list them in the correct sequence?
    – Kusalananda
    Mar 30, 2019 at 10:49

2 Answers 2

awk 'FNR==1 {print $2}' file*

This prints the second column ($2) of the first line (FNR==1) for every file whose filename starts with file.

An alternative is to print the first line and then immediately skip to the next file (nextfile is a mawk and GNU awk-specific keyword):

awk '{print $2; nextfile}' file*

Best answer has been given above. Tried with below command

for i in file1 file2; do awk 'NR==1{print $2}' $i; done
  • I'd suggest at least using a wildcard for the for loop, as the OP indicated "around 600 such files" -- so that they don't have to type out each one. Also quote $i as "$i" when you refer to it, otherwise your solution will break on files named, for example: file number 5.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Mar 31, 2019 at 13:46

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