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I have a file (example below).  Some lines have five fields, where the fifth field is a number.  But a few lines in the file have only four fields.

How can we remove these lines with only four fields?  They are not aligned by columns.

delay  from  threshold/temp/atp/CK   rx/tx/sx/C14/CLR/DQ  5.0
delay  from  threshold2   rx/C10/CLR  7.0
delay  to    threshold10  rx10  3.0
delay  from  min/max/values/atp  tx/rx/mx/T13/CLR
delay  to  min5/atp2  tx/mx/P11/CTR

In the above example I want to remove the fourth and fifth lines.

I tried awk -F\| '$5~/\w/' file, but it did not help.

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  • Specifying a file separator of '|' (assuming it was quoted) means all your lines have one field, because there are no separators. And if $5 contains a decimal point, it does not match \w (a word). But that test is reversed anyway. – Paul_Pedant Jul 13 '20 at 20:12
  • Also \w is a non-POSIX extension shorthand for [[:alnum:]_] that'll only work in some awks. – Ed Morton Jul 13 '20 at 23:46
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awk '$5~/\w/' does work for me. It prints all lines where the fifth column matches the regex \w aka [a-zA-Z0-9_]. Make sure to specify the correct delimiter with the -F option.

awk 'NF>4' expresses your intention more clearly. It prints all lines whose Number of Fields is greater than 4.

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  • Thanks a lot, awk 'NF>4' this works for my requirement – Partha Jul 13 '20 at 20:55

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