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I have a problem in cleaning my file where there are unnecessary free spaces below my last data row. This is created when I am copying and pasting my data from excel to text. I want my text file to fit my data only. This will reduce the computational time when I am running my model. I just came to know the size of my file is big due to the unwanted free space below my last data row.

I want you help me how clean up the unwanted rows.

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awk '{l=l$0 RT};NF{printf "%s",l;l=""}' < your-file

Would remove the trailing blank lines.

If the file is big, you may want to read it from the end until you find the first non-blank line.

With GNU tools:

tac your-file | sed -ne '/[^[:blank:]]/!{p;d;}' -e q | wc -c

Would return the size of the empty lines at the end.

And you could use that to truncate the file.

For instance with bash:

find . -type f -name '*.txt' -print0 |
  while IFS= read -rd '' file; do
    n=$(tac "$file" | sed -ne '/[^[:blank:]]/!{p;d;}' -e q | wc -c)
    [ "$n" -eq 0 ] || truncate -r "$file" "-s-$n" "$file"
  done
  • Thank you. It is working, but I have lots of files to clean. Can you modify the code a little bit to direct the input files and store the output in to the same file while running the code? – AiB Sep 3 '13 at 18:58
  • My file names looks data_lat_long. All the files start with data_ and vary with the lat_long. – AiB Sep 3 '13 at 19:01

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