I have a text file with following content (Actual filecontains thousands of lines)


I want the output in the folloing format.

abcd xyas sasss jddks
asa sasa lkkkss asasd

How can i acheve this?

  • Always four words per line? Or is it more wrapped a set column of your file? – Drav Sloan Sep 11 '13 at 17:51

If you just want to join every 4 lines into one, you can do it with a recursive macro:



  • gg go to start of file
  • qaq clear any previously stored macro in register a
  • qa start recording a macro in register a
  • 4J join 4 lines into one
  • j go down one line
  • @a have the macro in register a call itself
  • q stop recording
  • @a call the macro in register a which will keep working on the file until it's done.

An alternative in Perl

perl -ni -e 'chomp;print $_, $.%4? " ":"\n"' your_file


  • The -l option for perl will eliminate the need for the chomp and the "\n". – jordanm Sep 11 '13 at 18:31
  • @jordanm How can it eliminate the "\n"? – Joseph R. Sep 11 '13 at 18:34
  • Why is the qaq step necessary? If you start recording to a small letter register, the previous content is automatically overwritten. – Marco Sep 11 '13 at 18:35
  • @Marco Any reference for that? – Joseph R. Sep 11 '13 at 18:36
  • @JosephR. Just try it: :let @a="foobar", then record a macro: qa6ddq and display the result: :echo @a6dd. If you record the macro as: qA6ddq then the commands are appended: :echo @afoobar6dd – Marco Sep 11 '13 at 18:48

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