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5.1 The print Statement

Use the print statement to produce output with simple, standardized formatting. You specify only the strings or numbers to print, in a list separated by commas. They are output, separated by single spaces, followed by a newline. The statement looks like this:

print item1, item2, …

The entire list of items may be optionally enclosed in parentheses. The parentheses are necessary if any of the item expressions uses the ‘>’ relational operator; otherwise it could be confused with an output redirection (see Redirection).

The items to print can be constant strings or numbers, fields of the current record (such as $1), variables, or any awk expression. Numeric values are converted to strings and then printed.

The simple statement ‘print’ with no items is equivalent to ‘print $0’: it prints the entire current record. To print a blank line, use ‘print ""’. To print a fixed piece of text, use a string constant, such as "Don't Panic", as one item. If you forget to use the double-quote characters, your text is taken as an awk expression, and you will probably get an error. Keep in mind that a space is printed between any two items.

Note that the print statement is a statement and not an expression—you can’t use it in the pattern part of a pattern–action statement, for example.