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5 Printing Output

One of the most common programming actions is to print, or output, some or all of the input. Use the print statement for simple output, and the printf statement for fancier formatting. The print statement is not limited when computing which values to print. However, with two exceptions, you cannot specify how to print them—how many columns, whether to use exponential notation or not, and so on. (For the exceptions, see Output Separators, and OFMT.) For printing with specifications, you need the printf statement (see Printf).

Besides basic and formatted printing, this chapter also covers I/O redirections to files and pipes, introduces the special file names that gawk processes internally, and discusses the close() built-in function.