4.3 fold: Wrap input lines to fit in specified width

fold writes each file (- means standard input), or standard input if none are given, to standard output, breaking long lines. Synopsis:

fold [option]… [file]…

By default, fold breaks lines wider than 80 columns. The output is split into as many lines as necessary.

fold counts screen columns by default; thus, a tab may count more than one column, backspace decreases the column count, and carriage return sets the column to zero.

The program accepts the following options. Also see Common options.


Count bytes rather than columns, so that tabs, backspaces, and carriage returns are each counted as taking up one column, just like other characters.


Break at word boundaries: the line is broken after the last blank before the maximum line length. If the line contains no such blanks, the line is broken at the maximum line length as usual.

-w width

Use a maximum line length of width columns instead of 80.

For compatibility fold supports an obsolete option syntax -width. New scripts should use -w width instead.

An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value indicates failure.