Text is everywhere but not always in a useful form. On any given day we encounter dozens or hundreds of data formats. Some formats are focused on presentation while others focus on structure at the expense of presentation. Many times the information we need has to be found, disentangled and manipulated before it is useful. The easier we can navigate across these boundaries, the more freedom we have to find new uses and insights.

Linux offers a rich array of commands and tools for text processing at the command line. This talk proposes a classification for different types of command line processing tasks and then explores some of the common tools available within each category. Many of these tools have a host of options. Some useful but lesser known options will be highlighted. The tools will then be applied to a number of examples covering data extraction, processing and presentation.


Joel Steres spends most of his time at the command prompt. He is still amazed at how small specialized building blocks can be combined to achieve big results.

Meetup Event Page