expand, unexpand - expand tabs to spaces, and vice versa
Syntaxexpand [-tabstop] [-tabn...] [file...]
unexpand [-a] [file...]
The command processes the named files or the standard input writing the
standard output with tabs changed into blanks. Backspace characters
are preserved into the output and decrement the column count for tab
calculations. The command is useful for pre-processing character files
(before sorting, looking at specific columns, and so forth) that con‐
If a single tabstop argument is given then tabs are set tabstop spaces
apart instead of the default 8. If multiple tabstops are given then
the tabs are set at those specific columns.
The command puts tabs back into the data from the standard input or the
named files and writes the result on the standard output. By default
only leading blanks and tabs are reconverted to maximal strings of
tabs. If the -a option is given, then tabs are inserted whenever they
would compress the resultant file by replacing two or more characters.
-# Sets tabstops the specified number of spaces (#) apart.
-a When used with unexpand, compresses file by inserting tabs for two
or more spaces.