Delete text or paragraph between two sections using sed

by on January 15, 2007 · 10 comments· LAST UPDATED April 12, 2008

in , ,

Q. How do I use sed for selective deletion of certain lines? I have text as follows in file:
Line 1
Line 2
Line 4

I would like to delete all lines between WORD1 and WORD2 to produce final output:
Line 1
Line 2

A. For selective deletion of certain lines sed is the best tool. To print all of file EXCEPT section between WORD1 and WORD2 (2 regular expressions), use
$ sed '/WORD1/,/WORD2/d' input.txt > output.txt

Shell script to remove Javascript code

Here is my small script that reads all *.html files and removes javascript (script download link).

# for loop read each file
for f in $FILES
# replace javascript
sed '/<script type="text\/javascript"/,/<\/script>/d' $INF > $OUTF
/bin/cp $OUTF $INF
/bin/rm -f $OUTF

Above shell script removes all occurrence of javascript.

Tweet itFacebook itG+ itDownload PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sam November 27, 2007 at 9:44 am

but the command

sed -e ‘/word1/,/word2/d’ deletes the whole line in case the given text is like this :

unix word1 java word2

if the text between word1 and word2 only is to be deleted then this is not the solution. Can I get some help on this aspect…. thnks in advance


2 Johan January 8, 2008 at 10:22 am

How can i make the script to look in subfolders?


3 tannu September 6, 2008 at 1:06 am

How to delete following line from a xml file.
#vi package.xml
I tried sed -e ‘/drivers-3.6.1-${release}.${arch}.rpm /d’ /root/package.xml > /root/output.txt


4 Jasan April 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm

tannu: you can also use “grep -v”


5 Gnaural August 16, 2009 at 1:53 am

As for people asking Sam’s question (11.27.07), the problem is two fold. One, using sed’s pattern matching with the “d” (delete) clobbers whole lines, as you noted. The solution would seem to to use the “s” (substitute) form instead:
sed 's/WORD1.*WORD2//g' input.txt
BUT then you discover the larger problem: sed by default does all it’s processing one line at a time (e.g., it fills it’s processing buffer up to each ‘\n’ it encounters).
The formal approaches include using sed’s “hold space” and “pattern space” commands, N, H/h,G/g,x as hinted here:
I used that route in an email formatting script, but these days if i can get away with quick’n’dirty, i try to just strip all occurrences of ‘\n’ from the stream you give sed like this:
cat input.txt | tr -d '\n' | sed 's/WORD1.*WORD2//g'
No files i’ve worked on are big enough to blow sed’s buffer so far.


6 Lea January 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm

What if there are several occurrences of WORD2, but you only want to delete what is before WORD1 and the first WORD2? It seems that it chooses the last occurrence of WORD2 instead, how do I change that?


7 jaganath February 23, 2011 at 6:46 am

how can i a do electrisity bill in mysql


8 ahmed July 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Great , just what i wanted!!!


9 Anderson Venturini November 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Thanks! Very useful! Worked perfectly! Congrats!


10 Saeed Neamati April 15, 2012 at 7:15 am

How to find and remove all the JavaScript code in a given HTML text? I mean, consider that in this comment, I’ve written something like an alert, how do you find it, and remove it?


Leave a Comment

Tagged as: , , , , ,

Previous Faq:

Next Faq: