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Grep Words From a File

Q. How do I grep words from a text file under UNIX / Linux / BSD operating systems?

A. grep is a command line text search utility originally written for Unix / Linux / Windows and Mac OS X. You need to use this tool to grep words from a text file.

Find words from a file

To find word from a file use following syntax:
grep “word” {filename}
Find word Orange in the file called data.txt:
$ grep "orange" data.txt
Grep prints all lines containing ‘orange’ from the file data.txt, regardless of word boundaries; therefore lines containing ‘orangeade’ or ‘oranges’ are also printed.

Grep Words Form the File

To print all lines containing ‘orange ‘ as a word (‘orangeade’ and ‘oranges’ will not match):
$ grep -w orange data.txt

Ignore case distinctions with grep

The grep command is case sensitive by default, so this example’s output does not include lines containing ‘Orange’ (with a capital O) unless they also contain ‘orange’. To perform ignore case distinctions use the -i option:
$ grep -i orange data.txt
You can combine all options together to find only ‘orange ‘ as a word with no case distinctions:
$ grep -wi orange data.txt

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • ravi October 29, 2015, 10:14 am

    How Can I grep only the word ( instead of complete line)?

    • kamlesh June 23, 2016, 10:38 am

      grep -wo “word” file_name

  • Monica November 2, 2015, 4:40 am

    Hello Ravi,
    you can use this command to get only word
    $ grep -io “word” filename

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