Using grep to extract x characters of text after a predictable pattern
March 15, 2013 3:39 AM Subscribe
I'm trying to work out how to use something like grep or sed or awk (or maybe even some Perl) to extract a string of characters which appears in a predictable place in a series of text files. Help/advice/tutorials very welcome!
posted by infinitejones to computers & internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have a number of text files in a Google Drive folder, which gets replicated on my Mac, and a new one gets added every day. The files are plain text and they aren't structured formally (as in, they're not XML or anything) but they each contain a certain string ("Total Portfolio Value") which is always followed by a space, followed by "$xx,xxx.xx", followed by five more spaces. The value of $xx,xxx.xx changes every day, and that's what I'm trying to extract, to put into a separate file.
I can use Automator to check whenever a new file appears and run a shell script on the file, so I'm trying to work out what goes in the shell script.
As much as anything else I'm using this as a practical exercise to teach myself a bit about text processing using grep/sed/awk, Perl and regular expressions (any/all of the above!) so just a few pointers about the best approach the contents of the shell script would be great!