The "cut" utility follows the basic syntax shown below:
cut -c[character_position] filelist
cut -f[fields] -d[field separator] filelist
Consider the cut operation applied to the password file in which we direct the utility to return the 3rd field as delimited by the colon character.
|-c[character_position]||Specifies the character positions to cut out. It can be a comma delimited list, a dash specified range, or both such as 1,2,3 6-10,18|
|-f[fields]||Specifies the fields that should be cut out provided you also specify a delimiter. this does not work with the -c option and vice versa.|
|-d[delimiter]||The character that delimits fields|
|-s||Specifies that if the specified delimiter does not appear in the line, that the line should not be included im the cut.|
Below are some more examples of using cut. Notice that by default cut expects a tab character or space as a delimiter so no delimiter need be specified if your file is already delimited by a space character or tab.