wc — print newline, word, and byte counts for each file


wc [OPTION...] [FILE...]

wc [OPTION...] −−files0−from=F


Print newline, word, and byte counts for each FILE, and a total line if more than one FILE is specified. With no FILE, or when FILE is −, read standard input. A word is a non−zero−length sequence of characters delimited by white space. The options below may be used to select which counts are printed, always in the following order: newline, word, character, byte, maximum line length.

−c, −−bytes

print the byte counts

−m, −−chars

print the character counts

−l, −−lines

print the newline counts


read input from the files specified by NUL−terminated names in file F; If F is − then read names from standard input

−L, −−max−line−length

print the length of the longest line

−w, −−words

print the word counts


display this help and exit


output version information and exit


Written by Paul Rubin and David MacKenzie.


Report wc bugs to bug−

GNU coreutils home page: <>

General help using GNU software: <>

Report wc translation bugs to <>


The full documentation for wc is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and wc programs are properly installed at your site, the command

  • info coreutils 'wc invocation'

should give you access to the complete manual.


Copyright © 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.