Ben E. C. Boyter's Blog

Grep Match a Tab (116 words)

Ever wanted to match a tab while using grep for some reason? The trick (under bash anyway) is to Ctrl+V and then press the tab key so you get whatever you are looking for.

$ cat file_to_grep.txt | grep "^log    "

I was trying to match a file for the exact match of log and then a tab. Without the tab I ended up getting back a bunch of junk results like “logger” “logging” “login” etc…

The above gives me what I want although I suspect there is a better way to do this. I did look into using [[:space:]] but it matches spaces as well which ended up in my case not being accurate enough.