erasewchar - Linux


erasewchar deletes a character from a file at the specified offset, effectively emptying the byte at that location. This tool is particularly useful for removing non-printable or invalid characters that may interfere with data processing.


erasewchar [options] <file> <offset>

Required Arguments:

  • : The file to operate on.
  • : The zero-based byte offset from the start of the file where the character should be deleted.


  • -f: Force operation without prompting for confirmation.
  • -q: Suppress all warnings and error messages.
  • -h: Display help and usage information.
  • -v: Enable verbose output, providing detailed information about the operation.


Simple Deletion:

erasewchar test.txt 10

This command will delete the character at offset 10 in the file test.txt.

Batch Deletion:

for file in *.log; do erasewchar -f "$file" 5; done

This script will delete the character at offset 5 in all files with the .log extension in the current directory.

Ignoring Prompt:

erasewchar -f test.txt 100

This command will delete the character at offset 100 in test.txt without prompting for confirmation.

Common Issues

  • Invalid Offset: If the specified offset is beyond the end of the file, the command will fail.
  • File Permissions: Ensure you have write permissions for the specified file.
  • Non-Empty Byte: If the byte at the offset is already empty, the command will do nothing.


Character Replacement:

erasewchar example.txt 25
dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 bs=1 seek=25 of=example.txt

This combination deletes the character at offset 25 and then overwrites it with a random character.

Concatenating Files:

erasewchar file1.txt 100
cat file1.txt file2.txt > newfile.txt

This command merges file1.txt and file2.txt while removing the character at offset 100 from file1.txt.

Related Commands

  • truncate: Truncates a file to a specified length.
  • od: Displays a file’s contents in various formats, including byte values.
  • hexedit: Provides a graphical editor for modifying files at the byte level.