Find Lines with 80+ Columns in Multiple Files

linux, programming

It’s nice to follow the 80-columns-per-line rule1, but what if you have some lingering project that has yet to conform?

Just go to that project’s sources directory and do

find . -type f -exec sh -c "expand -t 8 {} | grep -n \".\{81\}\"" \; -print


The call to expand is necessary because different people use different widths for tabs. That is, we are trying to find files with 80+ columns (as they appear to humans), not 80+ characters (as they appear to the computer).

  1. See the Linux Kernel Coding Style, “Chapter 2: Breaking long lines and strings”.