is there a way of usinf greo to find 3 or 4 blank lines?

Mak Kolybabi mak at
Sun Sep 6 20:44:14 UTC 2009

On 2009-09-05 17:36, Gary Kline wrote:
> in my manuscript, i have many places where i'ved used several newlines to
> indicate a jump in time, or topic, or mood, or <<whatever>>. i have lost these
> vertical spacing in all but my original draft. can i use grep somehow to find
> these extra newlines?
> if not grep, then sed, ed, or what?!

Sed has the ability to pull into the current line the next line, appended and
separated by a "\n" character. It's hard to use correctly, I've found, and my
simple demo:

sed -e '/^$/{N;N;N; s/^\n\n\n$/===4 blank lines==/; }'

Does not quite work as I'd hoped. But hopefully it's enough to get you started.

Matthew Anthony Kolybabi (Mak)
<mak at>

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