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Pluck columns from CSV files in the command line. Like cut or awk, but doesn't choke on delimiter escaping.

Project Description

Pluck columns from csv files in the commandline. Like cut or awk, but without choking on delimiter escaping.


pip install pluckr. Done.


Grab columns 2 and 3 from stdin (-f is one-indexed):

pluckr -f 2,3 < sample1.csv

Or straight from a file:

pluckr -f 2,1 sample1.csv

Your requested order is retained:

pluckr -f 1,2 sample1.csv != pluckr -f 2,1 sample1.csv

You can use Python’s negative indices… grab the first and last cols:

pluckr -f 1,-1 sample1.csv

And you can mix in ranges for column selection:

pluckr -f 2,4-6,9 sample1.csv

Can’t be sure which columns exist or what their indices are?

pluckr –names sample1.csv

Fields that don’t exist (e.g. -f11111) will be ignored.

Preprended line numbers can be helpful:

cat sample1.csv | pluckr –line-numbers

Skip header row(s):

cat sample1.csv | pluckr -s1

Grab all but the 2nd column (drop columns instead of selecting them):

pluckr -f 1 -i < sample2.csv

Read (and write) various delimiters:

pluckr -d, –out-delimiter=| < with-commas.csv > with-pipes.csv

Note that passing tabs as arguments can be awkward; in a pinch, use:

pluckr -d $’t’


Via –help:

usage: pluckr [-h] [-f FIELDS] [-i] [-d DELIMITER] [-q QUOTECHAR] [-s SKIP]
[-l] [-n] [infile]

Grab columns from csv input.

positional arguments:
infile input file (.csv)
optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
-f FIELDS ordered list of columns to retain; one-indexed
-i, --inverse invert column retention: drop those in -f
 field delimiter when reading infile
 field quotechar when reading infile
-s SKIP, --skip SKIP
 number of rows to skip
-l, --line-numbers
 prepend line numbers to output
-n, --names print column names; assumes one header row


This project uses [roundup]( for testing. Run tests with make test.


  • allow -f to take columns by name when there’s a header row?
  • implement –out-x for output delimiters etc.
  • json output? or, contribute a cli to kennethreitz/tablib
  • add out delimiter support
  • add out quotechar support

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