I have a file (around 1.6 million lines) which formatted like this:

-0.00697468 0 -1.95966e-49 101325 -3.06381  
-0.00697468 0 -1.95966e-49 101325 -3.06381  
-0.00697468 0 -1.95966e-49 101325 -3.06381  
. . .  

After some thousand lines, the format will be changed (no minus sign on the first character), like this:

0.453945 -2.14126e-54 3.40152e-49 101325 214.355  
0.453945 -2.14126e-54 3.40152e-49 101325 214.355  
0.453945 -2.14126e-54 3.40152e-49 101325 214.355  
. . .

So, how to delete the entire line, after the first whitespace on every line? I have tried to search but couldn't get any answer that I want. Thanks! (Note: some lines have different number of character, hence that I cannot simply delete some characters from the end of the line on every line)


The two commands below will reduce every line to the first sequence of non-whitespace character followed by a space:

0.453945 -2.14126e-54 3.40152e-49 101325 214.355

0.453945 <-- space

But your question is a little confusing so I'm not sure I understood what you want.

With a substitution:


With a macro:

:%normal! WD
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  • and if you want to delete those trailing single whitespaces left behind on every line, use :%s/ *$// <- yes, that is a single whitespace character between / and * – lobi Oct 18 '19 at 15:25

If you wanted to delete entire line starting with a space, This pattern will be useful.

  • g -global
  • ^ - start of the line
  • \s - space
  • .* - anything after that
  • d - delete

If you want the starting whitespace to remain, but delete the remaining content, you can use,

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  • First one doesn't work, get "Pattern not found: ^\s.*" using both vim/vi – lobi Oct 18 '19 at 15:19
  • It works for me. Why did you add quotes at the end? – SibiCoder Oct 19 '19 at 21:26
  • that quote at the end was due to my sentence. first quote opens before Pattern – lobi Oct 20 '19 at 21:02
  • try ':g/^ .*/d'. you could replace \s with space itself and try – SibiCoder Oct 21 '19 at 15:35
  • also does not work, however this does: :%s/ .*// – lobi Oct 22 '19 at 17:20

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