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Add a header to a file with Shell script (sed)

kinow @ Nov 12, 2016 01:55:03

Today I was re-generating the documentation for a REST API written in PHP, with Laravel. To generate the documentation, one would have to call a Laravel command first. That command would create a Markdown page. And since in this project I am using Jekyll for the project site, the final step was adding a header to the file, so that Jekyll can recognize that content as a blog post.

Laravel allows you to add custom commands to your project, so I decided to write a command that would call the other command that generates the documentation, and add an extra step of adding the header to the Markdown file.

Here’s the shell script part, that allows you to add a header to a file, in place (i.e. it will alter and save the change your file).

sed -i 1i"----\nlayout: page\ntitle: API Installation\n----\n\n" ./docs/documentation/api/api.md

Here the first argument to sed, -i is for in place. Then that strange 1i means that it will insert something before the first line, once. Then we have our header, and finally the file.

Happy hacking!