AWK (awk Q:k) is a domain-specific language designed for text processing and typically used as a data extraction and reporting tool. Like sed and grep, it is a filter, and is a standard feature of most Unix-like operating systems.
The AWK language is a data-driven scripting language consisting of a set of actions to be taken against streams of textual data – either run directly on files or used as part of a pipeline – for purposes of extracting or transforming text, such as producing formatted reports. The language extensively uses the string datatype, associative arrays (that is, arrays indexed by key strings), and regular expressions. While AWK has a limited intended application domain and was especially designed to support one-liner programs, the language is Turing-complete, and even the early Bell Labs users of AWK often wrote well-structured large AWK programs.
AWK was created at Bell Labs in the 1970s, and its name is derived from the surnames of its authors