echo two variables like the paste command is not working

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http://www.unix.com – Dear all, I have two files like this file1 A B C D E F file2 1,2 3,4 5,6 I want this output output_expected Code: A B 1,2 C D 3,4 E F 5,6 So, I did Code: first=`cat file1` second=`cat file2` FILE="$first"'\t'"$second" echo -e "$FILE" However, the output retrieved is output_observed Code: A B C D E F    1,2 2,3 3,4 I know that the paste is better, but I have thousand of files to be joined and the script that I wrote is into a loop for. I had the output_expected in a file that I created to test the script, but in the real case I just ha (HowTos)