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Here’s how to replace all instances of TAB in a file input_file by, say comma (,), using sed

$ sed 's/<TAB>/,/g' input_file

But what is <TAB> above? On Linux systems you may just type \t (which is the regular expression for TAB) in place of <TAB>. However,  on some other systems (e.g., OSX with FreeBSD) it does not work. In cases where it doesn’t work, invoke <TAB> by hitting Control+v followed by the TAB key. This may alternatively be achieved by hitting Control+v followd by Control+i, as well.

References: ATOzTOA, Stack Overflow.