$cat workethics.txt
Work ethics in QA Fashion

$cut -c1-5 workethics.txt
Work

$cut -c1 workethics.txt
W

$cut -f1 workethics.txt
Work ethics in QA Fashion

$cut -b1 workethics.txt
W

$cut -b2 workethics.txt
o

$cut -b0 workethics.txt
cut: fields and positions are numbered from 1
Try `cut --help' for more information.

cut - remove sections from each line of files
-c, --characters=LIST
-b, --bytes=LIST select only these bytes
select only these characters
$

Reference/Source :
Debian Manual for "cut" command.

Note: http://lowfatlinux.com/linux-columns-cut.html