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In a wavelength division multiplexed fiber system, where pulses on different wavelength beams may copropagate in a single mode fiber, the cross‐phase‐modulation (CPM) effects caused by the nonlinearity of the optical fiber are unavoidable. In other words, pulses on different wavelength beams can interact with and affect each other through the intensity dependence of the refractive index of the fiber. Although CPM will not cause energy to be exchanged among the beams, the pulse shapes and locations on these beams can be altered significantly. This phenomenon makes possible the manipulation and control of pulses copropagating on different wavelength beams through the introduction of a shepherd pulse at a separate wavelength. How this can be accomplished is demonstrated in this paper. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.