I tried using
-t like the man says, but it just waits.
$ tar -t archive.tar (nothing)
You can also increase the number of details listed:
$ tar -tvf archive.tar -rw-r--r-- 0 user group 0 3 Dez 00:21 file1.txt -rw-r--r-- 0 user group 0 3 Dez 00:21 file2.txt
While the -x switch is usually used to extract the whole content of an archive, you can also use it to extract a single file or directory:
$ tar -xvf test.tar file1.txt x file1.txt
Best wishes, Fabian