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Actually, this can be done more easily in Writer. You have to select the text to be sorted, then choose Tools...Sort.

The trick is to adjust the sort parameters in the dialog window. For Key1 you want to select column 2 (default is 1), then choose the Character radio button, click on the ellipsis, and select the space character (the second empty box; the first one is a carriage return).

This won't necessarily sort the third and subsequent words, but if necessary the sorted blocks of text can be further sorted and refined (just sort on column 3, then 4, and so long until done). A bit of work, but easier than writing a script in a language you don't know!


On 3/17/2014 11:51, Jay Lozier wrote:

On 03/17/2014 02:32 PM, Tanstaafl wrote:
Hi all,

I'm working on a little problem that I'd really like to resolve. It doesn't really have anything to do with Libreoffice, other than I thought I might be able to use Calc to do the sort...

I have a text file. Each line is one record.

I can use the raw windows Sort command to sort the file, and that works fine, but I need to sort it based on the second column, not the first, and the windows sort command doesn't allow this.

The columns are separated by a space, but to complicate matters, the second column can contain multiple space separated words.

All I need to do is sort the file based on the text found AFTER the first space on each line (ie, the second column).

Is it maybe possible to do this somehow with Calc on the command line?

Or, does anyone have any other ideas?




The problem is the second column. Can you regenerate the text file easily such as requerying a database and saving the file with column delimiter such as colon, semicolon, or tab?

If not and the file is not very large or has patterns. you can use, you can open it to text editor like Notepad. Then systematically replace each pattern such as "0 a" with "0;a" using Find/Replace.

Along this line if you know a scripting language such as Python, Ruby, or Perl a script using regular expressions might work.

Once the file has been cleaned up, Calc can do the data sorting.

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