Sorting a file under Unix is easy, right? Of course it is, if all you
want to do is sort a list of single words, or sort lines starting
with the first character in the line. But if you want to do more than
that, there's a lot more to the
sort command than typing sort
Section 22.2 describes how to select
individual fields from a line for sort to operate
Section 22.3 describes how to change the
field delimiter from whitespace to some other character.
Section 22.4 describes the kinds of problems
that you can encounter if fields are delimited
Section 22.5 clarifies the distinctions
between alphabetic and numeric sorting.
Section 22.6 gives miscellaneous hints about
useful sort options.
But learning the mechanics of sort
isn't the end of the story. Like most of the other
things you'll find in the Unix toolbox,
sort is even more powerful when
it's used with other programs. For example, you can:
Sort paragraphs or other multiline entries.
Sort lines by how long they are (Section 22.7).
Sort a list of names by last name, whether or not
there's a middle name as well (Section 22.8).