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I have a variable length line and would like to resort the...

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Question by Unixtrekkor
Submitted on 7/10/2003
Related FAQ: comp.lang.awk FAQ
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I have a variable length line and would like to resort the items such that the last item is the second and all other items move accordingly.  For example:

input:    a b c
output:   a c b

input:    a b c d
output:   a d b c

input:    a b c d e
output:   a e b c d

I tried using split to create an array and then store the items into a new array with the new order.  However, I'm not making much progress.  The first and last items print but nothing else.  Thanks for any assistance.

Answer by obrienpx
Submitted on 8/21/2003
Rating:  Rate this answer: Vote

awk '/^/ { NF > 1 ? out = $1 " " $NF : out = $NF
           for (i = 2; i < NF; i++) out = out " " $i
           print out
         }' xxx

If file xxx looks like (the fist line is empty":

a b
a b c
a b c d
a b c d e

then running the above produces

a b
a c b
a d b c
a e b c d


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