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Linux Sort words alphabetically and make a file for each letter

I want to write a shell script which creates automatically 26 dictionary files, where the first file should contain all the words starting with a or A, the second all the words starting with b or B, … etc. Where each dictionary file is sorted. For example, if I had a file that had the words Lime, Apple, Orange, Avacado, Apricot, Lemon. Then I want a new file that contains in order Apple, Apricot, Avacado, a file that contains just Orange, and a file that contains Lemon, Lime.

I thought about doing this using sort, so it could be:

sort sample.txt

but that would not put each section of words into a new file. So I thought of doing:

sort sample.txt > [a-z].txt

but that just makes one new file titled [a-z].txt

How do I make different alphabetically sorted files from the list of words in the file? I want it to be like a.txt, b.txt, etc with each containing all the words that start with that letter.

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Answer

You can do this with awk:

awk '{ print $0 >> toupper(substr($0,1,1))"_wordsfile" }' <(sort wordsfilemaster)

Where wordsfilemaster contains the original dictionary file, run sort on the file and redirect the output back into awk. Append the line to a file generated by taking the first character of the line, converting it to upper case and then appending “_wordsfile” e.g. files get created as A_wordsfile or O_wordsfile.

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