is a program for sorting text files in sophisticated ways.
It was developed initially for alphabetizing dictionaries of languages in which
the ordering may be quite different from English but has many other uses.
allows you to sort blocks of text delimited in a number of ways rather than just lines
and to specify particular fields of a record as sort keys using either their position,
counted from either end, or by matching regular expressions to their tags.
is capable of sorting on multiple keys, so that when two records tie on one
key, the tie may be broken on another. Any or all keys may be optional.
How absent optional keys are ordered with respect to present keys may be set
separately for each key.
allows you to specify arbitrary sort orders and to define
virtually unlimited numbers of multigraphs of effectively unlimited length.
The sort order and multigraphs are defined separately for each key. If your
system has locale support, you can also use locale collation rules instead
of specify your own sort order.
provides twelve types of key comparison:
by string length,
by domain name,
by ISO8601 date/time stamp,
by month name,
What month names are used is a bit complicated. If the
flag is used on the same key and its argument is the name of a file,
the month names are read from the file, which should be in the same
format as a sort order definition file. If the
flag is used and its argument is a locale name, the month names recognized
will be the month names and abbreviations associated with the specified
locale. If the
flag is not used the month names recognized will be the month names and
abbreviations associated with the current locale. If your system does
not have locale support and you do not use the
flag to read the month names from a file, the month names recognized
will be the English month names and abbreviations.
can reverse the characters in a key, allowing it
to be used to generate reverse dictionaries.
A choice of sorting algorithms is provided.
fully supports Unicode. The text to be sorted, and all specifications, should be in
UTF-8 Unicode. (If you have plain ASCII text, this is not a problem as ASCII is a
subset of Unicode.) Full Unicode case-folding is available, in Turkic and non-Turkic
variants. Unicode normalization is performed before sorting.
For usage information, execute
with no arguments.
Full information about
is currently to be found in the reference manual,
which is distributed as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. If a
copy is not available locally, you can download it from msort's
Print usage message
Print version message
List general command line options
List equivalents for GNU sort command line options.
List informational command line options
List key-specific command line options
List the supported number systems.
A record is terminated by two or more newlines
A record consists of a single line
A record is terminated by separator character
A record consists of the specified number of bytes.
Fields are delimited by the named character(s)
Sort on the entire text of the record
Use the specified sort algorithm. The choices are:
I(nsertionSort), M(ergeSort), Q(uickSort), and S(hellSort).
Note that InsertionSort and MergeSort are stable, while
QuickSort and ShellSort are unstable. The default is QuickSort.
Set initial maximum number of records
End-of-line in the input data is marked by Carriage Return (0x0D) as on the
Macintosh rather than by Line Feed (0x0A) as on Unix systems.
Invert sense of comparisons globally
No characters fall outside the Basic Multingual Plane (that is, have values
greater than 0xFFFF).
Do not make internal use of the Private Use areas. By default, multigraphs are
assigned internally to codepoints in the Supplementary Private Use areas
if full Unicode is in use or to codepoints in the Private Use area if
input is restricted to the Basic Multilingual Plane by means of the -B
option. If your input makes use of the Private Use areas, this option prevents
interference with your input. In this case, multigraphs will be assigned
to the Low and High Surrogate areas (0xD800-0xDFFF). Note that this
limits the number of multigraphs to 2,048.
Set the seed for the random number generator. If not set here, it is set to a value
determined by the time. The seed used is reported in the log. This option allows
runs to be replicated.
Check whether the input is already sorted. Do not generate any output.
Exit status is 0 if input is already sorted, 11 if not sorted.
-1,--in <input file name>
-2,--out <output file name>
If the output file is the same as the input file, the input file will be
overwritten. The input file will not be overwritten if the run is unsuccessful.
Suppress output to the log. If this flag is given before there is any output to the
log from a command line flag, nothing will be written to the log and the log file
will not be created. If a command line flag generates a log message before this flag
is processed, the log file will be created but no log messages will be written to
it once this flag is processed. To guarantee that no attempt will be made to open
a log file, give this flag first.
Be quiet - do not chat while working
Select Unicode normalization mode. The choices of mode are:
c for normalization form C (NFC),
d for normalization form D (NFD),
and n for no normalization. The default is NFC.
Key specific options
Sort on characters m through n. Positive indices start from one.
Negative indices indicate position with respect to the end of the record.
For example, the range
consists of the third character through the next-to-last character.
Sort on the specified POS or contiguous range of POSs, where a POS is of the
form <field number>(.<character number>). Both counts begin at one.
Field numbers but not character numbers may be negative, in which case they are
counted from the right. Thus, 1.2 is the second character of the
first field; -2.1 is the first character of the next to last field.
-t,--tag <tag regexp>
Sort on the field with the specified tag
Optional: compare as (<,=,>) to present key if absent
Specifies the number system expected for this key. This affects only numeric
and numeric string keys. There are two
special values. If the number system is "all", records may contain any number system
that msort can interpret. Different records may contain different number systems.
If the number system is "any", records may contain any writing system that msort can
interpret, but all records must make use of the same number system.
sets the number system on the basis of the first record.
-f,--date-format <date format>
Permutation of ymd with separators, e.g. y-m-d for international date format, m/d/y for American date format, or a permutation of yd with separators, e.g. y-d, for day-of-year dates. All three components may be numbers in any available number system. The month field may also be a month name, determined by the same devices as independent month name fields.
-W,--sort-order-file-separators <file name>
Read the list of characters to be treated as separators in the sort order definition file.
If the argument is a file name, it is taken to be a sort order file and the sort
order for the key is read from the file. If the argument is a locale name, the collation
rules for that locale are used. If the argument is "locale", the collation rules for
the current locale are used.
Apply the specified transformations.
specifies that diacritics are to be stripped. Separately encoded combining diacritics
are removed. Characters with diacritics represented bysingle codepoints are
replaced with the corresponding ASCII character without the diacritics, if there is one.
specifies that enclosed characters, that is, characters within circles or parentheses, are
to be replaced with the corresponding plain ASCII character if there is one.
specifies that characters in special styles are to be replaced with the corresponding
plain ASCII character if there is one. Stylistic equivalents include:
small capitals (e.g. U+1D04),
script forms (e.g. U+212C),
black letter forms (e.g. U+212D),
Arabic presentation forms (e.g. U+FE81),
Hebrew presentation forms (e.g. U+FB1D),
fullwidth forms (e.g. U+FF01),
halfwidth forms (e.g. U+FF7B),
and the mathematical alphanumeric symbols (e.g. U+1D400).
-x,--exclusion-file <file name>
Read exclusions from named file
Exclude specified characters
Invert sense of comparisons
Reverse characters of key
Ignore all but the first character of the field, after substitutions, exclusions, etc.
Note: long options may not be available on your system.