Help with splitting and rearranging a field in awk

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# 1  
Old 10-22-2013
Help with splitting and rearranging a field in awk

Please help! I figured I would take this one to the experts. I'm working with a field that contains contents such as:
LastName FirstName

For example:
Smith John

I'm trying to take this field and split it so that it is two separate fields (first name and last name). I then need to print these two fields in the order of FirstName LastName. I know how to do this using printf, I just don't know how to split the field into two usable fields. Please help!

Thank you so very much.
# 2  
Old 10-22-2013
echo "Smith John" | awk '{print $2, $1}'

# 3  
Old 10-22-2013
This example appears to definitely rearrange the name, but i'm still having issues with my AWK script.

I'm writing this in a script, rather than simply trying to perform it in one line. How can I tell my AWK script to take say field 3 and split it into two usable fields? Because then i'm needing to print those two fields, much like you did.

Edit: Also, please keep in mind that these are fields with a colon delimiter.

I figured I would help clarify my question a little bit..

x45:Smith John:455
x46:Smith April:456

Desired Output:
First Name    Last Name   UserID2
John            Smith         455
April            Smith         456

I'm printing the new headers of First Name / Last Name using a formatted printf statement. I want to then print the names (which I need to separate the field into two separate usable fields first) using the same formatted printf statement.

In my begin block, I have:
format1="%-20s\t%-20s\t%-8s\t \r\n";
printf format1, "First Name","Last Name";

And in my action block, I have:
printf format1, $2

My action block seems to be where i'm running into a problem at.

Thanks again!

Last edited by IX3R0XI; 10-22-2013 at 10:36 PM..
# 4  
Old 10-22-2013
You can explicitly split into an array
split($2,a," ")
printf format1,a[1],a[2]

This User Gave Thanks to MadeInGermany For This Post:
# 5  
Old 10-22-2013
That worked perfectly, thank you so much!
# 6  
Old 10-22-2013
The code that you showed us clearly did NOT produce the headers you said you want. Both of your printf statements are missing arguments. The format string you're using requires three arguments (in addition to the format argument); your first printf has two, your second printf has one.

Your format statement is strange. Ending a heading with a tab followed by a space followed by a carriage return and finally the newline character seem especially strange.

You have a field width on the last field that will be printed left justified which will add paces to the end of the ID which will then followed by the tab, space, CR, and NL. Why? I have stripped out some of this, since I didn't see the point. Obviously you can add them back if there is a reason for them. If your input is on a Windows system and you want the output to also contain CR/NL at the ends of all lines instead of just the normal UNIX-like system NL line terminator, the formats I've used here will copy the carriage returns from the last field of each input line to the output.

Most formats use tabs or a fixed width (space filled) field to line up output fields. You use both. I left that in the format below, but you should think about whether this is really what you want.

I'm guessing that the following:
awk -F '[ :]' '
BEGIN { format1="%-20s\t%-20s\t%s\n" }
FNR == 1 {
        printf(format1, "First " $2, "Last " $2, $3)
{       printf(format1, $3, $2, $4) }' Input

which produces the output:
First Name          	Last Name           	UserID2
John                	Smith               	455
April               	Smith               	456

is close to what you want (based on your given format string) even though the spacing is very different from the output you said you wanted.

If you want to try this on a Solaris/SunOS system, change awk to /usr/xpg4/bin/awk, /usr/xpg6/bin/awk, or nawk.
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