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# 1  
Old 08-23-2018
Random letters

Hi there,
first of all this is not homework...this is a new type of exercise for practicing vocabulary with my students.
I have a file consisting of two columns, separated by a tab, each line consisting of a word and its definition, separated by a line break.

What i need is to replace a number of random letters of the defined word with an underscore. The number of letters would depend on the length of the word, but half its number would be ok...ideas?

Much appreciated.
# 2  
Old 08-23-2018
An input sample, and a desired output would help.
# 3  
Old 08-23-2018

a true … of Islam \t follower
the recent … of two CIA agents \t disappearance
The restructuring is designed to give a sharper … on key markets. \t focus
a large country house with beautiful landscaped … \t gardens


a true … of Islam \t fo _ _o_er
the recent … of two CIA agents \t d_ _a_ _ear_ _ce
The restructuring is designed to give a sharper … on key markets. \t f_ c_s
a large country house with beautiful landscaped … \t _ar_e_s
# 4  
Old 08-23-2018
zeroth approximation .. you need to eliminate the leading spaces in $2, no check is done to not to replace an already set "_" with another one, nor replacement of adjacent characters. Try

awk -F"\t" '
        {LEN = split ($2, T, "")
         $2 = ""
         for (i=1; i<=LEN/2; i++) T[int(rand()*LEN)] = "_"
         for (i=1; i<=LEN;   i++) $2 = $2 T[i]
' file
a true … of Islam  fol__w_r
the recent … of two CIA agents  di_app_a___ce
The restructuring is designed to give a sharper … on key markets.  f_c_s
a large country house with beautiful landscaped …  ___de_s

These 2 Users Gave Thanks to RudiC For This Post:
# 5  
Old 08-23-2018
Wow, RudiC, that's awesome!
A final thought: how could I add a blank space when 2 underscores are together?

Great help!

------ Post updated at 03:40 AM ------

Forget it! I figured it out myself.

------ Post updated at 03:51 AM ------

How could I get the blanked_out resulting word separated from the definition by a tab? This I can't figure it out.

------ Post updated at 04:01 AM ------

For some reason this words didn't come out well:
- ...
- footprints left in the hard dried ... mud
- ...
- a hit TV ... show
- ...
- a blanket advertising ... on tobacco ban
- I need my beauty ... . rest
- Elephants have a very tough ... . hide
# 6  
Old 08-23-2018
Facts / data, please.
Where exactly do you need the <TAB> separation?
What and how "didn't come out well"?

For the space separated underscore chars, use " _ " for the T[...] assignment.
# 7  
Old 08-23-2018
That's what I would need to be incorporated into an Excel sheet.

A ransom ... has been made for the kidnapped racehorse.  \t _  _ m _ nd

A third of the country's population is of mixed racial ... . \t h _ ri _  _  _ e

the professional ... of the lawyers and accountants involved  \t _ ees

And the words that didn't come out well is because none of their letters were substituted by any blank.

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