How convert space separated list to matched columns?

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# 8  
That's going to be very difficult to do in Unix. I think you're better off loading all the files into a database
# 9  
See if this works for more columns:
awk 'FNR==1{++c} {K[$1]; A[$1,c]} END{for(i in K) {for(j=1; j<=c; j++) printf "%-32s", (i,j) in A ? i : x; print x}}' file*


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