Type: External (2.0 and later)


SORT [/R][/+n] < (filename)
SORT [/R][/+n] > (filename2)

Purpose: Sorts input and sends it to the screen or to a file.


SORT is a filter command (reads from input, transforms it, and outputs it to the screen, to a file, or to a printer). SORT is used to alphabetize a file. You can specify which column in the file to sort on. If you do not specify a column, SORT alphabetizes using the character in the first column.

If you do not specify a source file, SORT can be used with input from the keyboard or another input device.

Use the | and < redirection symbols to direct the sort output to a new file.

For more information about using redirection symbols, refer to Chapter 6, Tips for Advanced Users.

SORT does not alphabetize upper case letters differently from lower case letters.

Special characters (above ASCII value 127) are sorted according to character information found in the COUNTRY.SYS file (or in a replacement file as designated in the CONFIG.SYS file). For more information, refer to Appendix B, Country-Specific Information.


/R - Reverses the sort (sorts from Z to A).

/+n - Starts sorting with column number (n) you enter.


To sort the file NAMES on drive A and send the output to a new file NAME2 on drive B, enter

sort < a:names > b:name2

To reverse sort (Z to A) the file PHONES.TXT on drive A and send the output to a new file PHONE-A on drive C, enter

sort /r < a:phones.txt > b:phone-a

To create a sorted file TEMP, sorting on the character in column three, by using input from the keyboard, enter

sort /+3 > b:temp

Then, enter lines and press the Enter key at the end of each line. When you are finished, press and hold the Ctrl key and then press the letter Z key. The data you enter will be sorted (based on the third character you enter on each line) and the TEMP file will be created and stored on the current drive.

You can also pipe the output of a SORT to a file. In the following example, the directory listing will be sorted starting with column 14 (the column in the directory list that contains the file size). The output will be sent to the file DIR-S on the current directory.

dir | sort /+14 > dir-s

Back to the Easy DOS Command Index