format a column of names in libreoffice calc

dwcronin
dwcronin used Ask the Experts™
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I have a column of about 1700 names of people in no particular order.  The formats of
them seem to be:
   1) john doe
   2) john c doe
   3) ohn c. doe
   4) john calvin doe

I would like them to be:
   1) john <space><space>doe
   2) john<space>c.<space>doe
   3) john<space>c.<space>doe
   4) john<space>calvin<space>doe

I'm trying to make this so it can be put into columns (first name), (middle name), and (last name) and then sorted.by ln, fn, mi to find the people.  It was an OLD set of burial books for a nearby cemetery that were handwritten and wearing out.  I'm trying to make them electronic or just print new ones.
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there is really no easy way that I know of to change a flat file with of one column to a multicolumn table.

You could use LibreOffice Writer to change the spaces to tabs. Then you copy that result to LibreOffice Calc. This should give you one ROW for each name with one word in adjacent cells. But you may even find that some names (rows) take up MORE that 3 columns.

Now, you can sort the columns from last column to first column and the blank columns should all be at the beginning.

This is where you have to manually redo the rows to get the result you asked for, so that the last mane of each name is in the last column... Since similar formats are all grouped (two names, three names, four names in the same row), it shouldn't take all that long.

Once all the last names are all in the same column, you can now sort by first name or last name.
How will you format "C. Thomas Howell" and similar names? Or "George H. W. Bush"?
Exactly how many names are in your list?
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Author

Commented:
Paul Sauve: currently 3276

I'm sorry I've ben away from this site but I have been trying to decipher and type the names.  I didn't incude pictures of the books; they're hard to read.  I give you my deciphered  electronic version.  I've also been trying to figure out the first in what will probably be a half dozen reular expressions.  Edit->find replace and you can turn them on regexps.  

tliotta: The various name formats is what makes it a half dozen or so regexs.  Multiple formats makes it harder.  I'm crrently trying to put the in fn/mi/ln/title in seperate columns so I can sort by last name.

Author

Commented:
here is my deciphered list.
20160215-cemetery.ods
Hi,

What I did was put the names into separate columns and inserted the columns to the right of the existing names. Some of the names take up to four columns: ex. Joseph    C.    Kelly    Sr.

I'll see if I can put all the surnames in the same column and get back to you.
20160215-cemetery-1.ods
So, you should find that all the surnames are now in Column L...

I did NOT remove the Column I - Name of Deceased so you can easily check...
20160215-cemetery-2.ods

Author

Commented:
Paul,
Thank you. That's it EXACTLY!!
Dan
Hi Dan,

It's perhaps a good idea to click on Request Attention at the bottom of your original question and ask to have all the files removed from this question...

Paul

Author

Commented:
i thought i already gave you these points.  sorry and thank you

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