6.3 Importing Simple ASCII Data Files

The Import Single ASCII and Import Multiple ASCII methods are generally satisfactory for importing text files with a simple structure. These methods will typically handle files with commonly-used delimiters and simple header structure without adjustments.

If a file imports with only minor complications, you can select the Show Options Dialog checkbox in the ASCII dialog and tweak the way that the file is handled using controls in the impASC dialog box. Once the needed adjustments are made to ASCII import options, you can save them as a Theme for future use. Also, after the file is imported with these settings, you can then save them with your worksheet template (File: Save Template As) and use this template to import other files of identical structure without further adjustments.

Among the import behaviors that you can control via the impASC dialog box:

  • Specification of fixed width or delimited file structures.
  • Number of columns of data.
  • Number of header lines as well as which lines contain Long Name, Short Name, Comments, Parameters, etc.
  • Renaming of workbooks and worksheets with the ASCII file name, on import.
  • How to treat leading zeros, quotation marks, missing data points or alternate numeric separators.
  • Whether imported data should be put into new workbooks, worksheets, columns, rows or overwrite existing data.
  • Specify Partial Import of data.

ASCII files also support file re-import. See this topic for details

For information on import of more complex ASCII files -- those not satisfactorily parsed by the Simple ASCII methods outlined in this section -- see "The Import Wizard" in the next subsection of this chapter.

Topics covered in this section: