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If you have date fields, click the heading above that column, and change the column data format choice to a date. If you have a file with dates in year-month-day format or day-month-year format, select the drop-down next to date and choose the appropriate date sequence.

If you would prefer to skip some fields, click that column and select Do Not Import Column (Skip) from the Column Data Format selection. There are a couple of times where this is useful. If the file includes sensitive data that you would not want to show to the client, you can leave it out of the import. For example, perhaps this report is for a customer and I don't want to show our cost of goods sold or profit. I can choose to skip these fields in the import. Also, you will occasionally run into a text file that is both fixed width and delimited by a character such as the pipe character. Setting the 1-wide pipe columns as "do not import" is a great way to get rid of the pipe characters, as shown in Figure 18.5.

Figure 18.5

This file is both fixed width and pipe delimited. Liberal use of the Do Not Import setting for each pipe column eliminates the pipe characters from the file.

Figure 18.5

This file is both fixed width and pipe delimited. Liberal use of the Do Not Import setting for each pipe column eliminates the pipe characters from the file.

If you have text fields that contain alphabetic characters, you can use the General format. The only time you should use the Text format is if you have a numeric field that you explicitly need imported as text. One example of this would be an account number with leading zeroes or a column of zip codes. To ensure that zip code 01234 does not lose the leading zero, change the field to text.

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