Text file formats

Text files simply contain data with no formatting. There are several relatively standard text file formats, but there are no standard file extensions.

♦ Each line in tab-delimited files consists of fields separated by tabs. Excel can read these files, converting each line to a row and each field to a column. Excel also can write these files, using TXT as the default extension.

♦ Each line in comma-separated files consists of fields usually separated by commas. (Countries that use a comma as a decimal symbol will use semicolons in CSV files.) Sometimes text appears in quotes. Excel can read these files, converting each line to a row and each field to a column. Excel can also write these files, using CSV as the default extension.

♦ Each line in space-delimited files consists of fields separated by spaces. Excel can read these files, converting each line to a row and each field to a column. Excel also can write these files, using PRN as the default extension.

When you attempt to load a text file into Excel, the Text Import Wizard might kick in to help you specify how you want the file retrieved.

To bypass the Text Import Wizard, press Shift when you click OK in the Open dialog box.

You can also perform queries using text files. Choose the Data ^ Import External Data ^ Import Data command.

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