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Chapter 12. Data Importing and Repairing > Cleaning Up Text Data Before Importi...

Cleaning Up Text Data Before Importing

Sometimes the data you want to import looks promising, but the text file has a consistent quirk that is sure to cause problems. Although most people work with fairly recent versions of software, there are isolated holdouts who use programs so antiquated that their software doesn't use either of the delimiter standard characters (commas or tabs). Problems also occur with text files that contain extra return characters: The extra return produces a blank record, which can throw the database import structure off.

If you have a text file that contains extra returns or other single-character anomalies, there is a relatively painless method for removing them before you import the file, using Microsoft Word. Be sure to work on a copy of your text file, not the original, so that you can recover if you make a mistake. Not all of these changes are easy to undo.


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