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Chapter 9. Spreadsheet Essentials > Importing Data from a Text File

Importing Data from a Text File

Typing data isn't the only way to fill cells. You can import data from a variety of external sources. In Chapter 14, procedures for importing data from a FileMaker Pro database and from Web pages are presented. In this section, you'll learn how to import data from an ordinary text file. Since most major applications can save data or tables as tab-delimited text files, it's a very common format for data exchange.

To import data from a text file:

1.
In the source program (such as a database, spreadsheet, or word-processing program), export or save the file in a delimited format, such as tab- or comma-delimited.

In a delimited file, fields are separated from one another by a special character, such as a tab or comma. Each record is a single paragraph, ending with a Return character.

2.
Drag the icon of the exported file onto the Excel program icon. (If Excel is on the Dock, you can drag it onto that icon, for example.)

Excel attempts to open and interpret the file as a new worksheet (Figure 9.23).

Figure 9.23. Check the new worksheet to see if the data appears to have been reasonably interpreted.


3.
Examine the resulting worksheet. If it is satisfactory, save it as a normal Excel file. (Choose File > Save As and select the Excel 97-2004 & 5.0/95 workbook format.)


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