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Importing Text Data into Excel

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

When importing text data from external sources, is usually separated by delimiters such as a comma, a tab or a space. If some cases, it might even be in a fixed-width format, in which each field contains a specific number of characters.

Import text dialog box

In order to import a text file, Excel launches the Text Import Wizard, which allows you to tell Excel how the data is to be arranged, what column formatting you want to use and which delimiters separate the data. Additionally, you can specify which columns to import and apply column formatting before the import.

To Import Text Data into Excel

  1. Click the File tab and then click Open.
  2. Click the Browse icon in the center pane.
  3. From the Files of Type: drop-down list, choose the type of file you wish to import.

    Click the Files of Type drop-down list

  4. Navigate to the folder where the file you wish to import is located.
  5. Select the file and then click Open.
  6. Choose whether the file is Delimited or Fixed Width.
  7. Click the Next button.
  8. In Step 2, select the type of delimiter (tab, comma, semicolon, space or other) and click the Next button.

    Choose delimiter type

  9. Set any column formatting (text, date, etc.). If you do not wish to import a particular column, highlight the column and then select the Do not import column (skip) radio button.

    Choose the Format of individual columns

  10. Click the Finish button.

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