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Import data: Import text files into Excel 2003

Text Import Wizard - Step 1

The Text Import Wizard, Step 1.

In the first step, the wizard asks you to confirm what type of text data you're importing and lets you choose some other options:

  • Original data type     If the text file is separated by tabs or commas, as in the case of a .txt and a .csv file, Excel selects Delimited; if the file is a .prn file, where several spaces usually separate each column, Excel selects Fixed width.

You can see the data in the preview at the bottom of the wizard. (The preview will look better in the next step of the wizard, which simulates how the data will look divided into columns.) If you think Excel didn't correctly determine the type of text data you're importing, or you made a wrong choice and it doesn't look right, you can change the data type selection for this option.

  • Start import at row     You can start the import at a row other than 1. If, for example, the first row contained the text "This file includes employment data" you might decide to begin the import at row 2. Or if the first six rows of data are not of interest, you might start the import on row 7. You can also use this setting when the file is too large to fit into Excel. You can see the data in the file in the preview at the bottom of the wizard.

In the picture you can see that row 1 contains the column headings Country, Salesperson, and so on. It would make sense to start the import at row 1 for this file.

  • File origin     This option is about the language the file is in. Excel usually selects correctly. But if you know the file contains text in another language, and the origin has not been correctly selected, you can pick the correct option in this list.
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