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Import data: Import text files into Excel 2003

Text Import Wizard - Step 2, imported file containing delimited data and fixed width data

Text Import Wizard, Step 2, if the file contains delimited data and if the file contains fixed width data.

What you see in the second step depends on what data type (delimited or fixed width) is selected in the first step.

Delimited data type

If Delimited was selected in Step 1, you'll select the type of delimiter used in the file: Tab, Space, Semicolon, Comma, or Other.

You can see in the preview box at the bottom if you're selecting the correct delimiter type by how the data looks. If you select the correct delimiter, the columns look correctly aligned.

If you know that more than one type of delimiter was used in the file, select more than one check box. Again, the preview at the bottom of the wizard can help you figure this out.

There are two other options you can choose from:

  • Treat consecutive delimiters as one     Selecting this option eliminates unnecessary blank columns in the data. For example, if text is delimited by tabs and there are two tabs instead of just one between the text fields, choosing this option will prevent extra empty columns. You can see in the preview if this decision is necessary.
  • Text qualifier     You can select double quotation marks ("), single quotation mark ('), or none, or you can leave this option alone. Text qualifiers (" or ') are sometimes used in text files to indicate the beginning and end of text strings. You can see in the preview if qualifiers are used. For example, double quotation marks around a name (for example, "Richard Bready") mark the beginning and end of that text string. Select None if you want Excel to break on each delimiter and not try to qualify text strings. If you select None, the text qualifiers will be imported into Excel.

Fixed width data type

If Fixed width was selected in Step 1, instead of selecting the type of delimiter and the other options just described, you split columns by clicking to fix column boundaries if they are not correct. You can see in the preview how the columns look.

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