How to open a delimited text database file safely in Microsoft Excel

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If you are using Microsoft Excel to open or edit a delimited text file for use with DesignMerge or AutoPrice, then you will prefer to open the database file without automatically changing any of its content. 


When Microsoft Excel automatically opens a plain delimited text file, Microsoft Excel will apply the General format to the data inside this file. This format may automatically change the text that is in the database. For example, this format will remove leading zeros and will also remove zero decimal digits.


To prevent the text in the database from being automatically changes when the database is opened in Microsoft Excel, follow the steps below:

  1. Change the filename extension on the database file to the .TXT filename extension.
  2. Start Microsoft Excel.
  3. Open the MS Excel File menu and select Open.
  4. Select the .TXT database file.
  5. This will automatically start the MS Excel Text Import Wizard.
  6. On Step 1 of the Text Import Wizard, select Delimited for the Original Data Type, and click Next to continue to the next step.
  7. On Step 2 of the Text Import Wizard, select the appropriate Delimiter, uncheck Treat consecutive delimiters as one, and click Next to continue to the next step.
  8. On Step 3 of the Text Import Wizard, click on the First Column that is displayed in the Data Preview box.
  9. Then, scroll in the Data Preview box to the Last Column, press Shift and click on the Last Column. This selects all columns in the Data Preview box.
  10. With all columns selected in the Data Preview box, select Text for the Column data format
  11. Confirm all columns are labeled as Text in the Data Preview box, and then click the Finish button.
  12. The database file will now be opened in MS Excel and all of the data in this open file will have been formatted as Text (no changes will have been made to the text data).

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