Microsoft Excel: How to Automate Text File Links

By David Ringstrom, CPA
 
Some time ago, I explained how to use Excel's Text to Columns Wizard for separating text within a spreadsheet into columns. Although this approach is helpful for data that's in a spreadsheet, in other cases, you may wish to link spreadsheets to text files that change periodically. In this article, I'll walk you through the steps of automating this process.
 
A common method of accessing text files is by way of the Open dialog box. As shown in Figure 1, you can choose from a variety of file types, including text files. Depending on the file type, Excel may automatically separate the data into columns, as shown in Figure 2, or leave all the data in a single column, as shown in Figure 3. Data, such as that shown in Figure 3, can then be separated into columns manually by way of the Text to Columns Wizard.
 
Figure 1: You can choose from various file types in the Open dialog box.
 
Figure 2: Excel automatically separated the data into columns.
 
Figure 3: Excel left all the data in a single column.

Pages

You may like these other stories...

Regulatory compliance, risk management and cost-cutting are the big heartburn issues for finance execs in the C-suite. Yet financial planning and analysis—a key antacid—is insufficient.That's just one of the...
Continuing its efforts to simplify accounting procedures, the FASB has issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update on customer fees paid in a cloud computing arrangement. The newly-proposed update (Intangibles—...
How are you planning? What tools do you use (or fail to use) for forecasting? PlanGuru is a business budgeting, forecasting, and performance review software company based in White Plains, N.Y. AccountingWEB recently spoke...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 18
In this course, Amber Setter will shine the light on different types of leadership behavior- an integral part of everyone's career.