Microsoft Excel: How to Automate Text File Links

Once you've specified a delimiter or confirmed the column breaks, click Next to move to the third step of the wizard. This step allows you to apply various settings to columns within your text file. By default, every field is marked as General, which means it will be imported into your spreadsheet with no particular format applied. This means that leading zeros will be dropped, and dates in formats such as yyyy-mm-dd will be treated as text within the spreadsheet. Rather than accepting the default of General, you can choose from three other options:
  1. Text: This option instructs Excel to treat a column as text, meaning leading zeros will be preserved in columns that contain numeric values, such as zip codes.
  2. Date: This option instructs Excel to convert a column to a date. When you choose this option, you must then specify the date format used within your text file, such as yyyy-mm-dd. Excel will convert these dates to the standard date format for Excel spreadsheets.
  3. Do Not Import (Skip): This option instructs Excel to in effect throw away unneeded columns within the text file. The original text file will remain intact, but any columns that you mark as Do Not Import will not appear in your spreadsheet.

Once you've changed any settings in Step 3 of the wizard and clicked Finish, the dialog box shown in Figure 7 will appear. Once you confirm the location where the data from the text file should reside, click the Properties button. The dialog box shown in Figure to 8 reveals the settings I use frequently to automate connections to text files:

Figure 7: The Import Data dialog box appears once you've clicked Finish in the Text Import Wizard.

You may like these other stories...

Russia races to dodge sanctions by adapting law to FATCARussia is in a race against the clock to adapt its laws to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and save its banks from financial sanctions, Peter Hobson of...
The following list highlights 10 apps that that may be of interest to you, your clients, or your clients' clients. They were featured during a session of AWEBLive!, the 12-hour CPE marathon, and presented by Gregory L....
I am a recent MS Accounting degree graduate and I am looking into a programming/IT related career. Anyone here have experience or know any accountants that diverted their careers into IT/Programming/System design, etc?...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.
May 1
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations’ expenses. It will include discussions of functional expense categories, accounting for functional expenses and allocations of joint costs.
May 14
Save your relationship in those few situations where your performance falls far from perfect. It’s easy to want to brush service failures under the rug, hope no one notices and assume that somehow everything will be all right. In this workshop, Kristen Rampe, CPA will give you the tools to strengthen your professionalism in the face of the worst-case-scenario. Don’t let experience be your only teacher on these topics!