Microsoft Excel: How to Automate Text File Links
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: