Pipe and comma delimited files



I'm currently working on a feasibility study at work whereby large quantities
of data need to be exported from excel. I need to identify the advantages
and disadvantages of using pipe and comma delimited files, or identifying if
there are any other separators which are more advantageous to use.

I have tried to work through Excel help but can't seem to find the right or
any information regarding the above so would be grateful for any information
on the above



John Nurick

Hi Malcolm,

This is an Access newsgroup and not the best place to ask Excel-related
questions. WRT text files in general, here are a few points:

1) The most important factor in choosing the format is that it has to be
compatible with the software that is later going to read the file.

2) If there could be line breaks within the data (e.g. in a long text
field), your best (or only) bet, at least with Microsoft software, is
CSV: comma separated with the text fields delimited by quote marks and
any quote marks within the data doubled.

3) In general, if there will be no line breaks in the data I prefer not
to use CSV files, because the quote marks make the fields much harder to
parse and not all textfile utilities can handle CSV correctly.

4) Other things being equal I'd use tab characters rather than pipes to
separate fields. ISTM that more software can handle tab-separated text
than pipe-separated. Of course using tab as separator means that the
data can't contain tabs, while pipe-separated data can't contain pipes.
If your data needs to be able to contain *any* character, the only text
file solution is CSV as in (2) above.

On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 05:04:05 -0800, "Malcolm Moran" <Malcolm

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