How To Configure Delimiters (Field Separators) and File Associations in a CSV File - Rons Place Articles

   

Introduction

Rons Data Edit can be configured to open any format of tabular text file, including the most commonly known format, comma separated value (or CSV) file. The Editor needs to process text into a tabular form when text data enters and exist the application, which happens in three ways:

  • Loading and saving a file.
  • Importing and exporting a file, or clipboard.
  • Copying and pasting data.

Configuring the delimiters (or separators) for loading and saving a file, and copying and pasting data are done in the same window, as they have much the same operation. Configuring the separators from importing and exporting is done in the import window.

Configuring Separators for Loading (file Associations)

Rons Data Edit can store the profile for any file types that Windows can open with the Editor. The most common of course is ‘.csv’ but there are some common alternatives like ‘.tsv’ (tab separated value) or ‘.psv’ (pipe separated value).

To change which separators Rons Data Edit uses to open a type of tabular text file, or are used for Copy/Paste open the ‘Application\Data Profiles’ tab, to open the ‘Edit Data Profiles’ window.

File Associations

The profiles that Rons Data Edit currently has are show on the left in the ‘Formats’ list, and adding a new one is simply a case of clicking the ‘Add’ button on the tool bar and entering the details.

The buttons on the button bar at the top do the following actions:

Button Description
Add Adds a new named profile.
Delete Deletes the selected profile(s).
Move Up The formats are presented in a menu, so it makes sense for the most used options to be at the top. The move up/down buttons allow the order to be changed.
Move Down
Duplicate Duplicates the current named profile(s).
Reset Default Restores a reasonable set of default profiles and their options.
Save File Associations Set the Windows file associations (see below).

Once all the extensions are in place, each can be selected individually and its options changed.

Option Description Comments
Field Open A character to indicate to Rons Data Edit when a field in the tabular data begins. Most of the time field open and close characters are the same and are quotes (“), even when the separator character changes. Sometimes brackets (()) or square brackets ([]) are used for field open and close.
Field Close A character to indicate to Rons Data Edit when a field in the tabular data ends.
Field Separate A character to indicate to Rons Data Edit when to move to the next field in the tabular data. Comma (,) is of course the most common, but sometime semi colon (;) or pipes (|).
Always use field open/close Rons Data Edit will only add field open and close characters if the field text contains a separator character or a newline. This option overrides that and always uses open and close characters. This option is only used when saving a tabular text file.
First row is header row If checked the first full row of a tabular file is treated as the table column names, rather than the first line of the text data. This option is only used when loading a tabular text file.
Use as Copy/Paste format If checked this profile is included in the various copy menus.
Use as default If checked the current profile is used as the default copy format, when no other profile is selected, for example using the copy shortcut.
Include Column Header Include the document header row in the data copied to the clipboard.
Use as File Format If checked this profile is included in the various file operations and menus.
File Extension The file extension to associate with this profile and use when the file is loaded. For example ‘tsv’.
Associate File If checked, then Rons Data Edit is used by Windows to open files with the extension in the ‘Extension’ box above.

Finally clicking the ‘Save’, or ‘Save and Close’ buttons will save the changes.

Configuring Separators for Copying\Pasting

It can quite often occur that various applications that support copying and pasting data in a tabular format do so in a variety of wondrous ways. In order to help get data into and out of Rons Data Edit different named clipboard formats are supported that can be chosen whilst editing.

To configure copy/paste formats check the ‘Use as copy/paste format’ box.

Options Copy Paste Formats

When checked these formats can now be used for copying by using the ‘Copy’ Ribbon button, or the ‘Copy Other’ context menu on the main editing table.

For pasting other formats the Editor opens the ‘Text Import’ wizard.

Saving File Associations in Windows

Configuring file associations in Rons Data Edit is not the same as setting the same associations in Window. As such there needs to be a separate step to do this which is done by pressing the 'Save File Associations' button.

Note: Windows might ask you if you want to allow Rons Data Edit to make changes to your computer. The changes in question are file associations, and are nothing to worry about.

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