6.4.1 Import Wizard Basics

The Import Wizard starts when you do one of the following:

  • Click the Import Wizard button Button Import Wizard.png on the Standard Toolbar.
  • Import data files using the Data: Import from File: Import Wizard menu command.
  • Drag-and-drop data files for which no predefined import filter exists.

For ASCII and Binary file types, the Wizard steps you through a series of pages on which you select your import options. Origin then uses these options to read your file(s) into an Origin workbook window. You can opt to save your import settings to a filter for future use.

For files not classified as ASCII or simple binary, you supply the import code in the form of an Origin C function.

When importing Clipboard data from the web or from unsupported 3rd party applications, you open the wizard manually by selecting Data: Import from File: Import Wizard or by clicking the Import Wizard button. Button Import Wizard.png With Clipboard data, you use the wizard in much the same way that you would when importing ASCII files -- using the various controls and preview boxes on the presented sequence of pages to parse the data before import.

Target windows -- applicable Origin child windows by Data Type

The Import Wizard supports file import to these Origin child windows:

Data Type Possible Target Window(s)* Paste Clipboard Data?
ASCII Workbook Y
Binary Workbook N
User Defined workbook, matrix book, user-specified Y

*simultaneous plotting to the active graph window is an option; see below.

Some Wizard options are Target Window sensitive. Some options and some Wizard pages will not be seen if the option or page is not applicable to the Target Window.

When specifying a Target Window for User Defined files, you have the option of choosing None, in which case, the Wizard has no hand in creating windows. Since the User Defined option requires that you supply Origin C code to handle the data import, it is assumed that the same code will also handle necessary window creation. This option gives you the maximum latitude in handling your data import, allowing you, for instance, to partition the data and to write parts of the file to multiple Origin child windows.

To learn more, see the following topics:

Creating and saving data import instructions using the Import Wizard

All wizard settings can be saved for later use. Data import settings can be saved in two ways:

  • They can be saved as a standalone Origin Import Filter file (.OIF) in the XML format.
  • They can be stored in the active child window (workbook or matrix book).

To learn more, see the following topics:

Multiple file support in the Import Wizard

The Wizard supports multiple file import, provided the files share a common file type and structure. When importing multiple files without the benefit of an import filter, you select one representative file to be used to develop the necessary file structure information (Source page of the Import Wizard). When importing multiple files, you can specify that each imported file start a new workbook, a new worksheet, new worksheet columns, or new worksheet rows.

Once you have stepped through the wizard, establishing the requisite file structure and data handling instructions, you can save your settings to an Origin Import Filter file (.OIF) or you can save them with the active child window. This allows you to import files in the future without the need to re-specify file handling instructions. When saving into the active child window, the first book should be saved as the template since this is the only book that contains the filter information.


Creating simple data plots automatically on ASCII file import

There are two ways to create simple data plots directly on ASCII import:

  • The first method requires launching the Import Wizard when a graph window is active. When you do this, an extra page (the Plotting page) is added to the Wizard. On this page, you can specify plot type as a line, scatter, line + symbol, column or bar and -- when importing multiple files into multiple graph layers -- direct each imported file to separate graph layers. Once you've chosen your wizard options, you can save settings to an OIF file and re-import by drag-and-drop (see next).
  • The second method is to specify one of several drag-and-drop plotting behaviors using controls on the Advanced Options page of the Import Wizard (you might do this in conjunction with the previous method). The Advanced Options controls allow you to specify alternate actions depending upon whether files are dropped onto a graph window or into an empty portion of the Origin workspace. For example, you can specify that when files are dropped onto a graph, that Origin plots the datasets into the graph layer where they are dropped, but when files are dropped into the workspace, the files are opened in a workbook, without creating plots.

To learn more, see the following topics: