Import Wizard, The Data Columns Page (ASCII)

Use the controls on this page to specify the data delimiter and various other settings, such as column designations, custom date and time formats, and numeric separators.

Import Wizard Data Columns Page ASCII.png

Column Separator


If the Delimiter radio button is checked, Origin will separate columns with the specified delimiter(s). To specify a custom delimiter, choose Other, and then enter the delimiting character in the adjacent text box. Note that Other editbox only support single character.

Treat consecutive delimiters as one

If this checkbox is selected, any number of consecutive delimiters will be treated as if they are one.

Fixed Width

The Fixed Width radio button is chosen when data are to be parsed by a fixed number of characters. Enter the number of characters in the accompanying text box.

If Fixed Width is used, when the Number of Columns is set to 0 (zero), the last number filled in Fixed Width will be repeated until all columns are imported. For example, if Fixed Width is set to 6,5,13 and Number of Columns is 0, then the first column will have a fixed width of 6, the second column 5, and 13 for the third column and beyond, until all columns are imported. To repeat a pattern instead of just the value for the last column, you can use parentheses on this pattern. For example, if Fixed Width is entered as 5,6,(2,13) and the Number of Columns is 0, the width of columns to the right of column two will repeat 2 and 13 until all columns are imported.

Note: In Origin 8.6, Tab/Space is supported as a delimiter. This is different from Tab or Space. Tab/Space refers to single or multiple Tab(spaces) used as a delimiter.

For example, you might have two spaces between two values. If you select Space as the delimiter when importing this data, the two spaces are considered two separate delimiters, so three cells are imported. When you select Tab/Space as the delimiter, two consecutive spaces are considered white space - that is, a single delimiter - so only two cells are imported. When you choose Tab/Space as the delimiter, other delimiters are unavailable.

Column Designations

This control can be used to set plot designations for all data columns during data import. Make a selection from the dropdown list, or type the designation symbols directly, and then click Apply to apply the your designations to the columns in the data file.

Note that on this page, you can also set column format and column plot designations for individual columns by right-clicking on a column heading and choosing Set Format or Set Designation from the context menu. The format and plot designation settings will be applied to the target worksheet columns on data import.

ImpWiz Data Cols Designations.png

Miscellaneous Controls

Number of columns

Specify the number of columns to be created in the target worksheet upon file import. Enter 0 if you want all columns to be imported.

If Delimiter was chosen (Column Separator controls), Number of Columns is seeded with the value that Origin "sees," based on your Delimiter specification (Tab, Comma, Space, etc).

If Fixed Width is chosen, Number of Columns is calculated using the Fixed Width value. You can override this value by entering a value and clicking Apply. If the value in Number of Columns exceeds the seeded Fixed Width value, the last width specified in the string is repeated. The bottom display panel is updated to display the entered (overriding) value when you click Apply.

Custom Date Format

Select a date format from the dropdown list, or type in a custom date format string, and then click Apply.

For more details, please see Custom Date and Time Formats.

Custom Time Format

Select a time format from the dropdown list, or type a custom time format string, and then click Apply.

For more details, please see Custom Date and Time Formats.

Text Qualifier

Select the character that encloses values in the source text file. The text enclosed in each pair of the qualifier character is regarded as one value, even when it contains delimiter characters. Use the Remove checkbox to specify whether you want to remove the text qualifier character.

Numeric Separator

Select a numeric separator from the dropdown list.

Remove leading zeros from numbers

Check this option if you want to remove leading zeros from imported data (e.g. 0050 becomes 50).

Add Sparklines

Use this dropdown list to specify whether to add sparklines to the target worksheet.

Force Rows to same size by filling missing value

If this check box is selected, missing values may be added to the last few columns to ensure that each row is of equal size.

Keep Target Column Format

Use this check box to specify whether to keep the target column format. If this check box is selected, the Set Format short-cut menu, which pops up when you right-click the column header in the preview window, will have no effect.

Column Width Preview

This option works in conjunction with the Fixed Width radio button. You can use it to specify the column width pattern in a fixed width (non-delimited) data file. When selected, the display changes to the column width preview mode. In this mode, the columns in the display can be dragged to adjust column width. Columns can be added or deleted using the Add Column and Delete Column buttons adjacent to this control. As you drag and change individual column widths, the text box next to the Fixed Width radio control updates and shows the column widths as a comma-separated list. Once the column widths are set, clear this checkbox to view the data columns as they will appear in the target worksheet.

Preview Window

When a structure definition is complete, the preview window displays the imported data as it will look in the resulting worksheet, based on the structure of the record specified thus far. Note that you can right-click the column headers in the preview window to set the Designation and Format for the columns in the target worksheet.