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I have an excel spreadsheet with some tabular data, when I save it as Tab Separated Values file (.txt) it also saves a few blank columns on the right.

I have to go and select the blank columns in the spreadsheet, delete them, and then re-save.

Deleting the column every time is not an option, since that's a major inconvenience for end user.

Any ideas?

p.s. I'm not looking for tips on training users to delete the columns, I'm looking for a setting in Excel that would prevent the blank columns from being saves to TSV (tab separated values) file.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This usually results when the spreadsheet previously had some cells in those columns that had values/formulas and were then deleted.

Are you starting with some base files and then editing/adding data? Try making sure the base spreadsheet has those columns completely cleared.

Perhaps a macro that takes the current selection as the column range to save into CSV?

Information on how you are generating the spreadsheet, saving it, and interaction with end user would be helpful for a solution.

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end user handles the spreadsheet from start to finish, all i have is an import script that expects a certain format – roman m Mar 3 '10 at 18:25
Perhaps this question might be better handled on stackoverflow? Have you considered giving end users a spreadsheet template to use and specify only to paste in appropriate columns? Another option is to handle the problem yourself - instead of taking a tab seperated value file, take the spreadsheet and parse it yourself to avoid the blank columns. – mindless.panda Mar 3 '10 at 18:53

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