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I have a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) amount of results from Minitab 16 displayed as plain text organized in columns and rows.

My problem: I need to put all this information into tables to manipulate them in Excel 2010. A friend of mine told me to put it into notepad and do something to it (like turn it into a comma-delimited format) but he did not finish explaining.

If anyone has an idea of how to transfer those results to Excel I would be grateful.

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2 Answers 2

In Excel or OpenOfficeCalc you can open Files in CSV format. The delimter needn't be literally a comma - it might be tab, semicolon or something else. There are a handful of options for how to import, including fixed positions of columns and text-masking rules.

Now what is massive data?

I guess you're limited to 256 columns and 64k rows in older versions of Excel, but you only told us "massive", which is pretty useless in this context, and not your version number, but splitting the text up with some tools before wouldn't be hard.

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My interpretation of your question is slightly different to that of user unknown. However, I agree with him/her that more information would have been a help. How many rows and how many columns? Can you show us a typical row?

I interpret "... displayed as plain text organized in columns and rows" as meaning your import data has fixed width columns. Excel is pretty good as guessing the boundaries between fixed width columns and you can adjust the boundaries easily if is guesses wrong.

"A friend of mine told me to put it into notepad and do something to it (like turn it into a comma-delimited format) but he did not finish explaining." Thankful I have no friends like this. Turning fixed-width-column format into comma-delimited format would take for ever with notepad. If this file is as big as you suggest, come back in five years with your CSV file and we will try to help you with the next step.

Excel 2010 will accept much larger files that Excel 2003 but may still have its limitations. If your file is too big for Excel 2010, Notepad++ would allow you to chop into ten parts, say, relatively quickly and with little fear that you had accidentally deleted something.

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