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I want to edit simple table data in Excel 2010, which is to be stored only in a flat text format (i.e. not a binary format like XLS or XSLX) which is viewable with notepad and can be read by a simple program and easily viewed in a git diff.

I would like to be able to use Open/Open With directly in Windows and then Save again to update the file directly without needing to import or export the data to said text file from a binary master.

For now, localization differences is not an issue as I will be the only user. When that changes we will most likely move to a database.


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Excel can happily open CSV (Comma Separated Values) file and it is a plain text file where all values are separated by a comma. – Darius Nov 8 '13 at 11:37
@Darius unfortunately this appears to be locale dependent - – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Nov 8 '13 at 11:40
If you keep the file in .txt file, whenever you simply do Open/Open With excel, Excel will prompt you to import the txt into excel readable format, and will ask what kind of delimiter you have (colon, semicolon, comma, tab, other). When you save, Excel will just remind you that you can't keep the 'nice' formatting they do for you, but they can save it into the same .txt file. Note: Excel will only offer to import if you do OPEN from inside excel. If you use Open With, or Click and Drag the txt file into Excel, it won't offer the import. So... yeah pretty terrible workaround.. sorry. – Darius Nov 8 '13 at 12:05

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