Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
In addition, Excel supports various types of database connections that enable you to access data selectively. For
example, you can perform a query on a large database to retrieve only the records you need (rather than the en-
Text file formats
A text file contains raw characters with no formatting. Excel can open most types of text files:
• CSV: Comma-separated values. Columns are delimited with a comma, and rows are delimited with a car-
• TXT: Columns are delimited with a tab, and rows are delimited with a carriage return.
• PRN: Columns are delimited with multiple space characters, and rows are delimited with a carriage return.
Excel imports this type of file into a single column.
• DIF: The file format originally used by the VisiCalc spreadsheet. Rarely used.
• SYLK: The file format originally used by Multiplan. Rarely used.
Most of these text file types have variants. For example, text files produced by a Mac computer have different
end-of-row characters. Excel can usually handle the variants without a problem.
When you attempt to open a text file in Excel, the Text Import Wizard might kick in to help you specify how
you want the data to be retrieved.
To bypass the Text Import Wizard, press Shift while you click the Open button in the
Open dialog box.
When Excel can't open a file
If Excel doesn't support a particular file form, don't be too quick to give up. Other folks have likely had the same
problem. Try searching the web for the file extension, plus the word excel . Maybe a file converter is available, or
someone has figured out how to use an intermediary program to open the file and export it into a format that Ex-
Importing HTML files
Excel can open most HTML files, which can be stored on your local drive or on a web server. Choose
File ⇒ Open and locate the HTML file. If the file is on a web server, copy the URL and paste it into the File
Name field in the Open dialog box.
How the HTML code renders in Excel varies considerably. Sometimes, the HTML file may look exactly as it
does in a browser. Other times, it may bear little resemblance, especially if the HTML file uses cascading style
sheets (CSS) for layout.