Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Creating PivotTables from external data
Creating PivotTables from external data
Although most of the time you will create PivotTables from data stored in Excel worksheets,
you can also bring data from outside sources into Excel. For example, you might need to
work with data created in another spreadsheet program by using a file format that Excel
can’t read directly. Fortunately, you can export the data from the original program into a
text file, which Excel then translates into a worksheet.
TIP The data import technique shown here isn’t exclusive to PivotTables. You can use this
procedure to bring data into your worksheets for any purpose.
Spreadsheet programs store data in cells, so the goal of representing spreadsheet data in
a text file is to indicate where the contents of one cell end and those of the next cell begin.
The character that marks the end of a cell is a delimiter , in that it marks the end (or “limit”)
of a cell. The most common cell delimiter is the comma, so the delimited sequence 15, 18,
24, 28 represents data in four cells. The problem with using commas to delimit financial
data is that larger values—such as 52,802 —can be written by using commas as thousands
markers. To avoid confusion when importing a text file, the most commonly used delimiter
for financial data is the Tab character.
To import data from a text file, on the Data tab, click Get External Data group, and then
click From Text to display the Import Text File dialog box.
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