This browser does not support basic Web standards, preventing the display of our site's intended design. May we suggest that you upgrade your browser?

Microsoft Excel 2003/2004

Importing an External Data File

Importing data into an Excel worksheet is helpful if you want to use Excel's features to view, process and/or analyze data stored in another file. For example, many people store data in tab-delimited text files or comma-separated values (csv) files because they can be opened from virtually any computer.

  1. Windows: From the Data menu, select Import External Data » Import Data...
    The Select Data Source dialog box appears.
    Macintosh: From the Data menu, select Get External Data » Import Text File...
    The Choose a File dialog box appears.

  2. Windows: From the Files of type pull-down list, select All Files (*.*)
    Macintosh: From the Enable pull-down list, select All Documents

  3. Windows: Using the Look in pull-down list, locate and select the file
    Macintosh: Navigate to and select the file

  4. Windows: Click OPEN
    Macintosh: Click GET DATA
    The Text Import Wizard appears.

  5. Select Delimited or Fixed Width
    The Text Import Wizard automatically selects the display type that it thinks best fits your data.
    A delimiter is a character that separates pieces of data and was specified when the data was created.
    Text Import Wizard dialog box

  6. Click NEXT

  7. If your data is delimited, change and/or confirm the delimiters and click NEXT
    NOTE: The Text Import Wizard automatically selects the delimiter that it thinks is being used (usually Tab), however, if you know it to be something different you can specify a different delimiter such as, Semicolon, Comma, or Space.

  8. To set the data format of each column
    1. In the Data preview section, select a column
      Text Import Wizard dialog box
    2. In the Column data format section, select the data format
      HINT: All of the columns will be automatically formatted as General by the Text Import Wizard. If you are unsure about how to format the data, allow the columns to remain General.

  9. Click FINISH
    The Import Data dialog box appears.
    Import Data dialog box

  10. To place the data in a new worksheet, select New worksheet

  11. To place the data in the existing worksheet,
    1. Select Existing worksheet
    2. Click COLLAPSE DIALOGCollapse Dialog buttonorCollapse dialog button
      The Import Data dialog box is collapsed.
    3. Select the cell where the imported data should begin
    4. Click RESTORE DIALOGRestore Dialog buttonorRestore Dialog button
      The Import Data dialog box is restored.

  12. Click OK
    Your data appears in the designated location.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.