How To Configure Delimiters or Field Separators - Rons Place Articles


Rons CSV Editor can be configured to open any format of tabular text file, including the most commonly known format, comma separated value (or CSV) file. The Editor needs to process text into a tabular form when text data enters and exist the application, which happens in three ways:

  • Loading and saving a file.
  • Importing and exporting a file, or clipboard.
  • Copying and pasting data.

Configuring the delimiters (or separators) for loading and saving a file, and copying and pasting data are done in two separate windows, as they a both slightly different operations. Configuring the separators from importing and exporting is done in the import window.

Configuring Separators for Loading (file Associations)

Rons CSV Editor can store the separator settings for any file types that Windows can open with the Editor. The most common of course is ‘.csv’ but there are some common alternatives like ‘.tsv’ (tab separated value) or ‘.psv’ (pipe separated value).

To change which separators Rons CSV Editor uses to open a type of tabular text file open the ‘Tools\File Associations’ menu, to open the ‘Rons CSV Editor Extensions’ window.


File Associations


Note: Windows might ask you if you want to allow Rons CSV Editor to make changes to your computer. The changes in question are file associations, and are nothing to worry about.

The file types that Rons CSV Editor is currently associated with are show on the left in the ‘Extensions’ box, and adding a new one is simply a case of clicking the ‘Add New’ button on the tool bar and entering a new extension. For example ‘tsv’.

Once all the extensions are in place, each can be selected individually and its options changed.

Option Description Comments
Associate File If yes, then Rons CSV Editor is used by Windows to open files with the extension in the ‘Extension’ box above.  
Field Open A character to indicate to Rons CSV Editor when a field in the tabular data begins. Most of the time field open and close characters are the same and are quotes (“), even when the separator character changes. Sometimes brackets (()) or square brackets ([]) are used for field open and close.
Field Close A character to indicate to Rons CSV Editor when a field in the tabular data ends.
Field Separate A character to indicate to Rons CSV Editor when to move to the next field in the tabular data. Comma (,) is of course the most common, but sometime semi colon (;) or pipes (|).
Always use field open/close Rons CSV Editor will only add field open and close characters if the field text contains a separator character or a newline. This option overrides that and always uses open and close characters. This option is only used when saving a tabular text file.
First row is header row If checked the first full row of a tabular file is treated as the table column names, rather than the first line of the text data. This option is only used when loading a tabular text file.

The buttons on the button bar at the top do the following actions:

Button Description
Add New As previously mentioned, adds a new file extension.
Delete Deletes the selected file extensions.
Refresh Reloads the files extensions and their options.
Reset Restores a reasonable set of default extensions and their options.

Finally clicking the ‘Done’, or ‘Apply’ buttons will save the changes.

Configuring Separators for Copying\Pasting

It can quite often occur that various applications that support copying and pasting data in a tabular format do so in a variety of wondrous ways. In order to help get data into and out of Rons CSV Editor different named clipboard formats are supported that can be chosen whilst editing.

To configure copy/paste formats go to the ‘File\Options’ menu, and select the ‘Copy\Paste Formats’ tab.


Options Copy Paste Formats


The options presented are very much the same at the options for file associations explained above, except for the options are linked to a name this time rather than a file type. An extra option is present to set the default format to use for normal copy and paste operations.

The buttons on the button bar at the top do the following actions:

Button Description
Add Adds a new named copy/paste format.
Duplicate Duplicates the current named copy/paste format(s).
Remove Deletes the selected copy/paste format(s).
Move Up The formats are presented in a menu, so it makes sense for the most used options to be at the top. The move up/down buttons allow the order to be changed.
Move Down
Restore Defaults Restores a reasonable set of default extensions and their options.

When editing these formats can now be used for copying by using the ‘Edit\Copy Other’ menu, or the ‘Copy Other’ context menu on the main editing table.

For pasting other formats the Editor opens the ‘Text Import’ wizard.


Tags: Rons CSV Editor

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