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Convert CSV to Fixed Width Text Files Easily with 'Convert XLS' from Softinterface


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CSV to XLS

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XLSX to CSV (Unicode/ASCII/ANSI)

XLSX  to Fixed Width Text (Unicode/ASCII/ANSI)

XLS to CSV (Unicode/ASCII/ANSI)

XLS  to Fixed Width Text (Unicode/ASCII/ANSI)

Fixed Width Text File to XLS

Fixed Width Text File to XLSX

Fixed Width Text File to CSV

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Convert CSV to Fixed Width Text Files

(Batch Conversion of CSV Files to/from Fixed Width Text, HTML, XML, XLS, XLSX etc.)

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'Convert XLS'  Used to convert CSV to Fixed Width Text Files

Note: A CSV file can be any character delimited file, see CSV File Definition for details.

Do you need software to convert CSV to Fixed Width Text Files?  If so, we have the exact tool you need. 'Convert XLS' has a built in fixed width profile editor allowing you to specify:

  • Each columns width
  • [Optional] Character used to pad the data (when there is empty space)
  • [Optional] Left/right alignment
  • [Optional] Skip/remove specific columns from the output file
  • [Optional] Reorder the columns in the output file

The editor makes it easy to create numerous unique fixed width text profiles that can be recalled for use, modified or backed up at your command.  We store each profile in a simple text file for easy archiving, editing etc.

Converting the other way, from a fixed width text file to a CSV, XLS, XLSX or html/xml file is also possible.

Note: We can handle HUGE CSV file sizes (gigabytes) easily. Unicode and other text encodings (ASCII, ANSI, UTF8 etc.) are supported.

Furthermore, all our conversion tools allow you to automate the process by using the built in scheduler, command line (batch files, command prompt etc.), or for you programmers a COM/ActiveX interface.

Download 'Convert XLS' a tool which can be used to convert CSV to Fixed Width Text Files

Directions for converting to/from a CSV file are given below:

 Convert CSV to Fixed Width Text Files with this profile editor.

Fixed Width Profile Editor (click to enlarge)

Converting From a CSV file to a fixed width text file

1. Select the ‘Convert Files’ Action To Do

2. Select the Original (input) file path. For a whole folder be certain to use the *.ext format.  For example if you want to convert the folder of csv files located in “C:\input folder\” then use “C:\input folder\*.ext” where ext is the extension used for the files.  Typically, *.ext will be *.csv but not always.

     Select the ‘Convert XLS’ conversion method.

      Specify the Original File Format.  In this case it may be one of three choices, “[6] Character Separated (*.CSV)”, “[23] Character Separated Unicode (*.csv)” or “[25] Character Separated UTF-8 (*.csv)”.

    Click on the OPTIONS button and then the “Convert to/from a Fixed Width Text File” tab to specify each column width.  If you know exactly what the width is for each column select the "Use column sizes specified below" and then specify each column by entering the number, and clicking the ">" button.

3.  Now specify the Target (output) file path. If you are doing a whole folder, then specify the whole folder using the “*.ext” format (for example "c:\output\*.txt").  Finally, specify the ‘Convert To File Format” target (output) file type, in this case it may be "[21] Text (ASCII), Fixed Width (*.TXT)" or for Unicode "[42] Text (Unicode), Fixed Width (*.TXT)".  Note that you will have more choices available if you choose the ‘MS Excel’ conversion method.

4. Click the CONVERT button on the tool bar to start converting.

 

 Converting To a CSV file from a fixed width text file

1.  Select the ‘Convert Files’ Action To Do

2.  Select the input file path. For a whole folder be certain to use the *.ext format.  For example if you want to convert the folder of csv files located in “C:\input folder\” then use “C:\input folder\*.ext” where ext is the extension used for the files.

    Select the ‘Convert XLS’ conversion method.

     Specify the Original (input) File Format.

    Click on the Options button and then the “CSV, TSV…” tab to choose what character you want to distinguish each piece of data within each record of the csv file. By default the comma is used.  If you are converting from a ‘Fixed Width Text File’ (‘Convert XLS’ conversion method is required for this), then click on the “Converting to/from a Fixed Width Text File” tab and specify each column width.

3.  Now specify the Target (output) file path. If you are doing a whole folder, then specify the whole folder using the “*.ext” format (for example "C:\Output\*.csv").  Finally, specify the ‘Convert To File Format” target (output) file type.  In this case it may be one of two choices, “[6] Character Separated (*.CSV)” or “[23] Character Separated Unicode (*.csv)

4. Click the CONVERT button on the tool bar to start converting.

 

Command Line Examples: Conversion of CSV to Fixed Width Text File

NOTE: 'Convert XLS' can be used simply with the graphical user interface (GUI).  If you've never heard of 'Command Line' before, we would recommend not reading this section and instead download and try the software.

This is just a sample from the documentation.   If you have trouble running these examples please see Helpful Hints For Creating a Command Line within the documentation.

The first example shows how to convert the most popular form of a CSV file, a comma delimited file, to a Fixed Width Text file using the ‘Convert XLS’ conversion method. If you have a bar "|" (ASCII 124), or a tab (ASCII 9) delimited CSV file simply swap out the 44 (ASCII value for the comma) with the appropriate ASCII numeric value. Also, this example illustrates one of three viable methods to convert from a CSV to a fixed width text file. In example 1 we show how to specify every columns width. Alternatively you can have it auto size the column width to retain all the data by simply changing the 4th item in the /N switch from 2 to 0. In this case you do not need to specify the column widths. Example 2 will demonstrate this. The 3rd example shows how to use the ‘MS Excel’ conversion method. Note that it is only with the ‘Convert XLS’ conversion method that you can specify each column individually.

Each switch shown in blue is described in detail below the examples given. It is highly recommended you review each switches description before implementing the example, thereby giving you the full power of ‘Convert XLS’.

Example 1: CSV File to a Fixed Width Text File (Specify Columns)

First specify your fixed width text file format using the Using the Fixed Width Text Profile Editor. You give a profile a name, in this case lets call it Profile142. To convert a single comma delimited CSV file (recall that the comma character has an ASCII numeric value of 44), "C:\in\input.CSV" to an fixed width text file the following syntax would be used:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\input.CSV" /T "C:\out\out.txt" /C21 /F6 /M2 /N"^^44^2^Profile142" /V

To convert a whole folder (and subfolders) of comma delimited CSV files, C:\in\*.CSV to fixed width text files located in the C:\out\ folder, the following syntax would be used:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /T "C:\out\*.txt" /C21 /F6 /M2 /N"^^44^2^Profile142" /R /V

 

The /G switch can be used to tell ‘Convert XLS’ to simply place each output file in the same folder as each input file. Therefore the command line above is equivalent to the command line below:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /G /C21 /F6 /M2 /N"^^44^2^Profile142" /R /V

 

You may simply want to convert a whole folder and its subfolders and place the output into a separate folder/drive. In which case use this syntax:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /T "C:\Out\*.txt" /C21 /F6 /M2 /N"^^44^2^Profile142" /R /V

Example 2: CSV File to a Fixed Width Text File (Autosize Columns)

This is identical to the first example of Example 1, however this time we don’t specify each column width, rather, we allow ‘Convert XLS’ to automatically size the columns to fit all the data. Notice the only change is in the /N switch.

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\input.CSV" /T "C:\out\out.txt" /C21 /F6 /M2 /N"^^44^0" /V

 

Of course the example immediately above can be adapted to do whole folders and subfolders similar to what we did in Example 1.

Example 3: CSV File to a Fixed Width Text File (Using ‘MS Excel’ Conversion Method)

In this case we use MS Excel to convert from a CSV file to a Fixed Width Text file. Notice that when using the ‘MS Excel’ conversion method, we can’t specify each column width and this will be a slower conversion.

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\input.CSV" /T "C:\out\out.txt" /C21 /F6 /M1 /N"^^44" /V

·      The /S and /T switches above specify Source (input) and Target (output) path respectively and are both required when converting a single file. It is always a good idea to use double quotes around the path especially if there are space characters within the path.

·      The /C21 switch specifies that the target (output) file to be a fixed width text file whereas the /F6 switch specifies the original (input file) is a CSV file. See Excel Conversion File Type Constants for all possible values for /C and /F.

·      The /M2 switch tells it to use the ‘Convert XLS’ conversion method which is exceptionally fast. /M1 switch is used to specify the ‘MS Excel’ conversion method which is a bit slower and requires MS Excel.

·      The /R switch tells it to search the original folder and its subfolders for files to convert.

·      /G switch can be used to tell ‘Convert XLS’ to simply place each output file in the same folder as each input file.

·      /N"{Sheet^Range^DelimChar^FixedWidth^Profile}" Is used when converting to/from an Excel, CSV or fixed width text file. It specifies which Sheets to convert, what Range to convert and what delimitation/separation character to use, and the method to import export to a fixed width text file. The syntax for this parameter is critical, the items are separated by a carrot character "^". If you do not include Sheet, Range or DelimChar by leaving them blank they will default to all sheets, all used ranges and the comma delimitation character. Be certain to include the double quotation character around this parameter.

 

Sheet: Use "*" or "" for all sheets. You can use names of sheets, or the numeric index. If using numeric indices, you can specify ranges of sheets (i.e. "1,4,10-20" and "4-10,9" etc.).

Range: Not used in these examples. You could optionally specify a range; say if you only wanted to convert a portion of the input XLS file. Use the same syntax as an Excel range (e.g. A1:B10, B:B).

DelimChar: is for specifying the ASCII value of the delimitation character used in a CSV file. 44 for comma, 124 for Bar "|", 9 for the tab etc.

FixedWidth: ‘Convert XLS’ Conversion Method only (/M2). Here you can specify how to import/export a fixed width text file. The following numeric values are valid:

0 = Auto size column widths to fit all data (Default) 

1 = Use same widths as specified in the Excel file 

2 = Use widths specified by the Profile. Widths can be specified in the user interfaces Fixed Width Text Profile Editor.

Profile = If you are specifying a fixed width text profile to use do it with this parameter. Use the Fixed Width Text Profile Editor to generate a profile. The full path to the txt file could be used. As an example if you want to specify to convert sheets called ‘Apples’ and ‘Oranges’, and use the range "A2:B20" and a fixed width text file profile named MyFixedWidth you would do so like this:

/N"Apples,Oranges^A2:B20^^2^MyFixedWidth"

·      The /V (for Verbose) switch is used to give instant feedback by having the program report the status of the conversion with a message box. You can remove this once you have perfected your command line specification. You can also (or instead of /V) create a Log file that will contain the results of the conversion by using the /L switch.

Note: It is highly encouraged that you use the Verbose (/V) switch initially to see what the status of your conversion is and to help you perfect your command line.  When in verbose mode the program will tell you what went wrong or right with your command line using message boxes.