Data handling in mathematica 2.2 and 3.0

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg5662] Data handling in mathematica 2.2 and 3.0*From*: sean ross <sean at lorien.creol.ucf.edu>*Date*: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 22:56:59 -0500*Organization*: CREOL*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

How can I get mathematica to read in a text data file without first having to massage the data in a text editor? Take your typical multi-column data from an excel-type spreadsheet. If I save it as text, the ReadList function assumes I want to multiply all numbers together than appear on the same line. If I save it as comma delimited, ReadList says it is a syntax error. I have tried manipulating the RecordSeparator and WordSeparator options in ReadList, but no success. My current wordaround is to take the data file, read it into excel and save it as comma delimited text, then import it into word, and do a global replace on all return characters converting them into commas, placing a { } around the list, saving it as unformatted text. Then ReadList can read the data and I can Partition it. I hope there is a more elegant solution. P.S. Has anybody been able to figure out how to read in bitmap data like in the cat picture in the 3.0 "tour of mathematica"? Any time I try to read in .bmp files, it just generates garbage. Not quite as "mathematica reads in data in any format" advertised.