Importing data

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg113415] Importing data*From*: David Higgins <dhi67540 at bigpond.net.au>*Date*: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 05:18:34 -0400 (EDT)

Hi all, Relatively new user here. I have a text file containing 540,000 lines of data in 30 columns, fixed width. Not all columns are populated for all data lines. When I import, Mathematica creates a list and populates the list elements from 1 to the number of data elements it finds in each line, ignoring the empty columns so for data lines with only, say 20 columns populated, it has populated data elements 1 to 20 instead of skipping the missing ones. Is there a way to import data that allows me to define a template for the data elements so that the right data ends up in the right elements in the list? Cheers David