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Re: Problems reading text files with embedded delimiters

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  • Subject: [mg125604] Re: Problems reading text files with embedded delimiters
  • From: KING NIGEL-NKI001 <nigel.king at>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 05:45:27 -0500 (EST)
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If the field delimiter is a comma then to follow the csv "specification" if t
here are commas in a field then the field should be enclosed in quotes. The p
roblem is not one for Mathematica, but the simple logic required to unambiguously generate a data interchange format.

I hope that helps

Nigel King
Mob US:+1 224 678 1438
Mob UK:+44 7917 803879
work:+44 1364 655516

On 20 Mar 2012, at 08:03, "Mark Coleman" <markspcoleman at> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm struggling with importing a large flat file into Mathematica. The file , which was pulled off one of my company's legacy mainframe systems,
> contains about 100 fields and several million rows, including a mix of
> dates, reals, and text. The fields are delimited by commas.
> One of the text fields, however, is quite large and contains commas,
> line feeds, carriage returns, etc -- lots of characters commonly used
> as delimiters. It is also a variable length field. There does not seem
> to be anything characters within the field that would allow the
> specification of a simple delimiter. I've tried the default Import[]
> command as well as various permutations of ReadList[] using Record,
> Word, and String specifications.
> I'm wondering if anyone could suggest an approach that would allow me
> to read this file. More precisely, is there a way to avoid reading
> characters embedded in the large text field that Mathematica thinks are field
> delimiters?
> Thanks,
> Mark

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