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At 13:53 17/03/2014 +0000, Budgie Noname wrote:
On 17/03/14 13:25, Brian Barker wrote:
At 11:43 17/03/2014 +0000, Budgie Noname wrote:
In short I am having to "massage" a .csv file exported from one system before importing it into an accounting system. The accountant wants a "Comment" column added before importing the file which summarises information held in four other columns. Two columns contain names and do not present a problem but the other two have dates. In the .csv file the dates are shown 02-Oct-14 and I am having trouble getting these dates treated as text.

To get the names I have:-
=B2&" "&C2 but how do I copy the dates?

If you have real dates in the columns and you need to include them as text in the additional column, just use TEXT(D2;"DD-MMM-YY") where you would otherwise use D2 in your formula, and so on.

But if you mean that your original CSV file has these dates in this format, there is an easier way. When you open the CSV file, you should see the Text Import dialogue. Under Fields, click in the date columns and then select Text from the drop-down menu against "Column type". The dates will be imported as text and you will not need the above workaround.

Got it and it is working.
I do still have some issues. If I work on the .csv file in Calc and add columns etc, save as a .csv and re open in Calc the columns are changed in that I get contents of some cells are split into two columns. I shall do some reading but guess this might be because column content is not a single entry but sometimes several in one cell, separated by space or comma. Am I correct?

As its name suggests, the default separator in a CSV file is indeed a comma, so commas in cell text could potentially be a problem. But experiment suggests to me that Calc will automatically enclose any text containing a comma in double quotes, in order to escape the problem. So I'm not sure what you are seeing.

When you first save as .csv you will see the "Export of text files" dialogue, in which you can choose both the field delimiter - normally a comma - and the text delimiter - normally double quotes. Does modifying either of these affect your problem? If you are working with your CSV file and need to get back to these settings, use Save As... (which lets you save back to the same CSV file) but tick the "Edit filter settings" box in the Save As dialogue.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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