Documentation about Using Spreadsheets
How to convert a .txt dataset into a spreadsheet
Each of the three .txt datasets that we're making available for every journal on the MJP Lab site contains many strings of data about the journal. Each string in a dataset consists of the same kind of information in the same order (e.g., contributor info first, title info second, genre info third, etc.), and the very first string in the dataset, at the top, provides a label for each of the data fields or categories in the data strings that follow. Within every string in the dataset, information for each field is separated from the fields before and after it with a vertical bar or "pipe" symbol (|): e.g., contributor info | title info | genre info.
Configured this way, each .txt dataset is ready to be converted into a tab-delimited spreadsheet. That's easy to do; but if you're new to this, here are some instructions:
- After you download the dataset from the MJP Lab repository on Sourceforge, you'll want to open the spreadsheet software on your computer and import the dataset into a blank or new spreadsheet. If you're using Microsoft Excel, open a New Workbook in the File menu option and then, in File, select Import.
- In Excel, an "Import" page will now open and ask you to identify the type of file you want to import. Select "Text file."
- When you do so, the "Choose a File" page will open, which allows you to navigate to the dataset on your computer. Do that and then select "Get Data."
- Next, in Excel, the first of three pages from the "Text Import Wizard" will appear. This first page will ask you to choose between "Delimited" and "Fixed width" data; choose "Delimited" and press "Next."
- In page 2 of the "Text Import Wizard," you are asked to set the delimiters within your data. Select "Other" and type a pipe symbol in the empty box to its right. (On most computers, the pipe key, which needs to be pressed along with the shift key, appears just above the return key on the far right-hand side of the keyboard.) Once you do this, you'll also be able to preview what the data looks like in the lower half of the page. If it looks good, press "Finish," which will skip the last page of the Wizard (which isn't necessary for what you're doing).
- Finally, an "Import Data" page will pop up; simply select "OK." The data from the dataset should now appear in your spreadsheet workbook, with the labels of each column appearing in the top line.