Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
Learn more about Allen...
Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Specifying a Delimiter when Saving a CSV File in a Macro.
When creating a CSV file using the menus to export a worksheet, Arkadiusz noted that he can specify that he wants to use a semicolon (;) as a field delimiter. However, if he saves a CSV file using a macro (FileFormat:=xlCSV or xlCSVWindows), then he cannot specify a semicolon as a delimiter.
This works this way by design in VBA. The Excel implementation of the export routines for VBA always use whatever the Windows regional settings are to determine how items in a CSV should be separated. Specifically, the routine looks at the List Separator field for the delimiter. This means that you can, if desired, change the delimiter to a semicolon by changing the List Separator setting in your regional settings configuration.
If you don't want to change the regional settings, then you can instead write your own macro that will output the file in any way you desire. Consider, for a moment, the following macro, which will output the file:
Sub CreateFile() FName = ActiveWorkbook.Name If Right(FName, 4) = ".xls" Then FName = Mid(FName, 1, Len(FName) - 4) End If Columns(1).Insert Shift:=xlToRight For i = 1 To Range("B65000").End(xlUp).Row TempString = "" For j = 2 To Range("HA1").End(xlToLeft).Column If j <> Range("HA1").End(xlToLeft).Column Then TempString = TempString & _ Cells(i, j).Value & ";" Else TempString = TempString & _ Cells(i, j).Value End If Next Cells(i, 1).Value = TempString Next Columns(1).Select Selection.Copy Workbooks.Add Range("A1").Select ActiveSheet.Paste Application.CutCopyMode = False ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:=FName & ".txt", _ FileFormat:=xlPrinter End Sub
This macro takes a unique approach to creating the output file. What it does is to insert a column at the left of your worksheet, and then concatenates all the data to the right of that column into the newly inserted column A. It adds a semicolon between each field. Once that is done, it grabs the information it put into column A and writes it into a new workbook. This workbook is then saved to disk using the xlPrinter file format, which means that it is put out "as is" without any modification whatsoever.
If you prefer a more direct approach, writing the information directly to a file without making changes to your worksheet, take a look at the macro at this blog post:
The macro uses commas between each field, but it can be easily modified so that it uses semicolons instead.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3232) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Specifying a Delimiter when Saving a CSV File in a Macro.
Step Up and Take Control! Subscribers to ExcelTips know just how valuable a resource it is. ExcelTips Premium provides twice the number of exceptional, easy-to-understand tips every week in an ad-free newsletter, as well as substantial discounts on ExcelTips archives and e-books. Check out ExcelTips Premium today!