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: Importing Multiple Files to a Single Workbook.

Importing Multiple Files to a Single Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 29, 2014)

Let's say that you have a folder on your hard drive that contains thirty text files, and you want to import all of them to an Excel workbook. You want each text file to end up on its own worksheet in the workbook, so that you will have a total of thirty worksheets.

One way to do this is to manually add the desired worksheets, and then individually import each of the text files. This, as you can imagine, would quickly get tedious. A much better solution is to use a macro to do the importing, such as the following one.

Sub CombineTextFiles()
    Dim FilesToOpen
    Dim x As Integer
    Dim wkbAll As Workbook
    Dim wkbTemp As Workbook
    Dim sDelimiter As String

    On Error GoTo ErrHandler
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    sDelimiter = "|"

    FilesToOpen = Application.GetOpenFilename _
      (FileFilter:="Text Files (*.txt), *.txt", _
      MultiSelect:=True, Title:="Text Files to Open")

    If TypeName(FilesToOpen) = "Boolean" Then
        MsgBox "No Files were selected"
        GoTo ExitHandler
    End If

    x = 1
    Set wkbTemp = Workbooks.Open(FileName:=FilesToOpen(x))
    wkbTemp.Sheets(1).Copy
    Set wkbAll = ActiveWorkbook
    wkbTemp.Close (False)
    wkbAll.Worksheets(x).Columns("A:A").TextToColumns _
      Destination:=Range("A1"), DataType:=xlDelimited, _
      TextQualifier:=xlDoubleQuote, _
      ConsecutiveDelimiter:=False, _
      Tab:=False, Semicolon:=False, _
      Comma:=False, Space:=False, _
      Other:=True, OtherChar:="|"
    x = x + 1

    While x <= UBound(FilesToOpen)
        Set wkbTemp = Workbooks.Open(FileName:=FilesToOpen(x))
        With wkbAll
            wkbTemp.Sheets(1).Move After:=.Sheets(.Sheets.Count)
            .Worksheets(x).Columns("A:A").TextToColumns _
              Destination:=Range("A1"), DataType:=xlDelimited, _
              TextQualifier:=xlDoubleQuote, _
              ConsecutiveDelimiter:=False, _
              Tab:=False, Semicolon:=False, _
              Comma:=False, Space:=False, _
              Other:=True, OtherChar:=sDelimiter
        End With
        x = x + 1
    Wend

ExitHandler:
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
    Set wkbAll = Nothing
    Set wkbTemp = Nothing
    Exit Sub

ErrHandler:
    MsgBox Err.Description
    Resume ExitHandler
End Sub 

This macro allows you to select which files you want to import, and then it places the data from those files onto the separate worksheets in the workbook. The macro assumes that the data being imported uses the pipe character (|) as a delimiter between fields.

If you know that the files to be imported are always in the specific folder, and that you want to import all the files in that folder, then you can simplify the macro a bit. The following example assumes that the files are in the folder c:\temp\load_excel, but you could change that folder name by making a simple change to fpath variable in the macro code.

Sub LoadPipeDelimitedFiles()
    Dim idx As Integer
    Dim fpath As String
    Dim fname As String

    idx = 0
    fpath = "c:\temp\load_excel\"
    fname = Dir(fpath & "*.txt")
    While (Len(fname) > 0)
        idx = idx + 1
        Sheets("Sheet" & idx).Select
        With ActiveSheet.QueryTables.Add(Connection:="TEXT;" _
          & fpath & fname, Destination:=Range("A1"))
            .Name = "a" & idx
            .FieldNames = True
            .RowNumbers = False
            .FillAdjacentFormulas = False
            .PreserveFormatting = True
            .RefreshOnFileOpen = False
            .RefreshStyle = xlInsertDeleteCells
            .SavePassword = False
            .SaveData = True
            .AdjustColumnWidth = True
            .RefreshPeriod = 0
            .TextFilePromptOnRefresh = False
            .TextFilePlatform = 437
            .TextFileStartRow = 1
            .TextFileParseType = xlDelimited
            .TextFileTextQualifier = xlTextQualifierDoubleQuote
            .TextFileConsecutiveDelimiter = False
            .TextFileTabDelimiter = False
            .TextFileSemicolonDelimiter = False
            .TextFileCommaDelimiter = False
            .TextFileSpaceDelimiter = False
            .TextFileOtherDelimiter = "|"
            .TextFileColumnDataTypes = Array(1, 1, 1)
            .TextFileTrailingMinusNumbers = True
            .Refresh BackgroundQuery:=False
            fname = Dir
        End With
    Wend
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3148) 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: Importing Multiple Files to a Single Workbook.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...

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