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: File Formats that Include Field Formats.

File Formats that Include Field Formats

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 15, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Wolfgang often imports CSV files that are created by other programs. When importing he needs to specify to Excel how it should treat the data that it is importing. This causes Wolfgang to wonder if there is a file format that Excel can import that has field formats embedded so that he doesn't have to do any manual work on import.

Unfortunately, this cannot be done; Excel provides no way to add such information to a plain-text file it is importing. There is a potential workaround, however. You could simply import your CSV file with no formatting applied, and then use the macro recorder to record how you manually format the freshly imported data. This macro could then be executed every time you import another file that uses the same sort of data as the first CSV file you imported.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3415) 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: File Formats that Include Field Formats.

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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