Defining delimited text files

You can define ACL tables from delimited text files. The Data Definition Wizard allows you to select the field separator, the text qualifier, and the fields to import from any delimited text file.

You can access delimited text files on your local computer or a network drive, or from a folder located on an ACL Server (if installed).

To create a table from a delimited text file:

  1. Select File > New > Table.

    The first page displayed in the Data Definition Wizard depends on your configuration. If integration with ACL Server is enabled the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed, otherwise the Select Local Data Source page is displayed.

  2. Complete one of the following steps to select the location of the file:
    • If the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed and you want to use ACL to define the file, select Local and click Next. In the Select Local Data Source page select Disk and click Next.

    • If the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed and you want to use an ACL Server to define the file, select ACL Server and select the Windows server profile from the drop-down list, and then click Next. In the Select ACL Server Data Source page select Flat Files and click Next.

    • If the Select Local Data Source page is displayed select Disk and click Next.

  3. In the Select File to Define page, locate and select the file you want to create the ACL table from and click Open.
  4. In the Character Set page, verify that the correct character set option has been selected and click Next.
  5. In the File Format page, verify that the Delimited text file option has been selected and click Next. Delimited text files typically have a .txt, .csv (comma separated), or .tsv (tab separated) file extension.
  6. In the Delimited File Properties page, modify the following properties for the delimited text file you are importing, as necessary:
    • Start on Line – Enter 1 to start reading the file on the first line (excluding field names on the first line if you select Use first row as field names). Enter a value greater than 1 to specify the number of lines the Data Definition Wizard should skip when reading the file. For example, if the first three lines of the file contain header information, enter 4 to start reading data on the fourth line.

    • Field Width – Select the column heading in the preview table and either keep the value assigned by ACL for the field length in the table layout, or enter a different length.

    • Use first row as field names – Select this option if the first line in the file contains field names, and you want to use these names for the fields in the table layout.

    • Treat Consecutive qualifiers as one – Select this option to specify that duplicate qualifier characters are ignored.

      For example, “ACL Services”” (terminating with two double-quote characters) is equivalent to “ACL Services” if you select this option.

    • Field Separator – Select the character used to separate fields in the file you are importing.

      You can select Comma, Tab, or Semicolon, or you can select Other and enter the character that is used as the field separator.

    • Text Qualifier – Select the text symbol used to identify values contained in fields.

      You can select Double Quote, Single Quote, None (to indicate that no text qualifier is used), or Other and enter the character that is used as the text qualifier.

    • Clear CR and Clear LF – Select one or both of these options to cleanse the imported data of misplaced carriage return (CR) and/or line feed (LF) characters.

      Misplaced CR/LF characters can cause incorrect line breaks within records. When enabled, the option removes any CR/LF characters that occur inside a pair of text qualifiers. For Windows files, select both Clear CR and Clear LF. The two options are disabled if you do not specify a Text Qualifier.

  7. Click Next.
  8. In the Save Data File As dialog box, enter a name for the ACL data file, and if necessary modify the location where the file will be saved, and click Save.
  9. In the Edit Field Properties page, you can modify the name and properties for each field by selecting the appropriate column heading in the preview table, in the bottom half of the page, and updating any of the following properties:
    • Ignore this field – If you do not want the field to be included in the ACL table layout, select this checkbox.

    • Name – Keep the name assigned by ACL for the field in the table layout, or enter a different name.

    • Column Title – Enter the column title to display in the default ACL view.

      If you do not specify a column title, the Name value is used.

    • Type – Select the appropriate data type for the field from the drop-down list.

      The Decimal and Input Format text boxes appear automatically when you select the corresponding data type.

      For information about the supported data types in ACL, see ACL data types.

    • Value – A read-only property that displays the first value in the field. The value is updated based on any edits you make.

    • Decimal (numeric fields only) – Specify the appropriate number of decimal places.

    • Input Format (datetime fields only) – Specify the format that matches the data.

      For more information about date and time formats, see Formats of date and time source data.

  10. Click Next after you have finished editing field properties.
  11. In the Final page, verify the settings for the new ACL table and click Finish.
  12. Enter a name for the ACL table you are adding to the project, or keep the default name, and click OK.


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