Configuring properties for table layouts

You can change many of the basic properties of a table layout using the Table Layout Options tab in the Table Layout dialog box. Any properties or options that do not apply to the selected table layout, because of the data source it is associated with, are disabled.

You can view the effects of the changes you make in the data preview area in the dialog box.

To configure properties for a table layout:

  1. Select Edit > Table Layout.
  2. Click the Table Layout Options tab.
  3. The Media Type drop-down list specifies how the data is physically accessed. This value is typically set to Disk and cannot be changed.
  4. If the data file is incorrectly displayed in the data preview area, you can have ACL attempt to identify the properties of the data file automatically by clicking Analyze File .
  5. If the data source linked to the table layout is a delimited text file, and the data file is incorrectly displayed in the preview table (or no data is displayed) you may need to specify the field separator and delimiter characters manually. Click Convert Delimited File , enter the required Field Separator and String Delimiter values in the Custom Delimit dialog box and click OK. When prompted, enter a name for the new data file (.fil) and click Save.
  6. The File Type drop-down list specifies how records are stored in the data source. You can select from the following options:
    • Fixed Record Length – Select for data files where each record in the file has the same maximum length and the position of each field is consistent from record to record.

    • IBM Variable Record Length – Select for data files where the data file contains records of varying length.

    • Text File (CR or CRLF) – Select if the data file is a text file where the end of each record is marked by a carriage return (CR) or a carriage return and line feed sequence (CRLF).

  7. If you want to modify the character set used to display the data file, you can select the appropriate option from the Character Set drop-down list. You can select ASCII, EBCDIC, or Unicode (if you are using the Unicode edition of ACL). If the character set selected does not match the encoding for the data file, the data displayed in the preview table will not be readable. You can also change the character set by clicking the character set label displayed in the top left column label in the preview table.

    Select the Hex checkbox to view the data in hexadecimal format. This option is useful if you are working with unprintable characters or compressed data, such as packed numeric data originating from an IBM mainframe computer, and you need to modify the Record Length or Skip Length.

  8. If you want to modify the record length, increase or decrease the value specified in the Record Length text box. The record length refers to the length of each record in fixed length files, or the length of the longest record in variable length files. If the values in a field are shifted to the right the record length value likely needs to be increased. If the values in a field are shifted to the left, the record length value likely needs to be decreased.
  9. If you want to exclude data at the beginning of the file, modify the value in the Skip Length text box. The value entered specifies the number of bytes to skip at the start of the file. The default value is zero, which means that the entire file is processed. To skip data, enter a value greater than zero. For example, if the first 32 bytes contain only header information, specify a skip length value of 32 to omit this information.
  10. If you want to add a note about your table layout, click Edit Table Layout Note , enter the note text, and click Close .
  11. Click Close to close the Table Layout dialog box and save your changes.

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