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Suggestion: Option to use second row of CSV file as field na

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Suggestion: Option to use second row of CSV file as field na

Postby chjopr on Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:04 am

Suggestion: Option to allow the second row of a CSV file to be used as the field names.

Many CSV files I come across use the first row for a title or file information, and have the field names contained in the second row.

I’m suggesting that an option be provided to use the second row as the field name list for CSV type files, instead of the first row.

The row containing the field names may be able to be automatically determined, based on if the first row has fewer fields that the second and subsequent rows, then the first row is probably just a title row.

As an application example, the data files from GS1net (formerly EANnet) are tab delimited files with five fields for the first row (file info) and 241 fields for subsequent rows, with the field names in the second row.

This feature would be very useful to me, and, I am sure, to others as well.
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Re: Suggestion: Option to use second row of CSV file as field na

Postby Ken on Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:29 am

Hi there,

Thanks very much for the suggestion. We've also seen this issue come up and haven't yet come up with a good way to solve it.

One of the problems is that there seems to be a lot of delimited data out on the web with extra file information attached. For the GS1net it is only a single record of information, whereas others we've seen can have 10 or more records of this kind of metadata. One method is doing more advanced auto-sensing; another is to provide a manual override to turn any given record into field headers.

Either way, if field headers are available and auto-sensing doesn't pick them up, there should be an easier way to get access to them.

I'll add it to our bug list.


P.S. This is obviously not ideal, but the manual workaround, at this point, is to open the tsv data from the web, File > Save As External (to tsv or csv), open that saved file in something like notepad to manually delete that first row and then File > Open the tsv file from your desktop.

Ken Kaczmarek
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