How to import a comma separated csv file

Posted on 2006-05-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-18

i have a comma separated csv file.

the structure is very easy.

i created a notes database with exect these fileds.
i also created a view with the colums like name, street, city

now i try to import it into the database, but no chance.
all data is "somehow" imported. it makes no sense if i read the imported data.

i read the help, but i can't figure it out.

then i changed the comma to a tab and tried to import it as tab file
doesn't work , too.

it only works if i use lotus123 and import the csv file into it and save it as wk1.
then i can import the wk1 file e.g. form based and it looks really well.

i'm using r5, version 5.11

any idea how i can import the csv file?

Question by:hreinart
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment


    i don't need to use script.

    the links only reagrd using lotus script.

    any other idea who to do this manually?
    use file/import ...


    Author Comment

    if it's very difficult i can have sent the csv file in another format.
    whatever is suitable.

    unfortunatelly not as an wk1 file.
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    I would import into Excel ad export it as a tab delimited file. Then Notes can import it via - File - Import

    I hope this helps !

    Author Comment

    sorry, doesn't help.

    i own lotus 123 like i wrote.
    this works fine to import into notes.

    but i need to import the csv file directly.
    i tried to use tab instead of comma, no success.

    any other idea?


    Author Comment


    i solved the problem by myself.
    a .col file is needed.

    i paste here the solution for other user who might be interested in it.
    please don't write answers now.

    Writing a COL file for a tabular text file
    Specifying the delimiter of a column
    If the tabular text file uses a delimiter character to separate columns of data, you must use the UNTIL keyword to specify the delimiter as part of each field definition.

    For example, if the source data is delimited by commas, as in:

    "Smith", "Robert", "Gryphon Real Estate", "555-1212"

    and the view contains the following field names:

    LastName, FirstName, Company, Phone

    then the COL file will contain the following lines:

    LastName: UNTIL ",";
    FirstName: UNTIL ",";

    Company: UNTIL ",";

    Phone: UNTIL "";

    If there is no delimiter at the end of the record (row), you identify the end of the last field as a null ("").
    Specifying the start, end, and width of a fixed-width column

    If the tabular text file contains fixed-width columns of data, you use the START keyword along with either the END or WIDTH keyword to define each field.

    For example, if the source data contains a LastName field that is 12 characters wide and the view contains a field named LastName, the COL file must contain the following column definition:

    LastName: START 01 END 13

    LastName: Start 01 WIDTH 12

    The first column position is always 01, not 0.
    The following lines of a COL file give two sets of instructions:

    LastName: START 1 WIDTH 12
    FirstName: TYPE TEXT START 13 END 20

    The first line puts the contents of the first field, LastName, at position 1 and allows 12 characters for it. The second line specifies that the data type of the FirstName field is text, begins the contents of the field at position 13, and allows 8 characters for it.
    Specifying the header, footer, and lines per page

    The HEADER, FOOTER, and LINESPERPAGE keywords tell Notes to ignore headers and footers during importing. The number of lines in the imported document are calculated as:

    LinesPerPage - (HeaderLines + FooterLines)

    For example, the following line of a COL file tells Notes to ignore 4 heading lines and 1 footer line and sets the maximum number of lines per page to 66:


    The keywords may appear together or alone on a line in the file. These settings in a COL file override values in the Tabular Text Import dialog box
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    Glad to hear. I have not use a COL file in years.

    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Hi hreinart,
    Good for you!  I was thinking about the COL file and then got distracted, so when I came back and noticed that you discovered it, I wanted to say how clever you are - most people (including me at one point about six years ago) couldn't figure those out.  Used correctly, it's a nice mapping import tool, isn't it?


    Accepted Solution

    PAQed with points refunded (125)

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