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Access Text File Export Results in Very Large File size

Posted on 2016-11-10
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Last Modified: 2016-11-18
Hi everyone, this might sound like a weird question, but here goes.

I have a table that I'm exporting from access to a fixed width text file with specifications indicated for column width and start position. The table has about 19000 rows and it has about 166 columns; however only about 40 % of the columns are filled in.

When I go to export the table to the text file, the result is a text file that looks 100% correct, but the file size is over 300 megs!  The same file created by our old system resulted in a file that was about 10 megs. I'm trying to figure out why access would create such a large text file in size?  I've already compacted and repaired the database and had no luck. Does anyone have any suggestions on other things to try?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Anthony6890
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11 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bfuchs
ID: 41883164
do you still have copies of the old files, if yes try compare some records and see whats the diff, perhaps just copy a few records so it would be easier to determine.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Anthony6890
ID: 41883209
I did compare the files today.  The only thing I could notice is that the fonts were different, so maybe there has something to do with the encoding coming out of access?
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 41883315
what does the schema.ini file look like?
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Gustav Brock
ID: 41883416
Fonts?

Don't export to Word (rtf or html) but export to text (.txt).

/gustav
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Anthony6890
ID: 41883684
Aik, I will check the schema either today or tomorrow. I don't have access it to this morning because of network maintenance going on.

Gustav, I am exporting it to a txt file. I just noticed that the text itself does look a little different compared to the original files.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Gustav Brock
ID: 41883711
.. the text itself does look a little different compared to the original files.
A little? In what way? From 10 MB to 300 MB there must be a huge difference.

And this:
The only thing I could notice is that the fonts were different
For plain text files, fonts are not different. There is and can't be no font specification.

/gustav
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Anthony6890
ID: 41888016
Hi Gustav, I believe you are correct about the file size.  Before, the old files had a limitation of only 7 instances of a specific field (dependents of an employee).  I can no capture about 14 dependents which has changes the file length size from 13700353 bytes to 298225270 bytes which would explain the increase size difference...
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Accepted Solution

by:
aikimark earned 500 total points
ID: 41888075
Especially bad if you have fixed width fields
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Anthony6890
ID: 41888390
Hi, yes the text file that I export, is a fixed width file with specifications for the column start and the width of the column itself...
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Anthony6890
ID: 41892066
When I compared the size of the original files I had with the ones I've created, the new ones are 21 times the length compared to the old ones.  Has anyone ever heard of access adding extra padding to fixed width files?  Something just doesn't seem correct...
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:Anthony6890
ID: 41893635
The filesize increase was specifically because of the fixed width layout.
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