Aligning Columns

  • I am not a programmer so I apologize in advance if I sound like a super noob, cause I am. :)

    I need for format a .dat file to load into a program without altering my deliminators. I want to align the columns so I can properly review the data to ensure it is accurate before loading.

    I have installed TextFX, Code Alignment and Column sorting. I am able to align the first column by the pipe character | however the rest of the data remains in the same position. I got creative, or probably crazy to actual programmers, and replaced all the carets ^ with commas because I wanted to see what would happen if I aligned by comma through TextFX. That successfully aligned my columns with appropriate space where certain columns have no information. I replaced all commas back to carets however that is not going to be a valid solution because I am altering the date fields, names and other areas where commas are required.

    Also, is there a way to automatically select all items in that column once aligned? Or do you have to drag and select every row to highlight them?

    Thanks so much for any feedback!!!

  • As you’ve found it, it is hard to adjust how it looks without changing the data itself. About your only option would be to use tab characters. If you are able to use tabs, then you can use the ElasticTabstops plugin (available through the plugin manager) so it will show your data like this for example:

    Your file itself won’t get changed at all.

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