About Delimitation

When a text file is used as a database, BarTender needs some way to determine how the data in the file is separated into fields. This is done using delimitation, which refers to the use of special characters to separate the fields in the data file. Most database and spreadsheet programs are able to read or save data in a delimited format. Delimiting values allows you to search for, access, and pull data from any delimited field in the text file.

Any character may be used to separate values in a text file, but the most common delimiters are the comma, quote, and colon. The vertical bar (or "pipe"), space, and tab are also sometimes used.

Comma-separated values might look like this:


Quote-separated values might look like this:


Colon-separated values might look like this:


The default text file delimitation method in BarTender is Mixed Quote and Comma. This is a mixture of quote and comma delimitation and is the most common type of delimitation used when exporting data from a database or spreadsheet to a text file. This default setting works with most delimited text files, because it supports both quote and comma delimited files and straight comma delimited files.

The following sample quote and comma delimited database uses a column header. Values are enclosed in quotation marks and separated by commas. Each line of data is separated by a newline. A newline is simply a special character or sequence of characters signifying the end of a line of text and the start of a new line. In this case, the newlines are carriage returns.

"Jane","Wong","13","Art","Creative Writing"
"Tony","Biggs","14","Creative Writing","Film"

The first line of the above database, the column header, defines the first and last names of a student, the student's age, the class they've chosen, and the alternate class they've chosen.

The entries below the column header are the database records. They contain the students' actual information.

You can select an alternative delimitation method for an existing database if the need arises.

ClosedTo select an alternative delimitation method

  1. From the the Database Setup dialog, select the database name to open the Connection Properties page.

  2. Click Configure Connection to open the Database Setup Wizard.

  3. On the File Format page of the Wizard, select a new delimitation type from the Field Separation dropdown list.

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