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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Output as Text File

Alteryx
Alteryx
Created on

Output data as Text File

 

Within Alteryx there isn't an output option directly to a text file. To achieve this you will need to use a flat ASCII file.

 

Step 1: Bring in an output data tool and choose the ‘Flat ASCII file (*.flat) option

Pic 1.png

 

Step 2: You will then see this below screenshot in the output tool configuration window.

 

Pic 2.png

 

Step 3: You will now need to change the file extension from .flat to .txt, this will chage the flat file to a text format.

 

Pic 3.png

 

 

Step 4: You can now click on the hyperlink in the results window and open your text file in a supported application.

 

Pic 5.png

 

 

Pic 4.png

 

Example attached.

Attachments
Comments
Community Content Engineer
Community Content Engineer

Hey @JordanB, great post!

 

One question:  since this process also works when you select .csv [Comma-Delimited Text File (*.csv)] as the output format (still using the extension .txt) why did you choose the ‘Flat ASCII file (*.flat) option?  Is there a performance difference?  Are we avoiding excel driver issues...?

 

Thanks!

Alteryx
Alteryx

Hi @CristonS,

 

Thanks for asking such a great question! 

 

You can indeed use a CSV file to output .txt and is valid in a lot of circumstances, such as CSV will guarantee seamless data movement between systems and is visually easier on the eye. However, there are other instances where you have a large amount of transaction data, flat ASCII files have been found to process quicker due to haing fixed widths rather than variable field widths which CSVs have. Therefore, from a performance point of view uploading large sets of data an ASCII file is the most cost-effective method. 

 

So ultimately depending upon the size of your data and how you want the data to be visualized, the use of CSV or ASCII flat files is really up to personal preferance or best business practices.

 

Best,

 

Jordan Barker

Solutions Consultant  

 

 

Community Content Engineer
Community Content Engineer

Good to know!  Thanks @JordanB, keep up the good work!

I would like my output to be a pipe delimited text file. Is this possible with using the  ‘Flat ASCII file (*.flat) option, or is the csv route best for this?

 

Thanks,

Brittani

Alteryx
Alteryx

Hi @Bwilliams

 

CSV would be the best option for this. Looking at ASCII the option to delimit is not there. 

Pipe Delimited.png

 

Best,

 

Jordan Barker

Solutions Consultant 

Asteroid

Stupid question, if I wanted it to be "tab delimited" would I utilize the ASCII or the CSV?

Alteryx
Alteryx

Hi @Andy_Katona

 

You can use CVS and use \t for tab delimited.

 

Best,

 

Jordan

Asteroid

Thank you, of course I found it & got it to work right after I posted. I am still amazed & keep trying to break/challenge this tool . My biggest issue is the slowness over VPN at home. Hopefully they have a fix for that problem soon.

Asteroid

I just re-created it to help speed up time. It appears the issue was somehow embedded in the output. All good

Atom

I followed all the directions and I get my flat file however there are extra blank rows between each row. I have researched it and I can't fix it. In Alteryx you can't see if but when I load the file to mainframe it picks up the extra carriage return. Any ideas?