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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

The How to Guide to Writing Delimited Files (comma, pipe, other)

HenrietteH
Alteryx
Alteryx
Created

When writing out plain text files you have a couple of different options, a popular one being .csv files. CSV stands for comma separated value, which indicates that a comma is used to separate values within the file. The default program for opening .csv files varies but it is Excel on most machines. When opened in Excel, a .csv file will look just like an Excel document with the only difference that all fields are text (strings). When opened in a text editor, you can see the comma separated values:

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However, you don’t have to use a comma as a delimiter; Alteryx will let you choose many delimiters including pipe |, tab \t and even no delimiter at all (Indicated by \0 ).

You also don’t have to use .csv as the file extension.

In this example, even though the file format selected is csv, the file actually has a .txt extension and will be delimited by pipes | :

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Other options when writing out delimited files are:

Max Records Per File – you can limit the number of rows to write out.

First Row Contains Field Names – uncheck if the first row is not to contain field names and Alteryx will ignore the field names.

Quote Output Fields – the options are auto, always, and never. Quotes are used in delimited files to indicate whether a delimiter is to be treated as such or as part of a field. For example, if the address 123 Main St, Apt 2 is quoted and the delimiter is a comma, it will be treated as one field. If the address is not quoted, it will be treated as two columns (This can sometimes lead to problems when reading in delimited files with Alteryx).

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Code Page – You can select the code page for your document. The default for CSV is Latin Iwhich completely covers all characters in the English language. Unicode is also available.

Line Ending Style – You canselect the line ending style to be used for your delimited files. Available options are Windows (default), Unix, or Mac.

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Comments
brendafos
10 - Fireball

This is useful.

How can I delimit by 'double pipe'? 

The vendor wants a .txt delimied by double pipe.  ???

alex
11 - Bolide

Delimiter must be one character so || will not work, but | will work.  Some folks call the pipe |, double pipe because of how it appears on the keyboard button as 2 small lines.  Maybe that's what they really mean?