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Set data type in Text Input tool

Idea: Allow the user to set the data type including character field width in the Text Input tool.


The Text Input tool currently auto-senses the correct type and width of the field in a Text Input tool. However, this sometimes restricts the usage of the data downline.



1 - I often run into the situation where I've copied some data from a browse tool and then pasted that as an input to a new workflow. Then I'll turn that workflow into a macro. But then I run into an issue where the data that comes into the macro is larger than the original width in the Text Input tool. This causes problems.


2 - The tool senses that a field containing zip codes should be numeric and then converts the data. This corrupts the data and makes me insert a Select/Formula tool combo to pad the zeros to the left.

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review

Hi John,


This is something that we are looking into currently.  We are considering the option to set the data type in text input, but may do that as part of a larger refresh of the tool.  In the short term, we are going to ease up on the determination of size so that we don't end up truncating strings so often when using the tool.  We are actually looking to use more VW_Strings for text with a large maximum so truncation only occurs when the user actually intends it.  Hopefully this will address the issue that you are describing.  We are hoping to get this change into one of the next couple of releases.



12 - Quasar
12 - Quasar

Thanks for the feekback Ben!

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review
5 - Atom

This is a major issue for me. For me it is more of a general problem with any input, esspecially macro input.


With any input took, I need to be able to define the datatype of each column in the input.


The tools i need this for is:

Macro input

Text input


I also think I have had trouble with the tools below because of this issue

input data

Dynamic input


Another problem is that I can't put a spatial object into a text input tool (I know SO isn't Text).  I really like to be able to do that when converting text input to macro input and not having to create a new .yxdb every time I adjust the macro input.  These are slightly different problems, but I think they're probably related

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Absolutely agree with this - need strong typing on all input tools (text input; CSV input; etc)

8 - Asteroid

Any updates on this?

8 - Asteroid

This would be very useful for manual profiling raw files for us :) 

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review

We plan to make some improvements to Text Input over the next year. I've added this idea to the project for consideration. 

7 - Meteor

This is also an issue for me, particularly where integers are cast to bytes. Is there any update on when we can expect this to be addressed?