Import ASCII files

This dialog is activated by selecting the Import -> Import ASCII... command from the File Menu. The files are imported using a set of default options. All your changes to the default import parameters will be saved.

The file Name as well as the Path of the files to be imported can be chosen by pressing the file system browsing buttons at the right. They can also be edited manually. Please note that QtiPlot provides an auto-completion mechanism when editing the file path.

This dialog can be used to import one or several ASCII files at the same time (their names must be separated by commas). If multiple files are imported simultaneously and any of the names in the list contain the comma character, the file names must be enclosed in double quotes in order to be able to correctly perform the parsing of the file names. QtiPlot automatically adds the double quotes when you select the files to be imported using the file system browsing button.

Figure 5-229. The dialog box.

You can define a custom file filter in the Format field in order to preselect files. For example, typing *.mydata will set a filter that will show only files of the form "XXX.mydata" in the file selection dialog.

Concerning the character which is used to separate column values, you must bear in mind that there is no grouping of separators, so if you use "SPACE", you must use only one separator between each column or check the Simplify white spaces option.

If your data files have a particular structure, for example if they begin with several lines describing your experiment, you may skip the first n lines of the file. You can also skip all lines starting with a comment character/string. The comment string can be customized using the Ignore lines starting with text edit box.

If you choose to use the first line to define column names and/or the second line as comments to be displayed in the table header, you must use the same separator between column names as that used between data columns.

If the files you want to import were created using a different convention for the decimal and thousands separator characters than the current setting, then the Decimal Separators option can be used to configure QtiPlot to use a matching convention. For example, when a comma character is used for the decimal point instead of the dot character, simply change the Decimal Separators option to match. You can have QtiPlot ignore the Thousands separator altogether with the Omit thousands separator option.

Finally, you can specify the kind of data to be imported in each column by pressing the Column Types... button or by double-clicking on the column header in the preview table. A dialog will pop-up allowing you to choose a data type (the default data type for each column is Text & Numeric) and a column format in the case of date/time columns.

The format string may be chosen from the list of predefined formats or may be edited in order to fit your particular data format. In this format string the following placeholders are recognized, all other input characters being treated as text:


the day as number without a leading zero (1 to 31)


the day as number with a leading zero (01 to 31)


the abbreviated localized day name (e.g. 'Mon' to 'Sun')


the long localized day name (e.g. 'Monday' to 'Sunday')


the month as number without a leading zero (1-12)


the month as number with a leading zero (01-12)


the abbreviated localized month name (e.g. 'Jan' to 'Dec')


the long localized month name (e.g. 'January' to 'December')


the year as two digit number (00-99)


the year as four digit number


the hour without a leading zero (0 to 23 or 1 to 12 if AM/PM display)


the hour with a leading zero (00 to 23 or 01 to 12 if AM/PM display)


the hour without a leading zero (0 to 23, even with AM/PM display)


the hour with a leading zero (00 to 23, even with AM/PM display)


the minute without a leading zero (0 to 59)


the minute with a leading zero (00 to 59)


the second without a leading zero (0 to 59)


the second with a leading zero (00 to 59)


the milliseconds without leading zeroes (0 to 999)


the milliseconds with leading zeroes (000 to 999)

AP or A

interpret as an AM/PM time. AP must be either "AM" or "PM".

ap or a

interpret as an AM/PM time. ap must be either "am" or "pm".