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How-to Qimera - Custom ASCII File Import

Importing ASCII Files in to Qimera


When importing ASCII processed point files into Qimera the user is provided with a Custom ASCII file Configuration Wizard which assists in identifying the fields, their formats and the field mappings of the ASCII file.
This facilitates the import of ASCII files with custom fields, formats and mappings. The user can also save this configuration for subsequent use.


Custom ASCII File Configuration

2. In the ASCII configuration dialog, the GUI elements include:

    1. Header lines to skip - If there are lines at the beginning of the file that should be ignored, enter the number of lines here.
    2. Number of columns - The number of columns or fields on each line of the input file.
    3. Decimal Mark - Is the decimal maker represented by a decimal place or a comma.
    4. Column Separator - The character used to separate columns. By default "Automatic", both commas and spaces/tabs will be treated as column separators.
      You can enter a comma if you don't want to accept whitespace-separated columns. Whitespace after a column separator is always ignored.

3. Below these, a number of widgets are displayed; each line of widgets corresponding to a column in the output file. The following widgets are displayed:

    1. A color box - The field will be highlighted in this color in the preview if the file is being read correctly.
    2. The field number
    3. A drop-down box for selecting the field type. The following options are available:
      1. Integer Field - Can contain positive or negative whole numbers. For example: 1, 23, -45, 0.
      2. Numeric Field - Any decimal number. For example: 0, 16, 128.2398, -12.3. Also accepts trailing N, S, E or W, where S and W make the number negative, i.e.: 123.4N = 123.4, 123.4S = -123.4, 123.4E = 123.4, 123.4W = -123.4.
      3. Delimited String Field - A string that begins and ends with the specified character, '"' by default. When this option is selected, a new box will appear where you can specify the delimiter. For example, putting "'" in the box will cause the reader to accept single-quoted strings: 'A string' rather than "A string".
      4. Fixed-Width String Field - A string column that always contains the same number of characters but has no delimiter. (e.g. no quotes). When this option is selected, a new widget will appear allowing you to enter the number of characters in the string.
      5. Date-Time Field - When this option is selected, a box will appear allowing you to enter a template for reading in a time value. The following characters have special meaning; any other characters will be treated as a separator:
  • y Year
  • M Month
  • d Day
  • h hour
  • m minute
  • s second
  • ap or AP "AM" or "PM". If the template contains 'h' but not 'ap', then the hour will be assumed to be 0-24.
  • z millisecond
  • Template Valid Input Example
  • yyyy-MM-dd h:mm:ss.ss "1990-03-12 18:23:37.35"
  • dd-MM-yyyy h:mm:ss ap "12-03-1990 6:23:37 pm"
  • dd/MM/yyyy/hh/mm/ss/zzzz "12/03/1990/18/23/37/3523"
  • hh:mm:ss.ssss "18:23:37.3523"
  • hh:mm:ss.zzzz "18:23:37.3523"

4. At the bottom of the dialog a preview window displays the first few lines of the input file. When the reader is set up correctly, each column will be highlighted with the corresponding color in the preview. In the example above the first field is a date and time and you can see the configuration used to parse it properly. You can edit the configuration to import fairly complex ASCII files. This custom ASCII configuration dialog is also available in other areas of the software where ASCII point files are used – for example as a source for gridding.