How do I save to a text file in Excel 2011?
August 16, 2012 7:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm on a mac. A colleague sent me an Excel file (.xls) which I looked at in Excel 2011. It looks fine. I would like to save the file in some sort of text format, so that I can open Terminal and look at it in less. I realize that the columns won't align nicely, that's fine. What I don't want are all the weird characters that show up (from differently formatted line endings, etc). I've tried saving as "Tab delimited text," but that has the problem with the line endings. Which format should I use?
posted by bluefly to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
You might also try CSV or "comma delimited text" You could use a find/replace in word processor or other text editor to get rid of the commas.
posted by ezekieldas at 7:25 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Save as tab delimited, then use dos2unix then view with less.
posted by devnull at 7:31 AM on August 16, 2012

Save as tab delimited, then use dos2unix then view with less.

I've tried this. It doesn't work, the line endings are still messed up -- it's all on one line.
posted by bluefly at 7:41 AM on August 16, 2012

Try CSV.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:46 AM on August 16, 2012

Why not just copy and paste the whole spreadsheet into TextEdit? That's how I strip the formatting and weirdness out of my spreadsheets when I just want to look at the clean data.
posted by mykescipark at 7:47 AM on August 16, 2012

Nthing CSV.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 7:50 AM on August 16, 2012

csv has the same problem.
posted by bluefly at 8:08 AM on August 16, 2012

Saving as plain text in TextEdit worked (though I had to save it as a MacOS Western encoding, and then do mac2unix to look at it in less). Thanks so much for all your help!
posted by bluefly at 8:15 AM on August 16, 2012

If you re-open it in Excel, you'll have lost formatting, like zip codes formatted as text to preserve leading 0s.
posted by theora55 at 1:26 PM on August 16, 2012

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