Column delimiters are missing in an Excel spreadsheet that is saved as text

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In Microsoft Office Excel, if you save a file in the text or in the CSV (comma separated value) format, Excel puts tabs or commas between each column of the worksheet. However, certain text files may be saved with a different number of tabs or commas in 16-row blocks.


This behavior occurs only if the cells in the last column contain no information.


To make sure that Excel saves tab or comma delimiters for all empty columns, verify that the last column in the file contains some data in at least every 16 rows throughout the file. If the blocks of rows do not contain data, add spaces or other characters in every 16 rows to the cells in the last column, or reorder the columns in the worksheet so that the last column on the worksheet always contains information.


Excel saves text files in 16-row blocks. Therefore, if all the cells in the last column in a 16-row block are empty, Excel saves that area as if the column does not exist. No tabs or commas are saved for that 16-row block.


Article ID: 77295 - Last Review: September 19, 2011 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 Standard Edition
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