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Select menu: Data | Load | ASCII file

For an example of opening an ASCII file in Genstat refer to Importing an ASCII file

You can load data directly into Genstat from ASCII format files that follow a standard layout, as follows:

  • The data must be arranged in columns
  • The maximum number of characters in each row is 200
  • There must be the same number of columns in each row
  • The data may be preceded by a line giving the names of the columns
  • The data can be numbers or strings. Strings containing spaces or other separators must be enclosed in single quotes (‘).
  • Numerical data will be stored as variates, and strings will be stored in texts. Data can also be grouped automatically, to form factors.
  1. From the menu select Data | Load | ASCII file.

You can start the file with comments describing the data. Comments should be enclosed by double quotes (“) and the opening quote must be at the very beginning of the line. An example ASCII data file illustrates how a data file can be arranged.

ASCII data filename

Specifies the name of the data file. You can browse for a filename by clicking the Browse button.

View of data file

Provides a preview of the contents of the file.

Display data in a spreadsheet

When selected, the data will first be loaded into Genstat, then a new spreadsheet will open containing the data read from the file.

Read column names from file

Select this option if the column names are included at the head of the data file.

Names for data columns

If the data file does not contain the names of the columns you should specify them in this input field. Type a list of names separated by spaces or commas. The number of names should be the same as the number of columns, or the data may not be read in correctly (the data are read in parallel, as described in the FILEREAD procedure).

Automatically group data

When selected, columns that contain fewer distinct values than specified in the Maximum number of categories field will be automatically converted into factors, with levels or labels created as appropriate.

Maximum number of categories

Specifies the maximum number of categories to use when automatically forming factors from the data.

Missing value indicator

Specifies the character used to indicate missing data values. Values that begin with this character will be read in as ‘missing’. For example, if ‘-‘ is the missing value indicator, any negative numbers will be stored as missing value.

Data separator

Specifies the character used to separate data values in the file, for example a comma (,). White space (spaces, tabs, etc.) can always be used in addition to the specified data separator.


Specifies information to be displayed when loading data from the file. Items that are selected will be printed out in the Output window and should be examined carefully to ensure that the data has been read correctly.

Action Icons

Pin Controls whether to keep the dialog open when you click Run. When the pin is down  the dialog will remain open, otherwise when the pin is up  the dialog will close.
Restore Restore names into edit fields and default settings.
Clear Clear all fields and list boxes.
Help Open the Help topic for this dialog.

See also

  • FILEREAD procedure and READ directive for reading ASCII data using commands
Updated on May 16, 2019

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