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"tab Delimited Text File" And Csv File


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#1 christmascarol73

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 07:10 PM

Hope I can explain this situation: I have a program on my pc that is used accounting & billing in a medical practice. I am signing up now with an online service that can electronically file my billing to the different insurance companies. I have been told that all of data that is presently stored on the billing program (program #1) can be sent to the online electronic filing program (program #2) by copying the files as csv file format. When I asked the rep from program #1, they said I would need to copy the files as 'tab delimited text files'. I have never heard of that, and have no idea how, and if I can do that with all these data files. The only thing I have ever heard about csv files is I beleive that is the file format used in Outlook Express. This is an entire different thing.
Program #1 is very strange to work with, in that it is not like a basic windows program with file/edit, etc. available to you. Hope that makes sense?

Anyone out there have a clue what I am talking about? Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:47 AM

Until someone with more knowledge comes along, these might start you in the right direction
http://desktoppub.about.com/od/textacquisi...abdelimited.htm

http://www.usedbookcentral.com/back_end_faq/deliminated.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=MS+EXCEL+TO...lient=firefox-a
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#3 Wingman

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:54 AM

I am not an expert, by any means...on this particular topic. First...if you need a .CSV (comma separated values) formatted file...saving your data files (per the sales rep for program#1) as 'tab delimited text files' (.TSV...tab separated values) will not work. Program#2 is expecting to see the data separated by a comma...not a tab.

Not having Program#1 and Program#2 names, not knowing anything about how Program#1 saves it's data files... or how Program#2 expects the position of data in the .csv file to be...the suggestion below is a "blind" suggestion so to speak.

I would suggest you (experiment) take one of your (program#1) data files and save it as a .csv file.
If you can do a "Save As" function in program#1..then save the file (for example) as data.csv. If program#1 usually saves the file as (for example) data.p1f (Program 1 file) and ends up saving your data.csv file as data.csv.p1f (automatically adding it's own file extension as part of the name...then when you save the .csv file... do the Save As function and enclose the file name in quotes (example) "data.csv" ...this should prevent program#1 appending it's own extension onto the file name.

Then once you have your file data.csv ... try to open it. If you get the window , asking what program you want to use to open the file...select Notepad or Wordpad...any vanilla text file editor and look at the file contents...
Are the values separated by commas? Does the data itself look correct? Meaning did any of the original data have commas in it that may have been interpreted as a separator?

There are plenty of places you can look online for .CSV file format and the various ways to handle special data... Google search... " .csv files"

Again...not knowing the particulars about the 2 programs... you would have to see if (when you create a .csv file) the position of the data is what Program#2 is expecting.
Example
Program#1 data = Patient First name, Patient Middle Initial, Patient Last Name
Program#2 expects = Patient Last Name, Patient First Name, Patient Middle Initial

Will you be able to send a "test" file to Program#2...to see if it has been interpreted correctly?

Just throwing out some thoughts...I hope this helps. :thumbsup:

Edited by Wing Man, 18 September 2008 - 08:55 AM.

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#4 christmascarol73

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 07:11 PM

Thank you both, so very much for your responses. I am ill right now, so not up to doing much other than read my e-mail right now. I most definitely will look at the links you have supplied, and will experiment and see if I can get anywhere with this. If I can't find a way to send these data file to program company #2 in the format they say I would need to use I will be stuck with having to manually input and type everything in that program #2, which would take forever based on the number of patients.
Thank you again, and I will post back as soon as I feel up to reading and experimenting.

Edited by christmascarol73, 19 September 2008 - 07:12 PM.


#5 garmanma

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:45 PM

Hope you feel better soon
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#6 christmascarol73

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 06:39 PM

Hi Guys-
OK, here's the update for you. I discovered that I can export the different data files in Program
# 1. I tried two of the many medical information catagories & their fields. The files exported in ASCII text file format. From within Excel (I have Office 2007) I was able to import those text files, and then save them in csv file format.
Not 100 % sure on this, but I believe I could also save the imported files in the 'Tab delimited text file format'. Excel has a wizard that helped me step by step, including warnings about anything that could be lost..depending on which file format I chose to save these files. So- I think I have it figured out now! :flowers:

Company #1 said I needed to save the files as tab delimited text file, and company # 2 said they needed me to save the files as csv files. I am going to send a test file of a csv file to company #2 and see if it is OK or not. Keep your fingers crossed, and thank you again, so very much for your help. I really appreciate it so much! :thumbsup:




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