Easy Data Transform newsletter

Easy Data Transform v1.9.0 released

Easy Data Transform v1.9.0 is now available for Windows and Mac. This release contains bug fixes and improvements, including:

Find out more and download the new release from the release page:

Download Easy Data Transform v1.9.0

This is a free upgrade to anyone with a v1 license. If you don’t yet have a license, you can buy one here.

Many thanks to everyone that sent in suggestions and bug reports.

Fixed width format files

Input files with the extension .txt are now treated as fixed width format files. Fixed width format is often associated with legacy systems, but is also used for large files where performance is an issue (e.g. bioinformatics).

When you input a .txt file, Easy Data Transform will analyze the file structure and use some heuristics (‘rules of thumb’) to make an educated guess where the column boundaries are. There is no way to do this 100% accurately, but we have found that it is pretty accurate with a variety of test data, even when the test data has repeating headers and footers. A less scrupulous company might refer to this as “AI”. ;0)

If you need to tweak the column boundaries manually, change the Columns drop-down in the Right pane from Automatic to Manual (or click the ‘…’ button). The Fixed Column Widths window will then appear. You can change the number of columns and their width in this window. For more details click the Help button.

import fixed width format files

Excel truncation issue

There has been serious embarassment and recriminations in the UK after COVID test data was quietly truncated from an Excel XLS file after the XLS limit of 65,536 rows was reached. There is an entertaining video about the whole sorry affair by “standup mathematican” Matt Parker on YouTube.

Previously Easy Data Transform warned if you exceeded the XLSX limit, but from v1.9.0 it now also warns you if you exceed the (much smaller) XLS limit.

xls row limit

Why they were using XLS files (superceded by XLSX in 2007) for a critical part of a multi-billion pound track and trace system is hard to fathom.

Spreadsheet errors are all too common. The European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group has a whole catalogue of spreadsheet horror stories.

Repeat after me “Excel is not a database”!


We have put a few videos on YouTube. Please subscribe to the Easy Data Transform YouTube channel if you want to be notified about new videos. We would also appreciate ‘likes’ on the existing videos, as this helps push us up the search order.

Easy Data Transform YouTube channel

Andy Brice
Oryx Digital Ltd

Questions or problems?

Email support@easydatatransform.com