Option to get old text data import wizard
The new data import editor has some major flaws:
First, it takes 100 times longer to import some simple 500 rows of data
Second, the date format selection for columns (e.g. I want to convert MM/DD/YYYY format to DD.MM.YYYY)
I understand that the new import editor has some advantages but I do not need any of the new functions it has. The old text data import wizard could do everything I needed it do do.
This is already supported. In order to restore the legacy Get External Data experience, please follow this article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/unified-get-transform-experience-ad78befd-eb1c-4ea7-a55d-79d1d67cf9b3#bkmk_restorelegacy
Hope that helps!
Excel Program Manager
41 commentsComments are closed
The new import editor is a pain in the rear. I hate it. Why must Microsoft break things that are working with each upgrade.
No way commented
And i need multiple delimiters. Not possible with new editor ;-(
Worked perfectly in the old UI. Tried enabling the 'legacy' but fro some reason it does not take effect
The instructions are great, thank you to all that provided them.
Been using Excel since 1991, the most recent update is the most useless in almost 30 years. These 'improvements' seem to have been put into Excel to justify the salaries of the Microsoft Devs working on it.
You can switch back the old way:
1. Select File > Options > the select Data
2. In the Show legacy data import wizards section, tick the option "From Text (Legacy)" then click Ok
3. Now select Data > Get Data > Legacy Wizards > From Text (Legacy)...then carry on your normal way.
Thank you, thank you for instructions on activating the legacy text import wizard. I was about to despair of the new import functionality. It's terrible and had turned the text import routine that used to take me less than a minute into an impossible task. Such a relief to now have the legacy import wizard! Lifesaver!!!!
Richard Becker commented
You can turn on legacy test import, see:
Microsoft haven't done anything useful to windows or office in 20 years. I'm sick of there regressive changes, i'm moving to google docs. That's the only way to teach Microsoft that there software monopoly is over.
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<<< this kind of statement is classic example of whats wrong with MS. I'm here to try and solve an issue with some sh** change MS have made, but MS think its a good chance to steal some personal data.
Jean LaClair commented
I agree. Much more complicated now and Excel formats the resulting table and I don't want it to. It won't let me delete the header row with the arrows (I just want straight text). What version of Excel is this? My IT department had to image my machine and when it came back to me, Excel was different. How do I find out what version this is so that I can more appropriately search for help?
I want to import data from text, have a simple conversion of 01312019 to 01/31/2019, and not have any links/table designs applied. This seems to be impossible, so I am completely dependent on the legacy wizard feature.
I have used Excel for over 15 years and agree with most posters on this site that this has taken an interface that worked intuitively and reliable for 99% of excel users and has transformed it into a heavy, cryptic and unnecessarily complex interface that (presumably) impresses a tiny minority of excel users. I cannot understand what benefit MS sees in this so-called "improvement."
I have been at this for over an hour and STILL cannot find a clear way of importing a space delimited text file, a process that used to take me a few seconds using the original interface.
Simon L. (KDG) commented
I can live with the new way for data import in most cases.
If the legacy assistants are not available via drop down per default, I would prefer that Microsoft would at least give an option for Systemadministrators to activate them for all users (e.g. via GPO).
Short: Please Microsoft, add the Excel-Option to activate the legacy assistants to the Office 2016 ADMX. Thank you!
Thanks to a comment on here, I am now able to use the old text import function and it works like it always did. Yeah!!!!
To set up: Click on “File” –> “Options” –> “Data” down in the "Show legacy data import wizards" check the box for "From Text (Legacy). There are several other legacy choices as well.
To use the text import function click on “Data” –>”Get Data” –> “Legacy Wizards” –> “From Text (Legacy)”. The old text import box appears!
I agree 100%. Not only do I not need any functionality that is new, the functionality that I do need is gone. The old functionality of the "import from text" allowed you to see your text and then choose the columns. The new functionality WILL NOT let me let me decide where the columns go. It breaks up data randomly and makes the import process a real hot mess. I am having particular problems importing a file that is delineated into very distinct columns. If this file doesn't work, I am not sure there is a file out there that will fare better. This change was not thought out properly.
NFS!!! This new text import is utterly terrible. Anyone figure this out? Work just updated to whatever version I am on now. I used to SOOO easily be able to import data from text. Impossible now!!
I found the why to change it. In the Home Tab Transform section, there is a drop down for Data Type. I was able to select all of the columns and change them all to Text.
the worst - 13 years of A LOT of excel work, have never seen an update so poorly executed, so clearly untested, and that so negatively impacts the usefulness of your software. I'm currently looking for an alternative to Excel, and will be pushing it hard to IT as this is a dumpster fire. Anything but this nightmare MSFT has released on us.
Ummm why would they take this away? Guess that is another function I will not being doing in excel. To another vendor!!!
It completely not workable
EVERY time I open a file it fails to load using the new method. I then end up having to create the table and the formatting each time. This isn't working properly the old one was fine for what I needed. Why take away an option that works!?
David Thomas commented
New data import is AWFUL, it does not even work !!!!
I have a space delimited file FAILED to work with this file
I used to be able to click for fixed length fields now i have to type the length (that is not progress)
Mircosoft - If its not broke dont fix it.