Excel Tips

Paste Special

Very Quick graphs

Importing ASCII data file into the Spreadsheet (Matlab works almost exactly the same with its import).

  • Select the text file with the Open command and go through the import Wizard.
    • The data will be in fixed width or delimited fields.
    • Check the row on which the data actually starts


  • For fixed width fields:
    • Click to add, delete, or move the column boundaries.
    • Carefully check the field widths; pay particular attention to LAT and LONG fields, because the minus signs are very important. 
    • Be careful if the number of characters changes in the file, so you do not leave out the part of numbers. An example could be temperatures; if you are seeing the winter temperatures, you might miss the summer temperatures which go over 100 and move a space to the left.
    • Field boundaries should generally be on the right side of the values, and blank columns go with the field on their right.  This is not how Excel sees it, however.


  • For delimited, the most like separators are commas, tabs (which are invisible), or spaces.  You can uncheck/uncheck them to see which makes the data correctly line up in columns.


While you can refine the import with the step, it is probably just as easy to manipulate the import in Excel when you finish the import.

Option 2:


Put Y Axis labels on the left

Copy a graph (say to make a blowup of part, keeping the original, so you can see both)

Copy Formula

Method 1 (Alex)

Method 2


last revision 1/14/2015