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VBA Read Text File (Read, Parse, and Import)

This tutorial will demonstrate how to read content from text files and paste it into worksheets with VBA.

Read Text File Content into Worksheet

The simplest way of reading a text file’s content is to copy it into a worksheet’s cell.

Sub FSOPasteTextFileContent() 
    Dim FSO As New FileSystemObject
    Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    Set FileToRead = FSO.OpenTextFile("C:\Test\TestFile.txt", ForReading) 'add here the path of your text file
    
    TextString = FileToRead.ReadAll
    
    FileToRead.Close
    
    ThisWorkbook.Sheets(1).Range("A1").Value = TextString 'you can specify the worksheet and cell where to paste the text file’s content

End Sub

The above code uses the FileSystemObject. In order to use it, you will need to set a reference to the VB script run-time library. See here for more information.

Without using FileSystemObject you can paste your text file’s content with the below code. If your text file contains line separator, it will be pasted line by line.

Sub PasteTextFileContent () 
    Dim wbExcel As Workbook, wbText As Workbook
    Dim wsExcel As Worksheet
    Set wbExcel = ThisWorkbook 'specify here which Excel file the text file’s content is to be pasted into
    Set wsExcel = wbExcel.Sheets(1) 'specify here which worksheet to use
    Set wbText = Workbooks.Open("C:\Test\TestFile.txt") 'add here the path of your text file

    wbText.Sheets(1).Cells.Copy wsExcel.Cells

    wbText.Close SaveChanges:=False

End Sub

Read Text File Content Line by Line, Column by Column

Your text file may have several rows and several elements listed in the rows separated by comma, semicolon, tab, space, etc.. In order to read and paste the text file’s content correctly, you may need this code below:

Sub PasteTextFileContentWithSeparators() 
    Dim StrLine As String
    Dim FSO As New FileSystemObject
    Dim TSO as Object
    Dim StrLineElements As Variant
    Dim Index As Long
    Dim i As Long
    Dim Delimiter as String
    Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    Set TSO = FSO.OpenTextFile("C:\Test\TestFile.txt")

    Delimiter=", " 'the delimiter that is used in your text file
    Index = 1

    Do While TSO.AtEndOfStream = False
       StrLine = TSO.ReadLine
       StrLineElements = Split(StrLine, Delimiter) 
       For i = LBound(StrLineElements) To UBound(StrLineElements)
           Cells(Index, i + 1).Value = StrLineElements(i) 'this code will start pasting the text file’s content from the active worksheet’s A1 (Cell(1,1)) cell
       Next i
       Index = Index + 1
    Loop

TSO.Close

End Sub

The delimiter that is used in your text file can be comma (“,”), comma with space (“, “), semicolon (“;”), semicolon with space (“; “), space (“ “), tab (change then Delimiter = vbTab) or in rare cases any other character.

Read Text Files into Arrays

If you need to read your text file’s content into an array and paste is line by line, column by column into your worksheet, you will need this code below:

Sub ReadDelimitedTextFileIntoArray()
    Dim Delimiter As String
    Dim TextFile As Integer
    Dim FilePath As String
    Dim FileContent As String
    Dim LineArray() As String
    Dim DataArray() As String
    Dim TempArray() As String
    Dim rw As Long, col As Long

    Delimiter = vbTab 'the delimiter that is used in your text file
    FilePath = "C:\Test\TestFileTab.txt"
    rw = 1 
    
    TextFile = FreeFile
    Open FilePath For Input As TextFile 
    FileContent = Input(LOF(TextFile), TextFile)
    Close TextFile

    LineArray() = Split(FileContent, vbNewLine) 'change vbNewLine to vbCrLf or vbLf depending on the line separator that is used in your text file
    For x = LBound(LineArray) To UBound(LineArray)
        If Len(Trim(LineArray(x))) <> 0 Then
           TempArray = Split(LineArray(x), Delimiter)
           col = UBound(TempArray)
 	   ReDim Preserve DataArray(col, rw)
           For y = LBound(TempArray) To UBound(TempArray)
 	       DataArray(y, rw) = TempArray(y)
 	       Cells(x + 1, y + 1).Value = DataArray(y, rw)  'this code will start pasting the text file’s content from the active worksheet’s A1 (Cell(1,1)) cell
           Next y
        End If 
        rw = rw + 1
     Next x

End Sub

Line separators in your text file can be carriage return and linefeed combination (Chr(13)+Chr(10)) or linefeed (Chr(10)). Use vbCrLf or vbLf, accordingly. If you are not sure, use vbNewLine for indicating the line separator.

 

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