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Mathematica Import/Export Format

Text (.txt)

Plain text file.
Universal format for storage and exchange of textual information.
Represents text as a sequence of characters and line separators.
Stores characters as ASCII, 8-bit Western character codes, or Unicode.
  • Import and Export support a variety of Western character encodings and the Unicode standard.
  • UTF (Unicode Transformation Format) and UCS (Universal Character Set) mapping methods are supported.
  • Mathematica can display a wide range of character sets, including Western and Asian scripts, mathematical symbols, and other special characters.
  • Import["file.txt"] imports a text file as a string.
  • Export["file.txt", expr] exports any expression to a text file.
  • Import["file.txt"] returns a string.
  • Export["file.txt", expr] creates a text file from the OutputForm representation of expr.
  • Import["file.txt", elem] imports the specified element from a text file.
  • Import["file.txt", {elem, suba, subb, ...}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.txt", {{elem1, elem2, ...}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file", "Text"] or Import["file", {"Text", elem, ...}].
  • Export["file.txt", expr, elem] creates a text file by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.txt", {expr1, expr2, ...}, {{elem1, elem2, ...}}] treats each expri as specifying the corresponding elemi.
  • Export["file.txt", expr, opt1->val1, ...] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.txt", {elem1->expr1, elem2->expr2, ...}, "Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • Save Selection As exports the selected part of a notebook as a plain text file.
"Elements" list of elements and options available in this file
"Rules"full list of rules for each element and option
"Options"list of rules for options, properties and settings
  • Data representation elements:
"Data"tabular representation of the text
"Lines"lines, given as a list of strings
"Plaintext"text file represented as a single Mathematica string
"String"raw byte string
"Words"words separated by spaces, given as a list of strings
  • Import["file.txt"] reads a text file, taking the character encoding to be "UTF8" by default.
  • Import["file.txt", "Data"] attempts to read any text file as TSV, CSV or Table, returning an array of strings and numbers.
  • Import["file", {"Text", "String"}] or Import["file.txt", "String"] imports a raw sequence of bytes and returns them as a Mathematica character string.
  • Specifying and selecting subelements of text files:
"Lines",nthe n^(th) line of the file
"Words",nthe n^(th) word in the file
  • When importing from a text file, Import automatically replaces any character sequence commonly used as a line separator with "\n".
  • Mathematica typically uses character code 10 ("\n") as a line separator in the internal representation of text.
  • Export uses the line separator convention of the computer system on which Mathematica is being run.
CharacterEncoding"UTF8"raw character encoding used in the file
"AdobeStandard"Adobe standard PostScript font encoding
"ASCII"full ASCII, with control characters
"EUC"extended Unix code for Japanese
"ISOLatin1"ISO 8859-1 standard
"ISOLatin2"ISO 8859-2 standard
"ISOLatin3"ISO 8859-3 standard
"ISOLatin4"ISO 8859-4 standard
"ISOLatinCyrillic"ISO 8859-5 standard
"MacintoshRoman"Macintosh roman font encoding
"PrintableASCII"printable ASCII
"ShiftJIS"Shift-JIS encoding of JIS X 0208-1990 and extensions
"Symbol"symbol font encoding
"Unicode"raw 2-byte Unicode values
"UTF8"variable-width 1-byte Unicode format
"WindowsANSI"Windows standard font encoding
  • Mathematica internally stores characters as Unicode values.
  • When importing or exporting text with the setting CharacterEncoding->"Unicode", Mathematica always assumes the byte ordering given by ByteOrdering->1.