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Tab Delimited Files
For Tutor Software
(what are they?)

Windows:  XP, Windows 7,8

  Definition of "Tab Delimited Text Files" for use in rpsoft2000 Tutor  


What are "Tab Delimited Text Files"

for usage with the rpsoft2000 software "Tutor" program


Think of the word "delimited" as meaning: how does one separate data?  How does software show that the first data item has now ended and the second one will begin next?  Well, for tab delimited text data, a tab character separates data on each line.  For example, for Tutor rpsoft2000 software, data on each line will be stored in computer memory as:

category1(tab)question1(tab)answer1(carriage return = computer "enter" key)
category2(tab)question2(tab)answer2(carriage return = computer "enter" key)
category3(tab)question3(tab)answer3(carriage return = computer "enter" key)

And so, between data items 1 and 2, there is a tab character, where one might press a tab key on a word processor.  Between data items 2 and 3 there is another tab character.  After item 3, there are no more items and so there is just a carriage return or as we do on a computer, we press the "enter" key for a new line.


Why not use CSV data a person could ask?  CSV or comma separated values works only for simple small data.  CSV separates data items of course, then with a comma, instead of a tab key.  The problem of course is that for large items, customers may wish to use commas within their data itself.  And of course that means that a comma cannot be both data and a control character.  And so for more complex things, it is somewhat standard practice among computer software nerds to use a tab key to separate data since it is safer, and also therefore allows customers to even use commas within each item of data.

TAB DELIMITED DATA - the spreadsheet standard

And no, I have not tried every spreadsheet made by every person.  However, the ones that I have tried speak in a normal language of tab delimited data.  While spreadsheets give an option of what language to save in, it does seem to us that if you highlight the simple data on a spreadsheet, and no blank areas, and then just use ctrl-c to copy this data to clipboard, what you have copied is in fact tab delimited text data. 

And similarly, if you have a blank spreadsheet new sheet, and put your cursor in the far upper left data box, and you have tab delimited data on your computer clipboard, then pressing ctrl-v will paste that spreadsheet data to your clipboard.  To us, it seems a universal spreadsheet language.


Based on the above, it should not seem so odd that our Tutor software program has two options under the File pull down menu for clipboard usage.  It has one option to make a new file by pasting tab delimited data from the clipboard, and one below it instead to put tab delimited data on the clipboard.

In this first case of making a new file from data on the clipboard, the Tutor program should simply load the data that you placed on the clipboard by ctrl-c from a spreadsheet where you highlighted the correct three columns of data that Tutor needs to work.  The data items should fill for you.

In the second case, Tutor can put its three columns of data on the clipboard for you to paste into some spreadsheets.  After using the Tutor function under File to put data on the clipboard, then find a blank spreadsheet and put your mouse cursor in the upper leftmost data box.  Then use ctrl-v to paste the data to your spreadsheet.

NOTE:  There may be a spreadsheet made that does not honor tab delimited data or even save that way.  But we have not found one yet.  Microsoft Excel and a number of its competitors, seem to standardize on simple data transfer being the tab delimited method.


As you can likely see from the above, there are at least three ways to make tab delimited text files.  What we do is start in a spreadsheet since we have one, and it is easiest.  Then we edit in the Tutor program at times.  But here are the ways:

  1. Begin in a spreadsheet and make three columns of data per line,  One for category on far left, then question next to it on the right, and then answer just right of the question.  Leave no open spaces or lines.  Then save it as a tab delimited file and load it into Tutor using the "Open" command under "File", or just highlight the data lines from the 3 columns of data and then copy the data to the computer clipboard.  Then use the make new from clipboard case in Tutor.

  2. You could perhaps make the file in Tutor.  Press the make new function under the "File" pull down menu.  It is also ctrl-n.  Then press the function to show all answers and fill in all areas starting from the very top.  If editing and need new lines, first of all, go to the very bottom and then use "down 20" button to open up four spaces at the bottom for new entries.  When done with a "page" of items within your view, remember you MUST do two things.  You need to press the blue button to save the page data to local Tutor memory, and then from time to time save the whole file to your computer.

  3. If careful, you might be able to at least begin a new tab delimited file using a word processor, even our own "RTF Composer."  Just remember, 3 data items per line, and a tab key between items 1 and 2, and then a tab key also between items 2 and 3.  Use the enter key at the end of the line to begin a new line of 3 items of data.

Hope this helps!




But most of all .. have fun with this program.


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