Import Tables into Excel


If you need to reformat data before integrating it into your GIS project, these tips may be helpful.

  From PDF document

Import tables into Excel from a text file (.txt)

A flat text file may be displayed on a web browser. Word documents can be converted into text-only format. An example of a web address that ends in .txt is

  1. If the data table is in a Word document or in text format on a webpage, change its format by saving the file/page as a text file. To do that:
    1. Click on the FILE menu, top left corner of window
    2. Select SAVE AS
    3. Accept the default file name or change it, but be sure to select FILE TYPE – Text File (.txt) from the options available in the scroll menu.  Remember where you save this file.
  2. Open Excel
  3. Click on FILE --> OPEN (or use the icon button)
  4. Navigate to where you saved the .txt file and open it
    • Hint: If you do not see the file you saved listed, change the TYPE of file that is displayed to ALL FILES
  5. Highlight the filename you want to open and click OPEN
  6. A TEXT IMPORT WIZARD box will open prompting you to select how you want the data to appear when viewed using excel.  Work through the options presented – in some cases the Wizard will preview what an option will look like in the final imported file.

You may need to do some clean up editing and cell formatting in order to work efficiently with the imported data.  If a small green triangle appears in the upper left hand corner of any spreadsheet cells, that is an indicator that you have options to choose among – the data in the cell has been given a default format (text, numeric, etc) which you may want to change.  For example, if numbers are stored in cells as text you will not be able to perform mathematical calculations using excel formulas. 

Click in any cell with numbers in it, right click and select CELL FORMAT from the pulldown menu that appears.  Select from among the several number categories that which best defines the nature of the data and suits your tasks.

Import Tables into Excel from PDF documents (.pdf)


The Acrobat Reader program (which is free and widely available) cannot convert documents, but Adobe Acrobat (which costs money) can.  An example of how Adobe Acrobat can achieve this task:
There are shareware programs or less expensive programs available which will convert PDF files into different formats.  Examples (not tested by this author) include:

Able2Extract 3.0 --

Spreadsheet Converters --

Solid Converter --