2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2013 8:17 PM by Helge Holler

    text file connection problem

    Helge Holler

      Hi all,


      I just upgraded to v8 and am wondering if anyone else is experiencing problems with opening CSV-files in Tableau. I can't say if it worked in earlier versions, I'm pretty much a newbie and have only been using XLS files with v7.

      What I'm experiencing can probably best be described with the following screenshot:


      As you can see, for whatever reason, Tableau changes the filename of the CSV file I'm trying to open. Instead of the filename.csv it's looking for filename#csv. If I click on OK on the above screen I'm getting an error message telling me that said file does not exist:


      Duh. Even if I put a copy of the file with # instead of . (dot) in the same directory, the program will show me that error.

      What it comes down to is: I can't use text files at all at the moment.

      Just for your info, the CSV-file I'm trying to load has this structure:


      Country,WMO-ID,Longitude,Latitude,Name,Year,Type,Month,Date,Temperature,Temperature in deg C

      301,87007,-65.6,-22.1,LA QUIACA,1911,TAVG,Jan,01/15/11,1117,11.17

      301,87007,-65.6,-22.1,LA QUIACA,1911,TAVG,Feb,02/15/11,997,9.97

      301,87007,-65.6,-22.1,LA QUIACA,1911,TAVG,Mar,03/15/11,967,9.67


      Does anyone else have this problem? Have you solved it? I couldn't find anything similar in the forum.

        • 1. Re: text file connection problem
          Richard Leeke

          That message is coming from the Microsoft JET engine, which is what Tableau uses to access CSV files.


          The JET messages are notoriously bad - very often the message very explicitly says something very different from what the real problem is. For example, I see that particular message all the time and the usual reason is that the file name includes two dots - JET's little brain can't count beyond one dot.


          That isn't your problem, though, but it will be something vaguely similar - "the table does not exist" basically means "something bad happened".


          I tried creating a file with exactly your filename and copied in your sample data and it opened fine for me in Tableau 8.




          So my guess is that it is something to do with language settings - my laptop is set up in English. My guess is that you have German locale settings on your machine, and that even with Tableau set to English, as you have in the screenshot, something like the hyphens in the file name or the use of commas as field separators is confusing it (though your screenshot shows you have selected commas, so that looks OK). Or maybe the character set isn't UTF-8?


          Hope that helps.


          I'm sure Tableau support will be able to set you right on this - they will be well versed in all of JET's annoying little quirks.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: text file connection problem
            Helge Holler

            Hi Richard,


            your answer set me on the right track. Indeed Tableau seemed to have a problem with the commas. I took a second look at that JET error message and albeit somewhat cryptically it mentions that the field delimiter is equal to the decimal delimiter (probably set by the German language operating system somewhere as you guessed correctly).


            Although untrue for the file in question (all decimal points are in fact . (dots), making the file perfectly valid on an English language machine), when replacing the commas with a semicolon I got the file into Tableau all right.


            Thanks, mate!