Machine-readable table programs
This website provides links to programs written to help
journal readers extract and plot the data in machine-readable tables.
The ultimate goal is to have programs for different needs and in
- IDL programs
mrcolextract.pro: A simple 2 column extraction and plotting
read_fmr.pro: A sophisticated multicolumn extraction
program by Sacha Hony.
read_fmr.pro (1.1): An updated version of read_fmr.pro in
the IDL astro package. Thanks to Wayne Landsman for the new
- A perl
- Python: astropy.io.ascii. Use the "Cds" format.
- MS EXCEL tips
- Open the machine readable file with EXCEL (1998 or later) and the
import wizard should appear.
- On the import wizard's first screen choose the fixed width option
for import. This window also lets you set the row at which to begin
the import so you can easily skip all the meta-data header
information at the beginning.
- The next screen is a GUI interface for setting the field boundaries.
Click on the position of each boundary. It is possible to scroll
through an input file with the boundaries marked and check the
boundaries against the data. The major negative is that the GUI
window is fairly of small and not adjustable but you can scroll
horizontally and vertically to see the full data set.
- The last window lets you pick the data format for each column. The
default is "general" which takes anything numerical as a
number and interprets the presence of any other characters as text
fields, however, you should use the format values given in the
meta-data header. Finally, be careful in defining the column
boundaries and check enough records to be fairly confident that the
whole thing has been done right (Hat tip to Bob Milkey for the