Thursday, September 24, 2009

Excel 2003 - as a dbf editor

Some people asked my why they should switch to Excel 2007 for dbf file editing with the add-in instead of just 'sticking it out' with Excel 2003...

Some considerations:

- Excel 2003 can only handle 65535 records. Excel 2007 works with 1 million records in a worksheet.

- Excel 2003 is very bad at retaining variable types and variable precisions so your dbf file structure changes (lots of time bloats). The SaveDBF add-in will preserve the original field types and size will only change if your edit results in a longer field. I.e., you edit your data and enter 11 characters in a text field that was only 10 long.

- Excel 2003 does not warn the user about violations to field naming standards imposed by dBase. I.e., a field name is longer than 10 characters it will get truncated (which could create a duplicate field, a common issue with GIS). The addin warns the user about violations visually highlighting the problem fields and adds cell comments with suggestions to fix them.

- the add-in does a much better job at creating field types and sizes when the user actually starts from a native Excel file. Microsoft only looks at the first few records to decide on the field type.


- Eventually you will have to switch...:-)

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1 comment:

TheXLWiz said...

I checked it out. Great tool, but not free...:-(