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Multiple files with tab-delimited text

Learn how to import multiple files with tab-delimited text and troubleshoot tab-delimited text files using the Project Client.

Importing multiple files with tab-delimited text

Using the Project Client, you can add multiple files with metadata in a tab-delimited text file. One reason to use a tab-delimited text file is to import data from another database. See Data from another database for more information.  You can add items, URLs, or metadata only.

When adding tab-delimited text files with your multiple files, you can use metadata templates to apply administrative settings. Set up your metadata templates before adding items to a project. After you set up the templates, the metadata fields of each item added to the project will include the information you specified. See Use metadata templates for more information. 

Metadata template values are introduced after the tab-delimited file is added to the Project Client. In fields where tab-delimited text exists, CONTENTdm inserts a semicolon and a single space, and then appends any metadata you specified in metadata templates.

For general information about tab-delimited text files, including acceptable date formats, see Use tab-delimited text files.

When adding multiple files using a tab-delimited text file

  • Set up your text file so that the first record contains the field names that you are adding.
  • One field in each subsequent record must contain the file name of the item that you are adding.
  • Set up your directories so that the tab-delimited text file is separate from the files that you are adding

Add multiple files using a tab-delimited text file

  1. Navigate to the Home tab or Project tab.
  2. On the left task pane under Common Tasks, click Add Multiple Items. The Add Multiple Items wizard opens
  3. On the Import Method screen, select Import using a tab-delimited text file and browse for the file.
  4. Click Open and then click Next. The Import Type screen displays.
  5. Specify files, URLs or metadata only and then click Next. The Display Image Settings screen displays.
  6. Select whether to generate display images.
  7. Optional.  To change display image settings, click Image Options.
  8. Click Next. The Map Metadata screen displays. Map the fields in your CONTENTdm collection to the imported field names. The imported field names from your tab-delimited text file appear in the left column.
  9. Click Next. The Confirm Settings screen displays.
  10. Review the settings and then clickAdd Items.
    • A progress screen displays as the items are processed. When complete, a summary screen displays the summary and any errors or warnings.
  11. Click Close. The items are displayed in the project spreadsheet.

 Note: The original files remain in the current location. Copies are added to the project spreadsheet.

Troubleshooting tab-delimited text files

If you receive an error when using a tab-delimited text file, check that your files are formatted correctly. See Use tab-delimited text files.

If a tab-delimited text files is formatted incorrectly, the results are unpredictable. The error explanations provide possible causes for receiving errors.

File Does Not Exist

Check the tab-delimited file to determine whether you have extra carriage returns or tabs. Check the files referenced to make sure that all files are referenced exactly in the tab-delimited text file.

  • If the fields are incorrectly mapped, the file name in the error message will correspond to metadata in some other metadata field. To correct the problem, click to the Map Fields tab in the Add compound objects dialog and make sure that the tab-delimited field containing the file names is mapped to Object File Name.
  • If an illegal carriage return occurred in the data, there will likely be no named file in the error message. Finding a carriage return in a metadata can be difficult using a spreadsheet application. It may be easier to locate the carriage return by opening the tab-delimited file in a text editor and verifying that each row ends at the place you would expect. A sure sign of an errant carriage return is a short row with incomplete metadata.

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process

Check that you do not have a file open in another program, such as Microsoft Excel or Notepad. You may have the tab-delimited text file open in a text editing program or you may have a graphic file open in a graphic-file editing program. Close all files involved in the addition and re-attempt.

Fields in delimited file are not the same as the rest of the compound objects

When you finish adding multiple compound objects, the first compound object in the Add list becomes the base set. The fields mapped in that compound object must echo the mapping in all other compound objects in the Add list. If not, you will see this message. If you proceed with the process, you may also see file does not exist errors because of improper mapping as described above. Delete all files that do not have the same field mapping as the first file.

Error parsing first record

The information in the first record of the tab-delimited text file is not what was expected. Check that the tab-delimited text file is formatted correctly.