ALT Codes vs. ASCII Codes in Delimited Files


Sometimes a ¶ character, may be used in a delimited file to separate different columns. You enter this character, ¶, by pressing ALT + 20 [using the number on the numeric keypad]. The pilcrow or paragraph mark, ¶, may also be created in Excel by entering the formula =CHAR(20). See this example where the pilcrow is entered in column B with an alt code, ALT + 20 and in column D with that formula

When the file is then opened in a text editor like NotePad ++ the pilcrow generated by the =CHAR(20) will appear as 'DC4'.

This is because when is it exported the as a csv file, there reference will be converted to one for ASCII codes - the DC4 stands for Device Control 4. This encoding is used for the pausing of a device.


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