How to Open Tab Delimited Files in Excel

Microsoft Excel has the ability to open tab-delimited files and display them as spreadsheets. However, tab-delimited files have the extension TXT. Therefore, a tab-delimited file will open in Notepad rather than Excel when you double-click it. Instead of double-clicking a tab-delimited file, launch Excel first and open the file from within Excel.

Step

Launch Excel from the Microsoft Office Start menu folder. Click the "File" tab in the upper-left corner of the window, then click "Open."

Step

Click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the window currently displaying "All Excel Files," then click "All Files."

Step

Double-click the tab-delimited file that you want to open. A window titled "Text Import Wizard" appears.

Step

Click to select the "Delimited" radio button, then click "Next."

Step

Click to place a check in the "Tab" box under "Delimiters," then click "Next."

Step

Click a column in the preview area at the bottom of the window, and then click a radio button such as "Text" or "Date" in the upper-left corner to indicate the type of data in the column. The "General" radio button is selected by default for all columns.

Step

Click the "Finish" button to open the file in Excel.