TextEdit and Tables?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by eclipse525, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    Is there a way to export a Table in TextEdit out to Excel? I've tried copying and pasting but it doesn't seem to retain the formatting. Everything gets condensed into one row. I haven't been able to find a way to export the table as a CSV file either. Is there a trick to making this happen?

    I don't usually create tables in Textedit. What usually happens is that I get emails from others that have copy and pasted a table of sorts within the body of the email and then the only way to retain that formatting (to make changes or additions) is to copy it into TextEdit (RTF). Nothing but Textedit will retain the formatting. Not even MS Excel.

    Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.

  2. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Feb 12, 2015
    Tasmania (AU)
    CSV files are text files, and don't actually contain any formatting data - they just have their TXT extension switched to CSV to denote their purpose. If you dumped your table into a text file and renamed the extension, odds are Excel would be able to import the result - an off-the-top-of-my-head guess is that you'd just need to tell it to treat the file as tab-delimited, as opposed to comma-delimited.

    Using the default software that comes with OS X, I haven't found a simple way to save vanilla text files (as opposed to RTFs and so on). I know that copying the text into a sticky and exporting that will do the trick.
  3. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    Copying and pasting from a table in TextEdit 1.10 seems to work for me in Excel 2011. It also works between TextEdit and Numbers. Maybe try pasting the data into a Numbers document and saving it out as an excel file?

    Actually saving a plain text file is pretty easy. In TextEdit, go to the Format menu and select "Make Plain Text" or press Command-Shift-T. When you save the file it will be saved as a UTF .txt file.

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