Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Getting Rid of Extra Quote Marks in Exported Text Files.

Getting Rid of Extra Quote Marks in Exported Text Files

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 18, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Sometimes the export filters used by Excel can produce undesired results in the exported file. For instance, when you export to a tab-delimited text file, some Excel filters place quote marks around the text in a cell. For instance, assume that a particular cell contains the following text:

Create bts; sitemask = "0110"; pcmlink = 40

This, however, is how the text in the cell is exported by Excel:

"Create bts; sitemask = ""0110""; pcmlink = 40"

Notice that Excel adds extra quotation marks, first around the entire cell contents, and then an extra set around any previously "quoted" text within the cell.

One solution for handling the problem is to simply load the text file created by Excel into another program, such as Word, and use the Find and Replace feature to remove the undesired quotes. A better solution, however, is to create your own macro that creates the output text file. Consider the following macro:

Sub Export()
    Dim r As Range, c As Range
    Dim sTemp As String

    Open "c:\MyOutput.txt" For Output As #1
    For Each r In Selection.Rows
        sTemp = ""
        For Each c In r.Cells
           sTemp = sTemp & c.Text & Chr(9)
        Next c

        'Get rid of trailing tabs
        While Right(sTemp, 1) = Chr(9)
            sTemp = Left(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - 1)
        Wend
        Print #1, sTemp
    Next r
    Close #1
End Sub

All you need to do is select the cells you want to export, and then run the macro. The cells in the selection are extracted from the worksheet and placed in the file c:MyOutput.txt. (This filename can be changed in the macro to whatever your needs dictate.)

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8321) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Getting Rid of Extra Quote Marks in Exported Text Files.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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