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: Importing Many Files Into Excel.

Importing Many Files Into Excel

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 8, 2022)

4

Andrew asked if there is a way to import many different files into Excel, all using the same import specifications. For instance, when you choose to import a comma-delimited text file, Excel's import filter asks you a series of questions about how the import should be done. If you are importing a single file, this is not a problem. If you have fifty or sixty files to import, answering the questions over and over again can get very tedious very quickly.

The short answer is that there is no built-in way to do a "mass import" in Excel. Some questions asked by the import filter simply need to be asked for each file.

Assuming you are trying to import straight text files or CSV files, one thing you can try is to open the files in a text editor and then copy and paste them into a worksheet. It might take you a bit of practice, by doing so with simple files can be done rather quickly.

If you need to do the importing quite often, you'll want to consider creating your own "import" process using a macro. The macro can either open the source file itself, or it can answer the Import Wizard questions, as it sees fit. Of course, writing such a macro can be a daunting exercise. It is beyond the scope of ExcelTips to attempt such a macro, particularly since the process to be followed during the import can vary so much from one type of input file to another.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12080) 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: Importing Many Files Into Excel.

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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What is nine more than 9?

2022-04-08 08:24:36

Kiwerry

@Michael Gamlen: take a look at the bottommost comment below (Andy) and/or search "Power Query" in these Excel tips or a search engine.


2022-04-08 05:43:04

Michael Gamlen

Do you know of any utilities which can do this?


2018-04-14 13:09:13

John

Another slight variation of this is if you only have one or a few files you want to load and put in different worksheets is to set one field up as a parameter that would be as much of the file path you want and only load one table at a time. You can find details of passing a parameter here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-used-named-cells-parameter-inputs-power-query-wyn-hopkins/
Do this in conjunction with the other link on customizing your data once you import it.


2018-04-14 06:31:44

Andy

Data | Get Data | From File | From Folder.

Point Excel to the folder containing the files. You can also do other processing at this stage like deleting columns, changing data types etc.

It will then go through each file and add it to a table in Excel.

No macros needed!

And you can refresh it easily if you add files to the folder or the files change.

Mr Excel explains it well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZSOpmg4ehw. Note that video is from 2015, and the menu option is now slightly different - it is on the Data menu in Excel 2016, for example.


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