Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 14, 2018)
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 Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Importing Many Files Into Excel.
Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!
When dealing with files containing comma-separated values, you want to make sure that what gets imported into Excel ...Discover More
You can use Excel for all types of data processing. You may want to work with filenames in a worksheet, but the first ...Discover More
When you open a workbook in Excel, the Open dialog box always starts within the folder in which you were last working. ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.