Reading Text Files

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    by MLP at 2012-08-20 14:06:19

    I'm having fits trying to do something that I believe should be easy, even for a newbie like me. .

    I have a text file that is pipe delimited. So that you have an example, the following are the first three lines of the file:

    H|Seq_Nbr|Data_Key |Plan_Type |Mod_Type |Plan_Name |Mod_Name |Plan_Desc |Mbr_T |Mbr_A |Mbr_B|Mbr_C |Mbr_D
    R|1 |Planned.PlanMast.BU29 |BUAT29 |BUAT29 |SD2910050110 |BUAT29 |M Contemporary Dress|Planned |SD2910050110|BU29 |"" |""
    R|2 |Planned.PlanMast.BU41 |BUAT41 |BUAT41 |SD4112345678 |BUAT41 |Whatever |Planned |SD4112345678|BU41|"" |""

    So there's a header row, a separator row, and then the records. I need to parse the file finding all the records that occur in a list of mod_types for a given list of data_keys. For example, given the module types BUAT29 and BUAT41, dnd given the data_keys Planned.PlanMast.BU29 and Planned.PlanMast.BU41, I would want all the records where the module type is either BUAT29 or BUAT41 AND where the data_key is either Planned.PlanMast.BU29 or Planned.PlanMast.BU41.

    Taking the problem apart, I started by trying to just read the file in like this:

    $file = import-csv c:\imp\ssw\admin\tbl_list_planned.tbl -Delimiter '|'

    When I then display $file to the screen I get exactly what I would expect, something that contains records like:

    H : R
    Seq_Nbr : 1
    Data_Key : Planned.PlanMast.BU29
    Plan_Type : BUAT29
    Mod_Type : BUAT29
    Plan_Name : SD2910050110
    Mod_Name : BUAT29
    Plan_Desc : M Contemporary Dress
    Mbr_T : Planned
    Mbr_A : SD2910050110
    Mbr_B : BU29
    Mbr_C :
    Mbr_D :

    When, however, I try to use syntax like

    I get nothing!

    When I use this syntax:


    I get "R" which is what I would expect. So why does $file[1].H return something but $file[1].Plan_Type return nothing?

    I'm completely perplexed. Thanks in advance for any suggestions

    by poshoholic at 2012-08-20 14:17:26

    The answer is in the format of the file you are working with. You have identified '|' as a delimiter, so PowerShell respects your wishes and uses only '|' as a delimiter. Any whitespace surrounding values, even headers, is preserved by PowerShell. As a result, your Plan_Type column is actually called "Plan_Type " (note the trailing space). Therefore, to access it like this, you need to use $file[1].'Plan_Type ' (again, note the trailing space).

    I recommend you either remove the undesired whitespace from the file (which you could do with PowerShell) or you could write a routine that would do the same thing as Import-Csv, but being smart enough to trim whitespace around any headers or values in the process.

    by MLP at 2012-08-20 14:28:14

    Thank you for your quick reply. I'll do a little more work before asking any further questions.

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