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Import from Text and Import from CSV No Longer Works in Excel: How to Fix It

By January 15, 2019May 6th, 2019Blog, Microsoft, Office 365, Office 365
using from text data import legacy wizard

The ‘tyranny of default’ in the IT realm is a concept where changes are forced upon users by heavy handedly offering new ways of doing things they were able to do before.

Today on the blog the victim is Excel and the recent (maybe not quite that recent – June 2017 version 1704 ) update to O365 that introduced a new ‘Power Query’ wizard. Personally, my use of Excel is limited to parsing CSV files and reading log files, so I find the concept of pivot tables about as exciting as reading Windows Event Log.

Bad news is the new wizard replaces the old one, and you will have to do some digging to get this turned back on. Oh it’s in a new spot in the interface too, you’re welcome.

Part One: The good old wizard.

The following describes how to use the basic CSV import utility prior to 1704

  1. Choose the Data tab from the Ribbon -> From Text in the Get External Data section -> Select File -> Click Import.egacy From Text Excel Wizard step one
  2. Switch from Fixed with to Delimited with. I am working with a CSV file here.Legacy From Text Excel Wizard step two
  3. I chose ‘Comma Separated’ and click through the rest of the default options arriving at columns A B C D containing each word in separate cell as desired.Legacy From Text Excel Wizard end result

Here is the version of office used in the steps above.

Excel Version screenshot

Part Two: The new and improved wizard.

  1. In order to even see the old wizard again you will need to re-enable it. Go to File -> Options -> Data.enable from text data import legacy wizard excel
  2.  Once you have the wizard enabled, go to Data -> Get Data -> Legacy Wizards -> From Text.using from text data import legacy wizard

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts: The old (legacy) wizard is still there and remains unchanged; it’s merely changed its position in the UI. Group Policy ADMX files do not currently exist to manage this setting and re-enable the old wizard, so your users need to take action to get to the legacy wizard. I secretly suspect this is a registry flag that is being flipped, but was not able to find any workarounds to manage this setting. Will update this post if a solution is found.

JacobR, PEI

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