Problem: Tab delimited text file tables do not display correctly in ArcCatalog or ArcMap


When a table for a tab delimited text file is opened in ArcMap or ArcCatalog, the data is not correctly entered into columns.


ArcMap and ArcCatalog interpret files with a .txt, .csv, or .asc extension as comma delimited by default. Files that have a .tab extension are interpreted as tab delimited by default.

Solution or Workaround

Select an option below.

  • Change the extension on all tab delimited text files to .tab.

    Right-click the file in Windows Explorer and select Rename.

  • Modify the schema.ini. This file determines how to read delimited text files.

    For more information on modifying the schema.ini see Accessing delimited text file data