Data - convert raw data

There are many different types of data file format; the way in which the data is stored within each file format varies.

CL itself uses two data file types - binary with the extension .CBA, and ASCII with the extension .ASC. However, data files of many different types can be analysed by CL. See section Data files for use with CL

To use another data file type (other than an ASCII file, or a .CBA file), you should first copy the data file into your current project directory. We recommend that you also keep a back-up of the data file in case you accidentally destroy the original file.

Once you have copied the data file, you should select [Data] [Convert raw data].

At the "Convert raw data" dialog box you should first use the [Input data file name] button to select the data file you wish to convert.

If you are not sure of the type (format) of the data file, you should use the "Type of file for input" pull down list box to view the data file in various different formats and to choose the appropriate type.

Once you have selected an input file name and type (format), you can then use the "Type of file for output" pull down list box to select the output format you require. Finally, use the [Output data file name] button to specify the name of the new converted data file.

If you are converting a supplied binary data file for use with CL, we recommend that you convert the data to a .CBA data file. It is also possible to convert .CBA data files produced by CL into other column binary formats using this convert raw data facility.

For information about exporting data from CL, see section Exporting data from CL.

For users who are familiar with previous versions of CL, this [Data] [Covert raw data] facility replaces [Raw data] [Copy and convert] available from the DOS Toolkit program. The "Padding" box replaces the [Remove bytes 161-162] option from the Toolkit.

NOTE: If you have a supplied ASCII data file that you wish to analyse with CL, you probably do not need to copy and convert the file, simply rename the file to have the suffix .ASC.

Another common form of column binary (card image) file is .CSI. If a card image file is supplied to you and the total byte size of the data file is exactly divisible by 160 it is likely to be a .CSI file. To analyse this type of file with CL you should use the [Data] [Convert raw data] facility to convert the .CSI file to a .CBA file.


When converting a file for use with CL, if the total byte size of the file is divisible by 162, the file may include termination controls at the end of each line (of 160). If this is the case, when you use the convert raw data facility it is possible to specify how much padding is required (to pad the termination controls in positions 161 and 162. If there are termination controls in positions 161 and 162 you should use a "Padding" of 2.

Blank lines

You can decide whether to ignore blank lines input when converting.

Record lengths

You may alter the record lengths of the input and output files.

If the input record length is shorter than the output record length then blanks will be used at the end of each record.

If the output record length is longer than the input record length then you can choose whether to truncate them or output more than one record for each input.