Importing And Exporing Through The Clipboard

 Importing/Exporting Through The Clipboard

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It is possible to use the Cut, Copy and Paste features of the Compass Editor to import and export cave survey data. The Cut, Copy and Paste features of the Editor transfer survey data to and from the Windows clipboard. This means that the Editor can exchange data with many other Windows programs. In order to exchange data between Windows programs, the information must be in a format that is compatible with both Compass and the external program.


Compatability. The Editor uses the same clipboard data format as Excel. This makes it is easy to transfer cave data to and from Excel spreadsheets. Since Excel is something of a standard, it means that Compass data can be transferred to and from many other Windows programs.


Importing Data Through The Clipboard. Data imported into Compass through the clipboard must be in the correct format. First, each shot must be on a separate line, with a Carriage Return and Line Feed at the end of each line. Second, each item must be separated with a Tab character. If you are using Excel, it will automatically handle these requirements.


The final requirement is that the data items must be in a specific order. Even if you are using Excel, have to manipulate the data so it is in the proper order:


1. From Station

6. Left

11. Backsight Inclination

2. To Station

7. Up

12. Flags

3. Length

8. Down

13. Comment

4. Azimuth

9. Right

5. Inclination

10. Backsight Azimuth

You can omit items off the end of each row of data. However, you cannot omit any data from the middle of the row, even if the data is not used. For example, if you only have the From Station, To Station and Length, you can omit all the rest from the row, without filling in any dummy values. However, if you have an Azimuth but no Length, you must fill in a dummy value for the Length. The flags and comments fields can be left empty. Here is an example of how the shots should look in the clipboard. Remember that the "white space" character separating each item must be a TAB character


AB1 AB2 39.8 131.0 -8.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 L Big Room

AB2 AB3 49.4 45.0 -30.5 4.0 10.0 10.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 L

AB3 AB4 48.1 58.5 -30.0 10.0 14.0 6.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 L


Units. The data must be in feet and degrees. Once the data is imported, Compass can display it in any format. If you have data in meters or some other format, you can fix it using some of the repair options of the Editor.


Incompatibilities. If the data does not match the format described above, you may be able to reformat the data to match the Compass requirements. If the data is in a spreadsheet, you can usually move the columns around and fill in missing data until it matches the Compass format. If the data is a plain text file, you may be able to manipulate it with a text editor so it will be readable by the Editor. Generally, you want to use a plain text editor for this task, rather than a word processor like Word. The Windows Notepad will usually work. There is also a powerful Notepad replacement editor available from Fountain Computers. It can be used to create sophisticated editing macros for complex conversion tasks.


Exporting Data Through The Clipboard. Exporting shots is simpler. You just copy the rows you want to export and paste them into the other program. When you copy or cut rows of shot data to the clipboard, it is in the format described above. If the program is not picky about the data format, it will just paste the data and display it. For example, Excel will simply put each data item into different cells of a spreadsheet.