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0: File Text

Read or write a text file

The operator 0: has six forms:

syntax semantics
delimiter 0: table Prepare Text
filehandle 0: strings Save Text
(types;delimiter) 0: y Load CSV
(types;delimiter;flag) 0: y Load CSV
(types; widths) 0: y Load Fixed
x 0: string Key-value Pairs

Prepare Text

Syntax: delimiter 0: t, 0:[delimiter;t]


  • delimiter is a char atom
  • t is a table

returns a list of character strings containing text representations of the rows of t separated by delimiter.

q)csv 0: ([]a:1 2 3;b:`x`y`z)

q)"|" 0: (`a`b`c;1 2 3;"xyz")

Any cells containing delimiter will be embraced with " and any embedded " doubled.


Save Text

Syntax: filehandle 0: strings, 0:[filehandle;strings]


  • filehandle is a file handle
  • strings a list of character strings

strings are saved as lines in the file. The result of Prepare Text can be used as strings.

q)`:test.txt 0: enlist "text to save"
q)`:status.txt 0: string system "w"

Load CSV

Syntax: (types;delimiter ) 0: y, 0:[(types;delimiter);y]
Syntax: (types;delimiter;flag) 0: y, 0:[(types;delimiter;flag);y]

Where y is a file descriptor, a string, or a list of strings, returns a vector or matrix interpreted from the content of y, where

  • types is a list of types in upper case,
  • delimiter is a char atom or 1-item list,
  • flag (optional, default 0b, since V3.4) is a boolean atom indicating whether line-returns may be embedded in strings.

If delimiter is enlisted, the first row of the content of y is read as column names and the result is a table; otherwise the result is a list of values for each column.

/load 2 columns from space-delimited file with header 
q)t:("SS";enlist" ")0:`:/tmp/txt

Use optional arg flag to allow line returns embedded within strings.

0       1
"ab\nc" "def"

Where y is a string and delimiter an atom, returns a single list of the data split and parsed accordingly.


Load Fixed

Syntax: (types; widths) 0: y, 0:[(types;widths);y]

Where y is a file descriptor (see above) or a list of strings, returns a vector or matrix interpreted from the content of y, where

  • types is a list of types in upper case
  • widths is an int vector of field widths
q)sum("DT";8 9)0:enlist"20130315185540686"
q)("DT";8 9)0:("20130315185540686";"20130315185540686")
2013.03.15   2013.03.15
18:55:40.686 18:55:40.686
q)dates:("Tue, 04 Jun 2013 07:00:13 +0900";"Tue, 04 Jun 2013 07:00:13 -0500")
q)sum(" Z T";5 20 1 5)0:dates
2013.06.04T16:00:13.000 2013.06.04T02:00:13.000

Load Fixed expects either a \n after every record, or none at all.

/reads a text file containing fixed-length records
q)t:("IFC D";4 8 10 6 4) 0: `:/q/Fixed.txt 

Tips for Load CSV and Load Fixed

  • To load a field as a nested character column or list rather than symbol use "*" as the identifier
  • To omit a field from the load use " ".

Key-value Pairs

Syntax: x 0: string, 0:[x;string]

Where x is a 3- or 4-char string:


and key-type is S for symbol, I for integer, or J for long, returns a 2-row matrix of the keys and values.

one  two  three
,"1" ,"2" ,"3"

one  two  three
,"1" ,"2" ,"3"

1       2        3
"first" "second" "third"

8 | "FIX.4.2"
9 | "339"
35| ,"D"
34| "100322"
49| "JM_TEST1"
52| "20130425-06:46:46.387"

The inclusion of an asterisk as the third character allows the delimiter character to appear harmlessly in quoted strings. (Since V3.5.)

(5 6i;("hello,world";,"1"))
(5 6;("hello,world";,"1"))

Casting, Datatypes, File system, How do I import a CSV file into a table