Editing PLC-exported CSVs with Flexible Data Headers
Most CSV editors assume that the first row of your table will be your data headers. That assumption often holds, but not always. I’ve come across many CSV files where the first few rows are metadata and the data headers are several rows down. For instance, I used to work in industrial automation programming PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). These are computers that control the equipment in factories, buildings, oil and gas pipeline stations, etc. I often exported program data to CSVs to quickly make changes and import them back in. Here’s what a typical CSV looks like.
Obviously, we want the data header to be row 6 rather than the first row. That can easily be set by simply right clicking anywhere on row 6 and selecting
Set Header Rows to Selected Row.
Why bother? If you just want to make a quick change, there’s probably no reason. However, if you want to sort or filter your data, it will not operate on the data above the header row. Furthermore, you can “freeze” the header so it’s always there even as you scroll down. Just bring up the command launcher (
ctrl+L) and type
Alternatively, you can have it always freeze rows in the Settings file (
Edit Settings). Once you freeze the header rows, you can scroll through the file and they will always be visible.
You can also freeze the first few columns so they’re always visible. You can even sort and filter along rows.