What file extension do the files have? .csv? .txt? or ???
Are you able to open these files in a text editor or word processor? a csv file is really a text file with commas separating the field data so they should open readily in with an application that works with text.
Thanks, PhilModJunk. Yes, the files will open in a text editor, or will open into a spreadsheet program depending on how I choose to open it.
TextWrangler by the makers of BBedit is free, and may be able to clean the files.
If you're going to be doing serious find and replacing, I would recommend TextWrangler. If you are willing to take an hour or two to learn how to do regular expression (grep) pattern matching, it will make your life a whole lot easier. See the TextWrangler help for a good guide.
OK David, so are you saying the reason FMP5 won't read the file as importable could be b/c of some garbage in the file? Is that b/c newer word processing software typically puts garbage into files? CSV seems like such a simple and standard file type that it's hard to believe it could be trashed by any software (but I suppose I COULD believe it...). I've had trouble opening an Excel file generated by Salesforce.com in Calc too, and I think it may have to do with some HTML encoding in the file that Calc doesn't like.
I'm very fluent with manipulating CSV style files in a spreadsheet like Excel or Calc (OpenOffice and LibreOffice versions of Excel), but most of my manipulation happens in FMP. In my case I had to align key field data from a different database with my data in FMP. I tried to simply do an update directly from what the other database sent as a .csv, but that didn't work b/c FMP wouldn't recognize that .csv file. I then tried to take the .csv generated by FMP, add the key fields in Calc (usign a lookup), then saving as CSV and importing that into FMP. No joy there either.
Finally, I've had luck with other csv files generated by Calc going into FMP, so I suppose there might be some junk, but I'm confused why FMP wouldn't even "see" my files with the .csv extension.