Editing Column Names in Sheets

When you create a new sheet, the column names are A, B, C and so on. That’s not very informative. :slight_smile:

Likewise, when you import a tabbed text from a spreadsheet, you may get the column names as a record, but it’s only a record and the column names might fly all over the place when you do sorts by column.

Take a look at one of the pages in the Tutorial database. The page name is “TASK: EDITING SHEETS”. You’ll see that there are instructions on how to edit column names (along with some other very useful information).

But there’s a typo. “Command-click” should read “Control-click”. Sorry, I tried to edit everything, but that slipped past me. (Please let us know if you find other types or mistakes, especially the kind that keep the desired operation from happening!)

As mentioned elsewhere, the key to bringing in the column names from the spreadsheet is to create a dummy first column in the spreadsheet and make the first row in the first column contain the word “Name”, without the quotes. The other cells in that first column should be the names of your records. Export as tabbed text, and rename the export file with a .tsv extension. Then just drag the file into DT Pro. DT Pro will give the columns the names in the first line of your spreadsheet.

My experience is different, there was no need for a dummy first column in any scenario I tested, no need for entering “Name” anywhere.


Sorry touchstone,

now I understood why you came to this solution, I accidently came across your problem. If you only work with text export or just create a text document with column titles, your way of doing it is the right one.

I did it the other way, which is because I tested it with alphas and betas earlier. It is different to simple text export, more reliable and logic, but I hope that both ways will be harmonized soon.

Here are my ways of doing it:

When I create a text file in a text editor, the column titles start:

dtName” “dtComment” “dtURL

in the first line. All other columns are in quotation marks as well. The data lines start with 3 tabs therefore (of course you can fill them with data as well, like IDs, comments, URLs), before the real data start. This file, saved as “…tsv” will be a perfect table in DT Pro.


In order to export tables in the same manner, I open them in sheet view, mark all datasets, “Open Externally” – which opens in BBEdit on my machine – and get a text file with exactly the same structure as described above. This is saved as “…tsv”. Sounds complicated, is easy – but certainly a beta-way of doing things…