What is a Column Format?
Column Formats are also identified as “Conversion Formats” and they allow you be specific with the format for each column in a table, and even for fields.
The purpose of this is to ensure the data is being properly recognized. For example, a date or currency will retain the necessary symbols to show their format ($ and - symbols). This also allows you to convert numerical data to Excel or CSV so that the values are not lost.
By choosing a column format, you can also be certain that any data not matching that format’s character set will be removed. For example, with the Number format, a ‘0’ (zero) will not be confused with the letter ‘O’. This is particularly useful for scanned documents, when some characters are not properly recognized.
The number “1” is showing as the letter “I” in this scanned document (above)
After formatting column as “Currency”, the number is correct (above)
PDF2XL will ignore data that does not follow a standard format. If you mark a column as currency, but one cell has a date (ex, 01/31/18), it will understand that this is not currency and will leave it as is.
What are the formats and their defaults?
The Formats are as follows:
Automatic: This is the default setting. PDF2XL will try to guess what format should be applied based on the characters in the cells.
Text: Text format recognizes character sets based on letters. If you have indented data or cells with line wrapping, you will need to use this format to retain those settings.
Number: This format displays numerical characters with 2 numbers after the decimal, so if you have a number 1, it will become 1.00.
Currency: The currency setting will display a $ symbol before the number and apply 2 numbers after the decimal, excluding zeros. If your amount is negative, this will be converted using red colouring and parenthesis in the output.
Date: The date format will convert to month-day-year even though it shows as year-month-day in the preview. In order for this format to be properly shown in your output, the regional settings on your computer and the format in Excel need to be set the same.
Time: Converting with time format will result in an hour:minute format, as well as AM or PM, if they are on the PDF.
Image: If you have an image in the PDF that you want to convert into Excel, use this setting to apply the image, otherwise, the cell will be blank, or have an unintended character (the preview might not show the image). Note that PDF2XL will try to adjust the row height in your output, but it may require some manual adjustment.