Q: What is a variable-width, pipe delimited text file?
- A pipe delimited text file is a file containing multiple data fields separated by a pipe character, “|”, to distinguish where each data field starts and ends. Files are stored in plain text as numbers and letters with one record per line.
- Data fields will vary in width, depending on the response.
- To leave a data field blank, as permitted in some cases by Regulation C and the Filing Instructions Guide (FIG), enter two consecutive pipes with no spaces in between the pipes, like this “||”.
- A pipe delimited text file for data collected in 2017 should look like this1 :
- In a HMDA file, the first row begins with a “1”. All subsequent rows will begin with a “2”.
- As the example demonstrates, depending on the data field, information can be of different lengths.
- Blank data fields are indicated by two consecutive pipes.
1 This example is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not represent all the data fields reported in a row within the loan/application register.