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2.2 Loading Data

Before you can use data from an external source in your document, you must first load it. This section describes how to load data from a CSV file or from a datatool (.dbtex) file. When the data is loaded, it's stored in an internal datatool database with an associated label. This label is then used to identify the internal database whenever you want to fetch values from it in your document. Throughout the rest of this book, ⟨db-name⟩ will be used to indicate this label. It's best to just use the letters a, …, z, A, …, Z or the digits 0, …, 9 within ⟨db-name⟩ to avoid accidentally using problematic special characters.

The database is divided up into columns (or fields) and rows where a column can be referenced either by its index (starting from 1) or by its label (or key) and a row can be referenced by its index (starting from 1). Throughout the rest of this book, ⟨row-idx⟩ will be used to indicate the row index, ⟨col-idx⟩ will be used to indicate the column index and ⟨col-label⟩ will be used to indicate the column label. As with ⟨db-name⟩, ⟨col-label⟩ should not contain any special characters. Since the label is often used in a list context, it's also best to avoid commas.

This book is also available as A4 PDF or 12.8cm x 9.6cm PDF or paperback (ISBN 978-1-909440-07-4).

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