TableConvert.com – free tabular data formats converter

By | January 28, 2020

This is a repost of my post on the Biochemistry department: tableconvert-com-free-tabular-data-formats-converter

Tabular formats

When I first came to Madison in 1986 as a postdoc with Biochemistry professor Paul Kaesberg to learn cloning and sequencing, I was surprised when he said that the most important program to work with sequences was the (now defunct GCG) program REFORMAT. And “boy” was he right, as in my 30+ years of using computers, I have been confronted with file formats sometimes on a daily basis, and that is not even counting “end-of-line” issues that I may address some other day in another post.

A tabular format seems like an obvious format with rows and columns. Maybe. But you can have comma-delimited (csv), tab-delimited, text-delimited and many other formats that may not be equivalent.

TableConvert

So when  I stumbled a few days ago on TableConvert.com I was immediately “sold” on the value of the web site. Of course it is possible to do some simple conversion within Excel for example, but what if the data “table” is in a format called JSON or XML?

The web site converts between these formats:

TableConvert formats icons

TableConvert formats icons

Examples

Using the sample table proposed on the web site, here are different formats that might now appear as a “table” to a casual user:

CSV

id,name,age,gender
1,Roberta,39,M
2,Oliver,25,M
3,Shayna,18,F
4,Fechin,18,M

JSON

[
{"id": "1", "name": "Roberta", "age": "39", "gender": "M"},
{"id": "2", "name": "Oliver", "age": "25", "gender": "M"},
{"id": "3", "name": "Shayna", "age": "18", "gender": "F"},
{"id": "4", "name": "Fechin", "age": "18", "gender": "M"}
]

Markdown

| id | name | age | gender |
|----|---------|-----|--------|
| 1 | Roberta | 39 | M |
| 2 | Oliver | 25 | M |
| 3 | Shayna | 18 | F |
| 4 | Fechin | 18 | M |

YAML

-
   id: 1
   name: Roberta
   age: 39
   gender: M
-
   id: 2
   name: Oliver
   age: 25
   gender: M
-
   id: 3
   name: Shayna
   age: 18
   gender: F
-
   id: 4
   name: Fechin
   age: 18
   gender: M

This illustrates well that not all “tables” visually look like a table to the casual user…!

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