File Preparation

Midwest Presort can accept most types of PC files, but to avoid conversion charges we need it in a certain format that our mailing program can recognize.

We need mail list files in either “comma quote delimited text file”, “tab delimited text” or Excel .csv file. Most database programs will easily convert to these types of file. This is done using one of these commands:

Export (data) – the program then asks which type of file you want it exported to.


Save as – then specify the type of file

Please note that ASCII is the same as a standard text file so if the program wants to export it to “Tab delimited ASCII”, that is fine. Email questions and files to: or call to request access to our private file upload web page.

Many companies keep their databases in a spreadsheet such as Excel. They work extremely well when done properly. Please review the information below for things to watch out for when using a spreadsheet.

  1. KEEP COLUMNS CONSISTENT – Ex. Don’t allow the address to be in column F for one entry but in column E for another.
  2. MORE COLUMNS ALLOW EASIER DATA MANIPULATION – It is better for the mailing program if city, state and zip each have their own columns instead of having all three items in one. Also if some records use peoples names while others use a company name it is better to have separate columns for each.
  3. When exporting from Excel, do a File  >> Save As  >> Tab delimited text (.TXT) for best results.

Below is a sample tab delimited file with suggested minimum layout.

First      Last     Company     Address1     Address2     City     ST     Zip

Please do not have more than 2 address lines. Other columns for Prefix (Mr / Mrs.); Middle Initial; Titles; etc can be added as necessary. Also, when working in Excel, make sure the ZIP column is set to Text (format cell) to insure beginning 0’s in the zip codes are not removed.

If your spreadsheet is not in a format as needed above, we can usually fix it for an hourly charge. It is suggested to let us put the file into a compatible format then return it to you so you can have a corrected spreadsheet to work with in the future.

The most important thing about a spreadsheet is to have the address, city, state and zip columns consistent and not floating around from address to address. Secondly, it is important not to have more than 2 address lines since the mailing program cannot accept over 2. Please feel free to call (317) 547-9937 with any questions you may have.