Hidden Character \n or LineBreak (on OSX)

I was playing with Unique and did a concat , selecting \n hoping it would be interpreted as new line in excel, moderncsv or numbers but it simply shows as \n , I tried \r, no luck , tried \n no luck .

Opened BBEDIT, enable invisibles , Did a line break in BBEDIT (basically pressed enter key see screenshot line 3 till 6) , copied this and pasted in EDT as concat delimiter , it shows as space but does the trick

Hope this helps someone. See Column 1 and 2 with line break as delimiter , looking readable

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Thanks. As you say you can paste in a control character, but you can’t type it in using \ to ‘escape’ the control characters.

Using \ to escape control characters (e.g. ‘\n’ for linefeed and ‘\n’ to mean ‘\n’) is a rather ‘techie’ approach that might be confusing to some people.

Note also that you can press the ‘eye’ button to see whitespace characters.

Having an extra Insert control character item with options such as line feed, carriage return, tab etc, in the right click menu for text fields might be useful.


Absolutely !!

Great tip !

This will be a good addition to the right click menu.

But issue is we don’t edit data directly within the transform, it could only be allowed either in the start or at the end transform before output to file, otherwise any change in the middle will be hard to track as any number of transform could change the data within the middle transformation.

It would be interesting to see, how you are going to implement it.

You wouldn’t be able to edit the data table directly. It would just be an easier way to insert control characters into text fields for transforms. E.g. there would be an extra Insert control character item in this right click menu for the Delimiter field. This would easier than having to copy and paste in control character and less complex than using \ (or similar) to add control characters. For example if you wanted to use line feed or tab as your delimiter value.


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The wording text fields made me wonder how it would be implemented and what would be the condition.

When you said text fields you were referring to the options in the transform text fields and not the data table text fields.

Got it now.

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Yes. It would just be a convenience for adding control character to transform options. You still wouldn’t be able to edit datasets directly.

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You can now more easily add carriage return, line feed and tab characters to fields in the right pane:


This is awesome . Thank you so much for this .

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I tested , I can now easily select Carriage Return and produce my output without any third party tool to copy paste.


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  • For Excel/CSV Reader to concat Rows and appear in 1 column (Alt+Enter) IN EDT Carriage Return is used as delimiter
  • Files FROM excel to split the same require Line Feed as delimiter for EDT

Go figure

Testing on Windows I think it is linefeed that causes the linebreak in both cases: