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One of our systems was using an older version of SQL Anywhere and when I would run a query with the FORMAT TEXT option like this

select * from tblmed; output to e:\temp\med.txt format text

I would get a fixed width file with headers and ------'s under the headers indicating the column width. I also wrote a script to use those output files in a custom reporting system.

After a recent upgrade that same query producing a comma separated file with no headers. Is there a way to get the old fixed with output back?

I know I can rewrite the script but I would like to avoid that if possible.

Thanks in advance,


asked 20 Dec '11, 14:45

mmcgrego's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Interesting... we had a request for that old format recently and issued a fix. If you're not the one who requested the fix, it's another case of the phenomenon where requests or bug reports tend to come in groups :) Note that the fix below addresses dbisqlc -- I'm not sure what the java dbisql does.

SA Bug Fix: QTS 692617(OTW): fixed-width output with column headings was lost when ASCII renamed to TEXT

Versions Affected: and later
Modules Affected: dbisqlc

Fixed In:,


When we renamed 'ASCII' to 'TEXT' for the dbisqlc OUTPUT_FORMAT option, we lost the ability to generate the old format that dbisqlc called 'TEXT' which was fixed-width with column headers. Now, setting the OUTPUT_FORMAT to 'COLUMNS' will generate the old TEXT format.

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answered 20 Dec '11, 14:56

John%20Smirnios's gravatar image

John Smirnios
accept rate: 40%

edited 27 Dec '11, 09:14

Volker%20Barth's gravatar image

Volker Barth

No, I didn't submit a different request...glad I'm not alone though. When I use 'COLUMNS' i get an error that that format is not valid. Like dbisqlc 11.0.1 build 2467 - I presume an upgrade is in order?

(20 Dec '11, 16:59) mmcgrego
Replies hidden

Yes, an upgrade is in order: "Fixed In:,"

(21 Dec '11, 07:36) John Smirnios

For DBISQL, the following command line will probably get you close:

select * from tblmed > e:\temp\med.txt

When run in a command window, DBISQL prints result sets to the console with column names and a long line of dashes as you described. I recognize that it does not achieve your goal of not having to change your script files.

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answered 03 Jan '12, 08:36

Chris%20Irie's gravatar image

Chris Irie
accept rate: 46%

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question asked: 20 Dec '11, 14:45

question was seen: 1,848 times

last updated: 03 Jan '12, 08:36