Import Data from Text file does not use first row as headers

Copper Contributor

When importing data from a Text file, the PowerQuery editor does not auto select to Use First Row as Headers.  Instead the "Use Headers as First Row" seems to be selected and then an extra header row is added to the excel data that reads Column1, Column2, Column2, etc.  


This only happens with some files that are imported to Excel - all text files are coming from the same source though, so not sure why some add the extra unwanted Header Colum

2 Replies
Can you show us the M-code of your query please?
What are the precise steps that lead to both situations (when the first row in the data is treated as headers and when not)

 I'd be glad to help you with the issue of Power Query not automatically recognizing the first row as headers in some text files. Here are the potential causes and solutions for clarity:

Possible Causes:

  • Inconsistent formatting: Even if the files originate from the same source, minor inconsistencies in delimiters, line breaks, or special characters can confuse Power Query's header detection.
  • Empty first line: If the first line in some files is blank, Power Query might interpret it as an extra header due to its heuristics.
  • Missing or ambiguous first line: If the first line is a comment or doesn't provide clear column names, Power Query might not confidently treat it as a header.


    1. Manually set headers:

      • Click "Transform Data" in the Power Query Editor.
      • Right-click the first row, select "Use First Row as Headers".
      • Optionally, rename or remove unwanted headers later.
      • Use the "Split" option:

        • Select the column with incorrect headers.
        • Click "Transform" > "Split Text" by delimiter (usually comma or tab).
        • Use the split columns as your actual headers.
        • Customize delimiter and header settings:

          • Click "Advanced" when importing the text file.
          • Set the appropriate delimiter, text qualifier, and "First row as headers" option.
          • Preprocess the files:

            • If inconsistencies are unavoidable, consider using a script or external tool to preprocess the files before importing into Power Query, ensuring consistent formatting and removing ambiguity.


              • Imagine you have two text files with inconsistent first rows:

                File A:




                File B:

                # This is comment line




                • For File A, Power Query should automatically recognize the first row as headers.
                • For File B, you'd manually set the first row as headers or split the first line.

                  I hope this comprehensive explanation and the example help you effectively resolve the header issue in Power Query!