today I had to transfer more data from a plain text file into IDL, manipulate the data, and put it back out into a plain text file into two columns. The problem was trying to take the data from IDL to a plain text file. Everytime I tried to put it back into plain text, it turned up blank. The undergraduate student I work with proposed that I put the data into excel and then recopy it into a plain text file as 2 columns. I hope this will work on monday.