FormatMXF - a Marker Import Utility

Import Utility for Terrain Navigator Pro

Introduction

FormatMXF was written to correct common problems found in user-created .MXF (Marker eXport Format) files for Terrain Navigator Pro. In addition, it will convert .CSV files created with Microsoft Excel to .MXF.

What is a .MXF file?

A .MXF file is a list of coordinates that are to be imported into (or exported from) Terrain Navigator Pro as a list of Markers. This allows transferring of Marker data (positions, names, etc.) into other applications. Since there is no accepted standard for this sort of information interchange, we have created and documented our own transfer format.

Usage

Run the FormatMXF application and an Open dialog will appear. Select the .MXF (or .CSV/.TXT) file you wish to format and press Open. The application will process the file and ensure its compatibility with Terrain Navigator Pro. Once processed, the resulting .MXF file can be imported into Terrain Navigator Pro via the Import command found under the File menu.

Problems Corrected

FormatMXF will correct the following problems commonly encountered in a user-created .MXF file:
  1. Ensures the file has the proper extension.
  2. Verifies Latitude / Longitude is in Decimal Degrees.
  3. Corrects Latitude / Longitude sign problems (Positive Lat. / Negative Long.)
  4. Removes any quotation marks in text fields.
  5. Removes any quotation marks that surround the Latitude/Longitude fields.
  6. Removes any quotation marks that surround the entire line.
  7. Ensures text fields are encased in a single set of quotation Marks.
  8. Ensures non-text fields are not encased in quotation marks.
  9. Creates default Name (if it is left blank)
  10. Creates valid, empty fields for ShortName and Description.
  11. Fills in default values for Color and Symbol if those fields are left blank.
  12. Validates optional time field.

Note

FormatMXF will NOT convert coordinates that are not in the Decimal Degrees format. Be sure that your coordinates are in this format before running FormatMXF. See the Terrain Navigator Pro electronic documentation for a discussion on Lat./Long. formats.

Using with Excel

Microsoft Excel is a very popular application for editing .MXF files. However, when these files are saved, Excel does not format the file correctly, adding extra quotation marks around text fields and doing other odd things. When a .MXF file is saved from Excel as a .CSV file, FormatMXF will create a new .MXF file from the .CSV file, while correcting for these problems.

More Information

Details of the .MXF specification can be found in the electronic manual for Terrain Navigator Pro. Click Help, Contents, and in the Importing/Exporting Data in Text File Format section, open Markers, Marker Text File Format (.MXF) for a detailed overview of this file format.

Closing Remarks

FormatMXF was created based on the need of several users for a simple utility that would convert Excel-created .CSV files to .MXF. Although we are happy to provide this application to our users, we make no warranty over it and can not provide exhaustive technical support for its use.

Release History

03/21/00 - Original release
01/02/01 - Version 1.1 - Added more robust quotation solutions
11/14/02 - Version 1.2 - Added more robust handling of quotation marks within fields.
02/23/06 - Version 1.3 - Added support for skipping completely bogus lines of data.
04/24/06 - Version 1.4 - Modernized display during conversion process
01/13/12 - Version 1.5 - Added support for additional colors; Added support for (optional) time data field
01/16/12 - Version 1.6 - Updated documentation; Added warning before existing file is overridden
09/19/12 - Version 9.2 - Changed version scheme to match TNP; Improved CSV conversion

Related Knowledge Base Articles

MXF Conversion Tools: ASCII, DAT, POS, ATT
Marker (MXF) File Import/Export Format
Symbol Key for .MXF/.RXF Files

Download Link

FormatMXF_Installer.exe
799.73 KB
Released 09/19/2012
Requires an installation of Terrain Navigator Pro, or Terrain Navigator Pro Network Edition.

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