.TAB File Format

The .TAB file format is designed to store numeric data sets in a format that is easier for human beings to read, write, and edit than the Scope ``SAVE'' and ``READ'' formats.

TAB files consist of one or more records, each containing one or more variables. Each variable has a name, and can be a scalar, vector, or matrix quantity. Variable names are case-insensitive, and follow the usual Scope naming conventions (must begin with a letter and contain only letters and digits). Each variable in the file must have a unique name, with the exception of the index variables in !I records).

There are several different record types. Directives are lines beginning with an exclamation point, and specify the format of succeeding data lines.


A comment directive is an exclamation point followed by a blank or a tab. Any line beginning with a comment directive is ignored. In addition, lines beginning with a pound sign (#), and those consisting of a single exclamation point, are also ignored.

!T Records (Tables)

Table records contain multiple columns of data. Each column is a single variable. Table records begin with a !T directive, which specifies the column names.

!T var1 ... varN
r1c1 r1c2 ... r1cN
rMc1 rMc2 ... rMcN

The rIcJs are floating-point numbers. Each data row must contain the same number of elements. The varI specify the variable names. Each variable is an M-long vector, containing the values rIc1 ... rIcM.

!I Records (Indexed Tables)

!I records have the same format as !T recoreds, but are interepreted slightly differently. !I must have at least two columns. The first column is the independant variable, and must be monotonically increasing. The remaining columns are the dependant variables.

When read into Scope with the LOADTAB command, variables var2... varN will appear as 2-column arrays, with the independant variable (var1) in column 1 and the dependant variable (vari) in column 2.

This format is useful if there are multiple groups of dependant variables which share the same logical independant variable, but have different lengths. This is often the case in, for example, blade property tables.

!M Records (Matrices)

Matrix records contain a single 2-D variable. Matrix records begin with a !M directive, and are followed by the matrix data, with one row per line. All lines in a !M record must have the same number of entries.

!M varname
r1c1 r1c2 ... r1cN
rMc1 rMc2 ... rMcN

!B Records (Block data)

A !B (Block data) record specifies a single 2-D matrix with free-form input. Elements are listed in column-major order (i.e., the elements of the first column, followed by the elements of the second, etc. Note that this is transposed from the !M format.) Line breaks are not significant.

!B records are compatible with the Scope SAVE file format.

!B varname #rows #cols
e1 e2 ... eN

!U Directives (Units specification)

A !U directive may immediately follow !T, !I, or !M directives. The !U record contains a space-separated list of unit specifications; there must be exactly as many unit specifications as there are variable names in the preceding directive.