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The first question I have, is about creatinga .dat file in Mac. How can I create a file containing columns of data with .dat format in Mac OS Lion? What I did was to create the file using TextEdit, save it with extension .dat.rtf and then go to "get info" of the file and change the .rtf part. Is there any better way? And second question is: How can I refer to a .dat file in a different folder in pgfplots? the /Users/.../filename.dat seems doesn't work. I really appreciate your help. Cheers

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closed as off topic by Joseph Wright Nov 20 '12 at 19:37

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There's no need to rename the file to something ending in .dat: It's just a name. You can simply refer to filename.rtf within PGFPlots. Generally, absolute paths should work. However, this has the drawback that it means your document won't compile on someone elses computer, and you might run into trouble if your path contains spaces. The safest thing would be to move the data file into the same directory as your .tex file. – Jake Oct 30 '12 at 7:22
To save the file as a with a .dat extension, make sure you add the extension -- I also normally unselect If no extension is provided, use .txt. As far as not being able to access it, it would be helpful if you provided a fully compilable MWE including \documentclass and the appropriate packages that illustrates the problem. Difficult to figure out why it did not work without more information. – Peter Grill Oct 30 '12 at 7:30
The main part of the question is not TeX-related, so I've closed here as 'off topic'. The second part needs a MWE, but would be best asked separately. – Joseph Wright Nov 20 '12 at 19:37