Warthog systems file formats
The format for standard Warthog text files is shown in the following example.  This is the simplest format that contains most the information that can be used by LabAnalyst. It can be assembled in most database or spreadsheet programs, or with a word processor.  Note: the comments indicated by two asterisks (**) are NOT part of a real file.

Actual data
Comments on data format
"female Belding 003, 354.3 g, VO2 stable"
0,1,1,1,0,"% Oxygen                      "
1,3,1,0,2,"Degrees C                     "
0,1,1,5,0,"S.C.C.M.  in heliox           "

......  etc.
** # samples, interval in seconds, # channels
** date & time the file was started, IN QUOTES
** comments; up to 252 characters, IN QUOTES
** gain, etc.  for each channel.  The exact values
   are not important, but there must be 5 values
   followed by a 30 character label IN QUOTES.
** flow (ml/min), mass, BP, Temp., effective volume
** number of markers (0 if none)
** for each marker, sample number and ASCII value

** sample 1, channels 1, 2, and 3
** sample 2, channels 1, 2, and 3
** sample 3, channels 1, 2, and 3

 (the rest of the data follows here...)

The format for Warthog BINARY files is roughly similar, but they start with a text code value (the first value in the file).  All other numeric data are encoded in 4-byte FutureBasic binary format.  Current versions use a floating-point (FP) format with a text code of "-999" or (for large files) "-9999" (note that this FP format is not the same as the 4-byte IEEE binary floating point frequently used by DOS/Windows software). 

Each text string is NOT in quotes, but it is preceded by a FP real value equal to the number of characters in the string.  Commas (and other delimiters) are not used.   The sample data are stored channel-by-channel, not case-by-case.  Due to this complexity, for most files, use of Warthog text format is considerably simpler. 


This icon is used to indicate files saved from LabAnalyst (they have identical formats to binary files saved from LabHelper, but the different icon helps let you know if you've worked on a file previously.


  • You must have FBtoC in order to write binary files from non-Warthog sources.
  • Binary files created by the latest LabHelper versions can have comments of up to 32K characters, and also contain information on the type of A-D converter used to acquire the data.

SSCF and ExpeData  These formats are used by Sable Systems software on Windows computers.  Because data must undergo translation between IEEE and Warthog formats, disk access to SSCF/ExpeData files isn't as fast as for Warthog binary files (but this is a minor issue for all but very large files).  Note that the icon shown here will only appear if you save a file in SSCF / ExpeData on a Macintosh running macOS

These sable-image icons will will not appear on a Windows machine, or if a file was created on a Windows machine and then copied to a Macintosh (a generic 'text' or '.exp' icon is used instead).

Text format (ASCII)  The format for ASCII output is a simple spreadsheet with commas or tabs as column delimiters, with each row terminated with a carriage return. The first line can contain column labels.

maximum-sized files -- even in the compact binary formats -- are large.  They require about 8 Mb of disk space per channel for a two million sample file (so a 16-channel maximum-sized file fills roughly 130 mb!).

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