I have a txt file with space-delimited x, y, z coordinates of several points. The points are organized into groups of unequal size; the groups are delimited by skipping a line, like this:

2.3 3.4 5.5
2.4 3.3 5.6
2.5 3.5 5.6

1.2 4.3 3.3
0.7 4.0 3.5

-1.2 1.3 -0.7
-1.1 1.7 -0.5

I can't find a way to have Mathematica just import these then plot the points! I've tried searching a little bit but didn't find a similar question.

When plotting, it's not important to distinguish from which group each point came from. For example, I don't need different colours for each group or anything like that.


2 Answers 2


I would use:

dat = ReadList["file.txt", Number, RecordLists -> True];

ListPointPlot3D[dat, PlotStyle -> PointSize[Large]]

Mathematica graphics

"file.txt" is of course the name (and if necessary the path) of your data file.

Thanks to the default option NullRecords -> False any extra lines are omitted from dat.

dat = Import["F:/data.txt", "Table"] /. {} -> Sequence[];
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Even better is the option of import "IgnoreEmptyLines"->True $\endgroup$
    – Ajasja
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 14:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ajasja with that option this is a good method for data types that ReadList does not easily recognize. For regular numeric data it's bound to be slower than ReadList however. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 14:52

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