Using a CDF program running in CDF Player, is it possible to use a system dialog box, or even just an Import statement such as Import["*.CSV"], to import data from a text or comma separated file on a personal computer? I have browsed the forums and Wolfram documentation and it appears that it is not possible, but all the questions were a little bit different in one way or another. My own attempts have failed to produce a dialog box.

  • $\begingroup$ If you can get the data in your .CSV file via one of Wolfram's curated data sources, you could use that in a free CDF player $\endgroup$
    – Jagra
    Jul 31, 2012 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


Functionality you are looking for is included in Wolfram Player Pro. Detailed functionality difference relative to Free Wolfram CDF Player and Mathematica is listed here:

CDF Player, Player Pro, and Mathematica Features Comparison Chart

If including your data in CDF is possible in your case then

1) This blog (2nd example) shows simplest case of compression and inclusion of user data in CDF

2) This video shows advanced cases (notebook download link is above the video)

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Very frustrating to have to pay out additional hundreds to reclaim the Import function. $\endgroup$
    – Gary
    Jul 31, 2012 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @jagra. I'll keep that in mind. Right now, I need it for data that I produce locally. I can probably work around it by loading several files before I make the CDF file and providing some kind of file menu. $\endgroup$
    – Gary
    Jul 31, 2012 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ @GaryPalmer I updated the post a bit due to your comment $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2012 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @VitallyKaurov, thank you. It will all be useful, though my matrices are not sparse. It looks like Compress might be helpful. My CSV files run from 100 to 700 KB each, and could easily exceed 1 MB. It will be interesting to see how much they can be compressed. The video segment on the order of evaluation of dynamic content was useful. $\endgroup$
    – Gary
    Aug 1, 2012 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ @GaryPalmer I can understand the need for the Import restrictions. Without those restrictions it would be rather easy to use the player as a kind of generic Mathematica installation. You could build a CDF that imports Mathematica commands and executes them. That would make for a poor-man's FrontEnd implemented in CDF. $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2012 at 9:59

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