University Libraries

Using the U.S. Census Bureau's EXTRACT Software

Introduction

Many Census Bureau CD-ROMS use a Census Bureau developed piece of software called EXTRACT. While more and more datasets are found on the Census Bureau website, many of them, especially the ones released on CD-ROM are not. Sometimes you can work directly with the files without installing anything, but often you need EXTRACT in order to get a smaller subset of the data. This guide will show you how to install and use EXTRACT.

System Requirements

EXTRACT is a Windows program. Mac users can run it, but they'll need a Windows emulator first. Once you have Windows running, you're ready to install. EXTRACT will work with Windows 7.

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Installation

  • Go to the EXTRACT page to download the software
  • Go to the C:\ drive and create a folder called "EXTRACT"
  • Move the downloaded file into C:\EXTRACT
  • While you're there, make two folders: C:\EXTRACT\WORK and C:\EXTRACT\AUXIL
  • Double-click on the downloaded file
  • For some Census Bureau CD-ROMS that use EXTRACT, you'll need additional and/or corrected auxillary files which you can dowloand from the EXTRACT page.

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Using EXTRACT


Double-click on the application in C:\EXTRACT to get the starting screen:
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Specify drives as directed and shown aboveSpecify drives as directed and shown above
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 Choose a file or "catalog" and hit enter.Restrict your entire session to a single state if you wish by hitting "r" and entering the state abbreviation. : Choose a file or "catalog" and hit enter.
Read the information on the screen that next comes up. Read the information on the screen that next comes up.

Finally, choose the appropriate sub-file.Finally, choose the appropriate sub-file.

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The next screen will show a menu of 10 options, with the selected file in the lower right. The most heavily used ones will be 1-3, 5 and 8.The next screen will show a menu of 10 options, with the selected file in the lower right. The most heavily used ones will be 1-3, 5 and 8.
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 Limit how many columns appearOption 1: Limit how many columns appear
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 Limit how many records appearOption 2: Limit how many records appear
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 Choose/Alter labelsOption 3: Choose/Alter labels
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 Format For PrintingOption 5: Format For Printing
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 Save ("extract") dataOption 8: Save ("extract") data
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