Converting data from Passwords Plus to SplashID

In the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago on SplashID, I mentioned that I'd converted my data from Passwords Plus using CSV files. At the time I only mentioned the format of the VID files for SplashID, but didn't provide any information on how to do the conversion. You will require Excel, or any program that can open a CSV file in a spreadsheet-like form.

First of all, get a USB drive that you can reformat. We're going to be creating plaintext (that is, readable) CSV files containing all your passwords. We should really wipe them once the conversion is over and not leave them hanging around on your hard disk (say, in the Recycle Bin).

Open Passwords Plus. Select File | Export. Dismiss the warning dialog, and then save the CSV file to your USB drive. Close Passwords Plus.

Open the CSV file in Excel. You'll see that the first row is just version information. Ignore. The second row are the column headers (or the field names, if you like) for the fields in each record. At the top of the actual records are all the individual data items from Passwords Plus (the entry in the first column is 0), and if you scroll down you'll see the template records (the entry in the first column is 1). Delete all the template records.

The columns are:

Is Template
Field 1 Label, Field 1 Value, Field 1 Hidden
Field 2 Label, Field 2 Value, Field 2 Hidden
Field 10 Label, Field 10 Value, Field 10 Hidden

Leave the column header row, since it'll help identify the fields once we start rearranging the columns, since SplashID expects the fields in a different order.

First, put an 'F' in column A for each data row. That's the record identifier for SplashID.

Insert a new column B. Set each cell to 22. This is the image number of the "head" from SplashID's image list. (Choose whichever you want, of course. Images are numbered from 0 in the image list in SplashID. Instead of counting across and row by row, count down and column by column. No, I don't know why.)

Column C (Title) is now in the right place for SplashID's item name/description.

Now it gets messy since we have to rearrange the columns, and furthermore we have to delete the columns for fields 9 and 10 (SplashID has no "room" for them). You need to look at those two columns to see if you've used them at all for any data records. Make a note of which records will have to be patched up (for me, there were 6 out of about 300). Delete all 6 columns that deal with those two fields now.

Move all the "Field X Label" columns over to the right, in order. To do this, select the column with the mouse (hover over Excel's lettered column header until the mouse pointer turns to a downarrow and then click), press Ctrl+X to cut the column, move over to a blank column way over on the right, and press Ctrl+V to paste. The Category column will have to be moved as well in the same manner, of course.

Then move all the "Field X Hidden" columns over to the right, again in order. You'll now have all the "Field X Value" columns with blank columns in between.

Move the eight "Field X Value" columns over to the left in order. "Field 1 Value" will occupy column D and will become SplashID's field 2, since Title became SplashID's field 1 in essence. Set all cells in column L to a string representing today's date (say "July 10, 2009"); this will be the last modified date for SplashID.

Set all cells in column M to zero for now (the masked fields).

Now we can move the custom field names as SplashID puts it, or the "Field X Labels" as Passwords Plus terms them. Set all cells in column N to "Description", and then move the "Field 1 Label" column to column O, "Field 2 Label" to column P, and so on. Set all cells in column W to "Date Mod". Move the Category column to column X, and the Notes column to column Y.

Almost done, only the masked fields column to fix up. This is a bit field with bit 0 for field 1 (set it's masked or hidden, clear it's visible), bit 1 for field 2, etc. To set this you need to write a formula to convert the "Field X Hidden" values into a bit field. Pretty simple: suppose you moved the "hidden" columns over to BA to BH, then the formula for row 3 would be:


(We start with 2 as the multiplier since you can mark the record description, field 1, as masked in SplashID.) After doing this, you need to fix these values. Select the column, cut it, and Paste Special back into the same place. The formulas will have gone, replaced by their values. Now you can delete everything to the right of column Y.

Finally, you need to have three new rows at the top, above the data records, instead of the two current ones. Clear rows 1 and 2, insert a new row 3, and set them to:

SplashID vID File -v3.0
T, 21, Imported, Description, Custom 1, Custom 2, Custom 3, Custom 4, Custom 5, Custom 6, Custom 7, Custom 8, Date Mod, 0

(Note: in the first two rows the values go into column A, and in the third row set column A to 'T', column B to 21, column C to "Imported" , and so on.)

Save the file as a new CSV file, say called "DataImport.VID" on the USB drive. Close Excel.

Open SplashID desktop, and import this VID file.

Once you're happy with the resulting import, reformat your USB drive, and don't use the "Quick Format" option. You can also now change each item in SplashID if you want to flag each record with something other than "Imported". I tend to do this for a given record when I need to retrieve it.

Possible Issues

I've already mentioned the problem about fields 9 and 10. Nothing for it but to fix the records up in SplashID manually, I'm afraid.

I ran into an issue where Passwords Plus accepts returns in fields (that is, field values can be multiple lines), but SplashID does not. If you've used this "feature", there is nothing for it but to go back to Passwords Plus and change all those values to single lines. If you don't the import will go wildly wrong, since the SplashID CSV file reader doesn't know what to do with carriage returns in quoted field values. In fact, unlike me :), I'd recommend you check your data first before you start the laborious column moving stuff in Excel.

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10 Responses

#1 Grateful said...
03-Jul-10 5:43 PM

Thank you so much! It was kind of a pain, but you saved me hours of manually cutting and pasting.

Note that you can take out the carriage returns in Excel if you used them in say, the Note field of Passwords Plus. Format the cells in the worksheet to wrap text (Format Cells => Alignment => check "wrap text") to show the entire context of the cells to make it easier to do those edits.

Also, instead of cutting and pasting columns you can select and drag them. Makes it go a little faster. Select a column by clicking on the column letter at top, move your cursor down a bit to select a side of a column, hold your mouse button down and drag to where you want.

Finally, might clarify things a bit to specifically say that the formula for the masked fields goes into Column M.

Thanks again. I never would have been able to figure this procedure out on my own. I wonder if any of the other passwords programs can deal with the carriage returns. For me it was indeed a feature when I needed to enter extensive notes or instructions in the Note field. If I'd known how difficult it would be to import the data into SplashID, I might have chosen some other password software that does know how to import PP format. Wish Dataviz would develop an Android version, oh well.

#2 Grateful said...
03-Jul-10 7:44 PM

Update: I actually found that I didn't need to edit the Note field to prevent the carriage return problem you described. There didn't seem to be any carriage returns that messed up the importing into Splash ID. I was able to import my paragraphs just fine.

I did find that credit card numbers and other long strings of numbers got converted into unreadable scientific number format in the CSV output, but the number would display normally when I selected that cell, so I didn't worry about it. But then it imported into SplashID as text in scientific number format. So I had to cut and paste those numbers manually from Passwords Plus into Splash ID when I was checking all my records to see if they imported okay. Also, some of the dates got converted into a different display format than I had originally had them, but that was less serious of an issue.

Very time-consuming but I'm almost done. If I hadn't had the assistance of the information you posted here, it would have taken me days to cut and paste all the info manually for all the different fields, so thank you again.

julian m bucknall avatar
#3 julian m bucknall said...
04-Jul-10 8:48 AM

Grateful: I'm glad I could be of help. You're right about the "time-consuming" part though: without writing some kind of application to do it, it's still a tedious process even with these hints. And writing an app would have still taken longer (the design, the coding, the testing, etc, etc).

Cheers, Julian

#4 Fernando Madruga said...
04-Oct-10 1:56 PM

Actually, being a bit of a perfectionist and not wanting to trust my excel "skills" at manually moving data around, I decided to use the info here and make, not an application, but an excel function to do just the job. I'm e-mailing it to Julian so he can share it here for those that, like me, come here trying to get help on this one-way conversion. I believe many more are moving from dead-palm into growing-android every day...

#5 Fernando Madruga said...
09-Oct-10 3:31 AM

Well, Julian appears to be away so here's the full file+readme for those who may stumble on this page on their way to converting from Passwords Plus to SplashID:

BTW: if you haven't committed to SplashID yet, try and look for a better alternative: I'll stick with it only because I don't want to spend more time converting but after using it for a while, I can say it's not as easy/intuitive as Passwords Plus was. For instance, you can't change both the description and contents of a given "row" at once, making it extremely hard to re-arrange your info on a given record... :( Also, be VERY careful NOT to change a record's category as it WILL loose all your custom field labels and replace them with those for that category WITHOUT even asking!

#6 felix said...
25-Feb-11 5:46 PM

I was stuck with my PC crashing and passwordspluslite being made unusable because it asked for the registration info...darned if i remember that from 3 years ago. Now i have a perfectly unusable .PDB file of which i know the main password to, but keeps nagging me for registration info...any help here would convert me to SplashID or alternative. 3 years of passwords is too much to remember, so i would be eternally grateful for any assist

julian m bucknall avatar
#7 julian m bucknall said...
26-Feb-11 10:22 AM

Felix: The problem is that the database file is encrypted, and therefore the only way to get at the data inside is through the app itself. Last time I checked, DataViz had trial versions of their software so you could use that route. Also, if you can login to their site, they (used to?) allow you to download copies of the products.

Cheers, Julian

#8 john said...
16-Apr-11 10:24 AM

Fernado, I'm trying to use your excel spreadsheet and macro, but when pasting my copied CSV file (PasswordsPlus export file) into your spreadsheet I am getting this error when trying to run the macro..

"Please fix: should only have 1 column with DATA! LastCol = 34

I can't seem to get it to work... any pointers you can give me?

thanks much!

#9 Chris said...
24-Oct-11 8:29 AM


Thanks so much for this - just what I needed - worked essentially first time



#10 Michael said...
03-Feb-14 6:22 PM

Thanks very much for this. I am having one issue so far. I moved my Hidden Value columns to BA thru BH. Now, when you say "the formula for row 3 would be:

+(BA32)+(BB34)+(BC38)+(BD316)+(BE332)+(BF364)+(BG3128)+(BH3256)", does that entire formula go into cell BA3? If not, what goes into BA3? Then, is that it, as far as formulae for BA thru BH? Do any other formulae go into any of the rest of the cells in this area? It would be easy to cut and paste into any or all of the other cells, but I don't know if that is the next step or not. Also, I am unable to paste special back into column BA. Can you suggest a work around?

Thanks again!

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