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Adding a text file as a source for a self paced reading experiment


We are trying to create a self paced reading experiment in open sesame with absolutely no knowledge of coding whatsoever.

The experiment will consist of sentences presented one word at a time with the participant pressing the space bar after each word to progress to the next. This needs to be timed i.e. a timer for how long it takes the participant to press the space bar after each word has been presented. At the end of each sentence, the participant will then be asked a multiple choice question to confirm comprehension. The sentences are in 3 group sets, but need to be randomly shuffled, the words within the sentences need to appear in correct sequence.

Having read a few threads on this forum, it seems we needed to add a .txt file with all our sentences to be used into the loop. However, on doing this we received the error message in the picture below. We changed the encryption to UTF-8 as per the error message but still no luck. What are we doing wrong, can anyone help? Thanks.


  • Hi Rachel,

    How is this text file structured? One sentence per row, all words in the same cell? Or do you have one word per cell and one sentence spans a couple of columns? Also, are the sentences all of the same length, i.e. Are there columns with empty cells? Maybe you can also upload your textfile?


  • Hello Eduard, It is one sentence per row, one word per cell. The sentences are different lengths but all with a comprehension question at the end.



  • Hi Rachel,

    Then I suspect Opensesame (or actually datamatrix) can't handle empty rows. Would you mind uploading your experiment and also the text file that you use to make the loop table?



  • Hello Eduard,

    We seem to have got something going. However, the experiment seems to stick when it reaches the end of the final sentence in the loop table. Any ideas as to how we can change this? File uploaded below.

    Thank you so much for all your help!

  • Hi Rachel,

    Could this be because you don't have a question defined for most of the sentences in your loop table? Also, I recommend that you don't run it randomized, but sequentially. Like that you have more control over when exactly something breaks.

    I had a look and fixed some things. Not sure whether your problem is now solved, but you can have a look and see for yourself :smile:

    Good luck,


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