Thanks for your answer Synfire,
#0697667 GB LTD #0719830 GB LTD #0731990 GB LTD BDA LONA
PO BOX 3129 PO BOX 4530 SG3 SITE 11 COMP 138
STN MAIN 14311 ALASKA VENUE
BECIL CAKE NT ECIL RAKE TB FROZEN JOHN VA
V04 1G0 24860 VTC 1G0 24986 VGJ 4M7 26024
Unfortunately the formatting is screwed up and the columns are not properly aligned but I think you will see what I mean.
I have tried to remove multiple spaces but this causes severe distortions in the case of line 3. The fields for address2 are blank in column one and two, causing the field for column 3 to be shifted into column one. Furthermore, number companies all start with a space. Overwriting spaces with 0 would create strings for each word. Not sure how to get that straightened out at the end?
Further analyzing the file reveals that the first chr in column 1 starts at 1, first chr in column 2 starts at position 27, first chr in column 3 starts at 54. Line length is 79 chr with lfcr at the end for a total line length of 81 chr.
I like your suggestion to read a block of data and then using the indices to extract the strings.
I will work out something in the next few days.