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How To Prepare User Waypoint File For Fore Flight Using Garmin Basecamp

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For those of you who use Garmin BaseCamp to store all user waypoints and would like to upload these to iPhone/iPad ForeFlight app, here is how to do it


ForeFlight official User Waypoints guide is here: http://www.foreflight.com/support/user-waypoints


Here is what you ill need:

  1. iPhone and/or iPad
  2. ForeFlight App
  3. iPhone/iPad USB cable
  4. Computer running iTunes (http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/)
  5. Garmin BaseCamp (Win: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=4435 Mac: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=4449 )
  6. Microsoft Excel

Requirements on user waypoint file to be imported into ForeFlight

  1. Must be CSV (Comma Separated Value) file or Google Earth KML file
  2. Waypoint Names must be all caps and not contain spaces. Only dash "-" or underscore "_" characters are permitted.
  3. Description up to 30-40 characters.
  4. Lat then Lon in decimal format.
  5. All values separated with Commas.
  6. for example: MY_HOUSE,My house,38.1,-79.2
  7. File name must be user_waypoints.csv

Here is how to prepare the file for ForeFlight:

  1. Export the waypoints in BaseCamp using the File ➜ Export
  2. Save As: user_waypoints.csv
  3. You can select destination to desktop
  4. Make sure you select Format: CSV Text
  5. Open the user_waypoints.csv file in the desktop using Microsoft Excel
  6. You'll need to delete all the rows before and after the waypoint list, so that all that remains are the waypoints themselves (simply click and drag the row numbers in the column on the left hand side 1,2,3.... so that all the rows that do not contain waypoints are highlighted in blue then right click and select Delete
  7. Now that all you'll have left are waypoints, no headers or routes, tracks etc... the file will look something like this (Note data extends up to column AB, that's the 28th column)
  8. Next you will want to delete all the columns we don't need, so all we'll have left are columns B, C, H and I (Lat, Lon, Name, Description).
    Do this by clicking on the column headers (A, D-G, J-AB) of the columns you wish to delete so that excel highlights all those columns in blue, then right click and select delete.Next we need to move the Name and Description columns to the left. Simply click and drag on column headers "C" and "D", so both columns are highlighted in blue, then right click and select cut.
  9. Then click on column header "A" right click and select "Insert cut cells"
  10. Click on column header "A" to highlight the entire column
  11. Click on menu: Edit ➜ Replace...
  12. Enter a single space in the "Find what:" text field.
  13. Enter a single underscore _ in the "Replace with:" text field.
  14. Click the "Replace All" button
  15. The result will be underscores replacing spaces in name column A
  16. Click on the menu: File ➜ Save
  17. If a warning window comes up says "This workbook contains features that will not work...." just click the Continue button.

Next we need to upload the file to ForeFlight app using File sharing:

  1. Connect iPhone/iPad to computer with USB cable.
  2. Launch iTunes
  3. Click on the iPhone icon on the top of the window
  4. Click on the "A Apps" icon on the left side bar
  5. Scroll down in the app list on the right hand side of the window all the way down to the bottom to find File Sharing and click on ForeFlight icon
  6. Click on ForeFlight
  7. Click on zOVekZ4.png button
  8. Browse to the user_waypoints.csv file on the desktop

Now launch ForeFlight on your iPhone/iPad, tap the ⚐ User Waypoints menu item. ForeFlight will then ask you if to import the waypoints. Tap import.


Hope you find this tutorial useful.

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Dear Saifan Pilot,


Thank you so much for posting this great tutorial! You just saved me days of my life inputting all my Garmin 296 waypoints manually.


Your guide works like a charm and I just imported 500+ waypoint into my ForeFlight... gotta embrace technology!


Safe landings to all of you out there,



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I am used to tutorials with 100 different confusing steps, hours spend and at the end it never works anyways... which is highly frustrating...


Yours on the other hand was a refreshing change to this trend. I highly recommend it to anybody else out there on the same mission!


Thanks again for all your sweat & tears Saifan Pilot!!!

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  • 8 years later...

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