Open CSV File Quickly and Easily. If you’re dealing with big chunks of data, then you might have encountered the CSV file format. In this article, we’ll be showing you what the file format is and how to open CSV file on your device.
What is a CSV File?
CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. Sometimes, they are also called Character Separated Values or Comma Delimited files. This file format is a plain text file that has a list of data. These files are used for exchanging data between different applications, such as databases and contact managers.
From the name itself, the data you’ll find inside CSV files are separated by a comma. Sometimes, other characters like semicolons are used to separate the data.
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Structure of a CSV File
The data found in CSV files have a simple structure. It’s a list of data that are separated by commas or semicolons. One common software that produces CSV files is your phone’s contact manager. If you export the data from your contacts, it will look like this:
Name, Phone Number, Email
John Doe, 0996-123-5678, firstname.lastname@example.org
Other CSV files could contain thousands of lines, entries in each line, or long strings of text. You might not even find headers in other CSV files. Simplicity is the key feature of CSV files. This makes it easier to export and import data using other programs.
Opening CSV Files
CSV files can be opened using two types of programs. You can use a text editor or a spreadsheet program.
Using a Text Editor
Text editors like Notepad could be used to open CSV files. To view the contents of the file, follow these steps below:
- Right-click on the file
- Select “Edit”
When using Notepad, the data might be harder to read when the Word Wrap feature is turned on. Turn it off under the Format tab. This will make each line of data stay on its own line. However, you will need to scroll horizontally to view the full line.
Using a Spreadsheet Program
You can also open CSV files using spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel. You can double click the file if the default program is set to already set on Excel or any spreadsheet program. If the file doesn’t open automatically, you can right-click on the CSV file and select Open With > Excel.
There are other spreadsheet programs that you can use, such as Google Sheets or LibreOffice Calc. In a spreadsheet, the data will be separated into columns cells instead of commas or semicolons.
When using these spreadsheet programs, you could also convert the CSV file to other file formats like XLSX, XLS, and many others.
The simplicity of the CSV file’s structure makes it useful for different programs. The data is often separated by commas, semicolons, or other symbols, depending on the program. Aside from phone contacts, you can also see CSV files from programs or machines like dataloggers.
To open these files, you don’t need to download and install specialized software. You can use a simple text editor like Notepad or a spreadsheet program like Excel.